They tell you adoption is like a roller coaster.
You don’t really understand what that means until you find yourself along for the ride. For us it has definitely been true, and it’s been true for the husband this week. I got the chance to have a good conversation with him today and loved hearing more about their trip.
The lows are low and exhausting. There have been travel annoyances. Our contact told us that the kids did not have to go to the Embassy appointment- after an hour of waiting the husband discovered they did have to be there. That meant the driver had to go get the kids in the middle of lunch/quiet time which was hard for everyone. There have been meltdowns. Our boy has separation issues- every time the husband goes somewhere without him, he gets panicked and thinks he’s getting left behind again. He gets very sad, upset, and scared. Our girl has major anxiety issues. She misses the comfort of the orphanage and has meltdowns every time they get back to the hotel. The husband recently had to carry her up six flights of steps while she was kicking, screaming, and yelling “NO!”.
It’s easy for us to feel so empathetic for these kids. They’ve been through more in their short lives than anyone should have to go through in a lifetime. They have no reason to trust us; no reason to believe that they’re going to be safe and stable with us. They’re acting out in the only way they know how. But as empathetic as we feel their situation, and as much as we’ve read and talked to people about these issues, it can be physically and mentally tiring to deal with these issues every day.
The highs have been numerous and fun. There have been funny moments, like when our boy told our girl that her asking about the people at the orphanage repeatedly was annoying and that they all moved to America. There have been lighthearted moments, like when our girl looks through the flashcards, gets a word right, and gets the biggest smile on her face. There have been fun moments, like when our boy challenged the husband to a 2-1 soccer match (with our boy being the 1) and then our boy recruited hotel security guards to join his team when he was losing. And there have been milestone moments, like when our girl was on the verge of a breakdown but was able to collect herself and transition peacefully.
Everyone is ready to come home, with the possible exception of our girl. Our boy is so excited that he asks multiple times per day when they are going to America. They finally made a chart with the days of the week across the top. Each night they cross off the day. Saturday says AMERICA!
I can’t wait!