"How do we know where our journeys may ultimately take us?" This is how the epilogue to Forever Lily, a story about an adoption from China, by Beth Nonte Russell starts. I read the book back when we first started considering adoption, and I thought we might actually pursue international adoption instead of domestic. The author writes about how, over the course of the past 5 years, her life changed dramatically. It makes me think about how our lives have changed so much over the past 5 years, too.
Five years ago this month we moved to a new state (well, new for Steve but it was the state I grew up in) and a new home. We scrambled to make the move happen in a short amount of time. We were closing on our home, and I was starting a brand new teaching job all within a matter of a few days. So not only were we setting up a new home, I was setting up a new classroom. The home we bought was our first house - we had always rented in the past. This was a HUGE step for us.
I started the new job and met hundreds of new students and many new coworkers. Steve continued to work his same job but in a new location. He had to meet many new coworkers, too. It was an adjustment for both of us.
We always knew that we wanted to have children, but we waited until after we had bought the house and we felt we were ready. Then after trying on our own for a long time, we moved on to a fertility specialist. She is a great doctor, but things just didn't work out for us. We got to a point where we knew that we needed to go down a different road. We had talked about adopting for quite a while. Even back before fertility treatments - we talked about it back then. When we decided to adopt, I felt a sense of relief. I felt like we had finally found a way to start our family. That this way might work for us. I felt a new sense of hopefulness that I had lost along the way during the infertility procedures.
The ups and downs are still a part of the adoption process, but I think we have felt more of the ups this time around. In the beginning, it was hard to hear that our profile had been shown but not picked. Part of you is happy that it's being shown, but the other part of you wants to know why you weren't chosen. Then we got the call on a Friday afternoon in June that changed everything. We feel really fortunate that our wait time was short considering what it could have been. We feel really lucky that we've been able to get to know the birthmom and some of her family. We're hoping that maybe we'll be lucky enough to spend more time with them before the birth of the baby.
I am so thankful for this situation. For us to have met her and to have spent additional time with her is a gift. We realize that not every adoptive parent has that same situation where they get to meet their child's birthparent(s). We're writing a journal about getting to know her - we'll give it to Zoe when she's older.
So much has happened in five years. So much transition, newness, starting over, beginnings, endings, emotional highs and lows. I wonder what I would have said if you had asked me 5 years ago where I thought I would be 5 years later. I'm sure I would have said that I would still be a teacher. I know I would have said that we would be still be a happily married couple. And I'll bet that I would have said "hopefully I'll be a mom." And to think...that looks like it might actually come true in about 5 weeks. Looks like our journey to parenthood might just be beginning...