I spent six hours this weekend watching a pre-adoption workshop. And believe it or not, it was worth every minute. I got to 'meet' many of the people who work at my agency and to hear many more specific facts on the process. It was long. But it was also helpful - and required by the Hague.
I feel as though I just finished an enormous final exam because my much bigger task this weekend was to finish all of my adoption questionnaire essays for the application part one (the easy part). Some were easy to answer, but some were much more complicated and difficult to put into words. How can I explain why I know I'm ready to adopt a child with special needs? How can I describe that tug I've always felt on my heart, my soul to make sure to take care of the children who no one else wants? How can I relay the message that I've just always known I needed to adopt a special needs child? Has it been forever? Or did it start on that day over 19 years ago when my dear and loved sister came home and told me, her preteen-mess-of-a-middle-school-sister that she was pregnant and was releasing her child for adoption? Not that he wasn't wanted - believe me, he was. Or maybe it was the day that I met Tyler's family. Maybe it was even the day that they first invited us all to their house. Their home. Maybe it was the day I watched as my sister held her beautiful baby and just loved him. She loved him enough to give him the life and family she knew she could not. Maybe that was the day the adoption seed was planted in my heart. Maybe it was that day I watched her struggle with one of the hardest and most important decisions of her life. Maybe.
How do I explain how much I love this child? Do you remember that moment you first saw the two lines show up on the pregnancy test? That's what seeing Tanya for the first time felt like. Like I was newly aware of this life that was meant to be a part of mine. Like God was whispering - no, shouting - at me telling me I had a child on the way. And just like a biological mother's love grows for her child as her belly grows, so has my love for Tanya grown as my heart has grown. And now? She is a part of me - for better or for worse. It doesn't matter that I have met her, talked to her. Did you need to meet your unborn child to love him? Did you have to wait until he was old enough to have a conversation to bond with him? I didn't think so.
How could I explain that in my adoption essays?