Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What We Need

Final travel approval has arrived.  I am officially cleared to run away to China and bring home my babies. Well, almost. I still need my Chinese visa, and I need to book my flights. But we're close, so close!

So very many of you have asked what we need, and I love you for that. I'm constantly humbled by the opportunity to walk this path in life alongside so many great & compassionate hearts.

The fierce independence and obsessive self-reliance of my younger self is gone. While I am excited --so excited-- to bring these little ones home, I'm also scared out of my mind. This is a huge freaking deal! Whirlwind travel is not my idea of fun, and I just signed on to 30+ hour flights with toddlers who don't speak English and haven't been outside the orphanage walls. I'm hitting 3 provinces in less than three weeks, all with babies in tow. We can't wait for these two new additions to our family, but I suspect they will be considerably less enthused about leaving all that is familiar to them and joining these funny looking people in a place filled with strange sights, smells, and sounds--and they will probably respond in typical toddler ways. Small child meltdowns and tantrums are also not my idea of fun, especially when I'm jet lagged and tired.

There are so many logistical details that are causing serious stress right now. Because I'm adopting two, I've got to have a travel companion...and that is a big question mark. Who that will be depends on when I can travel, $$, health, and a hundred other little things that make me crazy if I think about it too much. But I have to think about it, because now is the time to book flights!

And money, oh money! Money is such a huge and inescapable part of adoption. For the past year it has felt like I've done nothing but write ever larger checks and drop them down the black hole that is our adoption. Okay, it's not that bad. The kids & I have been planning and saving for this for a long time. We've spent about $25,000 so far, and travel is likely to be another $10,000. Sadly, my travel approval came during one of the more expensive travel periods. I was feeling okay about the financial end of things, but with double-price plane tickets, I'm working hard not to freak out now.

As if the financial end of adoption weren't stressful enough, we are also facing the loss of my income for about a month, as my employer doesn't offer maternity leave, so I have to take unpaid family leave time to make the trip over there and spend a few days recovering from jet lag before I take on day care costs (roughly equivalent to the cost of my mortgage) and head back to work.

Not to mention little details. A crib. Blankets (I thought we had plenty of extras...until I counted and discovered we don't). Shoes. I don't know what size shoes to wear, so I haven't bought any. I've got clothes packed in a couple of sizes, but I'm petrified to buy shoes. Trying to figure out if I need a new car seat or if the booster I've got will be adequate, given the size of my little boy. Suitcase. I was fine with luggage,  until a couple of months ago when my darling kiddos pulled my larger suitcase off the garage shelf and played with it behind the car, where I ran over it the next time I pulled the car out of the garage. I made a mental note to replace it and promptly forgot until now. A ride to the airport. A ride from the airport, probably in my car, because car seats.

What do we need?

Your prayers. Truly, completely, the most important thing. Prayer brings miracles. I need miracles. I need two little hearts to be soothed and comforted, and able to bond with their new mommy. I need my four kids staying home to be safe and happy and mostly safe. I need greater strength than I currently have, to handle the crazy travel without turning into a grumpy beast.

Food. I'm worried about the first days home while we all adjust to this new reality. I'm worried about how to get a shower by myself. I'm worried about kids on all kinds of wacky sleep schedules. If you feel inclined to bring dinner over one night, I will be ever so grateful.

Stuff. If you have outgrown preschooler shoes or an extra car seat or anything else that I've probably forgotten I need, I will accept it gratefully.

Travel funds. My best estimate is about $2000 short on travel costs, based on the higher rates right now. Long before I found my daughter, an adoption advocacy group was raising money to help someone adopt her. That someone ended up being me. The account is still active. Donations are tax deductible, and funds collected go directly to pay for our actual travel costs. If you feel inclined, you can help with this burden: 

When I first started my adoption journey about fifteen years ago, I was horrified by the intrusion it presented. I was distraught that so many people were necessary in order to build my family. I saw it as taking something away from the precious intimacy of family.

I couldn't have been more wrong. Adoption has taught me, poignantly and personally, that it takes a village, and that's a beautiful thing. My little family is so blessed to be surrounded and sustained by love.

What do I need?

I need my village. Thank you for being them.


KerryLynn said...

Wendy you do need practical thngs also.the first thing I thought of was my Michael leaving the Romanian orphalena he had been in for 31/2 years...tens minutes into the car ride he threw up everywhere :)again on the train AND airplane...he had never had that much movement in his life. we just traveled by car with my 18 mon granddaughter who gets very carsick, her doctor said to take Benydril it helps equalize the ears plus puts them to sleep. might ask your Dr. if you havent already.

Sindea Horste said...

I love you, my dear and wonderful friend. I truly wish I could be you when (and if) I grow up. I know this will all come together, because it is RIGHT. And I will do whatever I can to help you along, near or far, I am here for you, and your precious children who are so blessed beyond measure to have you as their mom.

Julie Nance said...

Wow, BYU has no paid maternity leave, seriously? That is a crime against their own religion if I've ever heard one.
Good luck with it all, you're a force of nature, so you can do it. If I were the one doing it, I'd probably end up murdering someone, I have no patience.