Tuesday, November 24, 2009

57 and Giving Thanks

As of today we have waited 57 days for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance). No, we still don't have it and quite honestly, I really doubt we will have it before Christmas. We were told that the LOA takes anywhere from 60-90 days. I have seen them come in as early as 45 and sometimes take as long as 120 days. Obviously we are hoping and praying we are not among those that his the 100 day mark. Drew turns 4 on March 11 and I want more than anything to be with him for his birthday.

Adoption may not have the same physical characteristics as being pregnant, but I can assure you that emotionally it is just as difficult and sometimes even harder. Since Mylee was our first adoption we didn't know what to expect. When we were waiting for Mylee I thought of her every minute of every day. I would worry about whether she was cold, hungry, crying, hurting, etc. I was an emotional wreck. I spent hours upon hours surfing the Internet for anything to do with adoptions, blogs, as well as anything to do with bonding and attachment. From the day we saw Mylee's referral picture to the day I held her in my arms was just a little over nine months. During those nine months there were many changes taking place. Fall came and the began changing colors. Winter was here before we knew it along with the endless amounts of snow that quickly became snowmen and racetracks for sledding. Spring brought a whole new list of changes from blooming flowers to our long awaited travel plans. The one thing that remained the same was the love, determination, and commitment to get Mylee home.

So, as I sit here on our 57th day of waiting for the official word from China I can't help but have all those same emotions going on inside me. Knowing Drew is at New Day and is being well taken care of doesn't make it any easier not having him here with us as we enter the holiday season. I know he is surrounded by people who love him and are providing everything he needs, and for that I am forever grateful.

This will be Drew's last Thanksgiving, last Christmas, last New Year without a family. Knowing that next year there will be one more little boy bouncing down the stairs on Christmas morning brings a smile to my face. When I think about the happiness, the joy, the excitement, and the laughter Drew will provide to our family, I can't help but think about the loneliness and the emptiness his foster family is going to be feeling. As we long to have Drew in our arms, they must be dreading the day that we arrive to take him away. I can't imagine parenting a child for over a year knowing at some point he or she will move on to another family. I can't imagine saying goodbye to a child I have grown to love and that calls me "momma."

So as Thanksgiving approaches us not only am I have so much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful husband who works so hard for his family and is helping a dream of mine become a reality. I have 4 almost 5 wonderful, smart, healthy, beautiful children who I love more than life itself. I have friends who are there to laugh with me and sometimes cry with me. I am thankful that Drew is at New Day and goes home everyday from school to a family that loves him and cares for him knowing that it is soon going to end. And I am thankful that I believe in a God that loves me unconditionally. A God that has enough faith in trust in us that He chose yet another child for us to parent and love. A God that despite obstacle after obstacle is walking this path with us. Adoption is a miracle, an act of God, and this year I am so thankful that He is in my life.


Tara Anderson said...

Andrew and I were just discussing last night how much easier being pregnant is than adopting...for us at least...and that's taking my complicated pregnancies into account! The emotional side is just a killer!!! As I read about what you went through waiting for Mylee, I was thinking, "That's me! That's exactly what I'm feeling!" I am so thankful that this WILL be Drew's last holiday season without a family, and I also rejoice with you that he is at New Day. I'm sure all those extra pictures and updates help out with the wait...although I know nothing can take the place of him actually being in your arms! My arms are feeling pretty empty these days, too. :)

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Kathy said...

I understand. It's like my heart is in China and my body is here at home. I go through the day, getting everything done while I am emotionally "not here". It is very hard waiting. We were also talking this morning about how this will be Maggie's last Thanksgiving with out a family. And we are so thankful that she will very soon be joining us. I am also so thankful that Drew will some home soon. I can't wait.

WilxFamily said...

Well, that explains it! No wonder why my mind is mush. I can't remember anything, and if I do, I do it wrong. I can't even do simple math. So pathetic. We are on the edge of a major move...and I thought it might be that, but really, I think it's this waiting!!! It's eating me up! I am literally waiting for the phone to ring, every second.

Well, Mandi...you're on my prayer list for LOA too!

Maybe I should jot down all of us to keep our marbles!

Desiree' said...

We are at day 68 and honestly, I am ok with waiting. I need to do a lot more sewing before we can travel....But, you are right, it sure is an emotional roller coaster but just think how special next Thanksgiving will be!!

TanyaLea said...

I'm with Desiree~ it is an emotional roller coaster, but I can't help but think of how very, very special the holidays will be next year! All of us who are waiting to bring our kiddos home, will finally have them in our arms and we will all be blogging next about where we are now!! ;) We are so blessed that our kids are at NewDay while we wait...but you are right, it still doesn't make up for the fact that they are not in our arms. I walk around in that same fog, with my heart in China....though I'm trying to look around and appreciate the many blessings that surround me. And I do... there's just a missing piece in that big puzzle we call "family"!! Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Mandi!!<><

love ya,

Stacy said...

Hi Mandi, I wasn't sure if you checked back on our blog at the comments I had posted back. We received LOA on day 88. Have you received the I800 instructions and forms email yet? We received that email from agency about 2 1/2 weeks before receiving LOA. That was about day 70, I believe. Hang in there...God is in control!!!

Kristi said...

Just found you on RQ, our kids have similar birthdays ~ we're praying to get to our Darcy by her 3rd birthday on March 9. This is our third adoption, so I'm realistic enough to know that it may not happen, but I do serve a mighty God who never ceases to amaze me! I pray that you will make it to Drew by his 4th!
Good luck,