Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brick Walls and Other Obstacles

I hate to break it to you if you’ve not figured it out already—but the adoption process is HARD. Really hard. Sometimes I think it’s that way because we have to prove ourselves worthy of the gift we are about to receive. I hope not because that sounds really not fair, but there were days it sure felt like it.

Both of my adoptions were stressful and difficult for different reasons, while remaining the most precious times in my life. They pushed me to my limits emotionally, physically and financially. It was during these times that I began to really understand my life and the world around me.

One thing I learned was that “good” and “easy” aren’t necessarily the same thing. Being a child of the 80’s I grew up thinking that for something to be good, it was supposed to be easy. I was the generation of the microwave, the VCR and the personal computer. Life wasn’t supposed to be hard.

That isn’t to say that because adoption is hard it’s not worth doing, or you shouldn’t do it. Just be prepared. The ups and downs I experienced were extreme and there were days I wanted to quit the whole process. But in the end, I have the extraordinary children meant to be mine, even if I did have to criss-cross the planet to find them and nearly lose my mind in the process.

When I first watched the late Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” on YouTube (It has since become a book, etc.) I couldn’t believe he wasn’t talking about the adoption process. The whole lecture is a wonderful, life altering message, but my favorite passage is this:

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!

In adopting my children I was given a special opportunity most people don’t have. I was given the privilege of proving to my children, but most of all, to myself how very badly I wanted them in my life. Single parenting isn’t for the faint of heart, but middle of the night ear infections, vomit in your hair, never getting more than three hours of uninterrupted sleep and not eating a hot meal in four years have nothing on the waiting and the wondering of the adoption process. Maybe I just needed some toughening up.

I hope, for their sakes, most adoptive parents found it easier than I. I hope their adoption journeys were/are easy and worry free. But I have a feeling, for most, that’s not the case.

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