26 months since application, 12 months and 1 day since receiving her referral, and it finally happened. We were united with our daughter!
In many ways, things have been far better than we could have ever asked or imagined. Meeting our daughter’s caretakers was incredibly encouraging. We were bracing for a large orphanage where everyone was too stretched, and instead our daughter spent the past 26 months in a small home with 7 dear women and 6 children. Two other children seemed about her age, and the rest were under 1. We anticipated the standard developmental delays that often accompany those who grow up in institutionalized care, instead she is cognitively and physically on track. Based on our observations of the orphanage, and how she is doing now, all evidence points to her being emotionally and physically nurtured. We have felt immense relief and joy over this fact. And we feel forever indebted to the women who loved her so well until we could.
There was just one problem I wasn’t prepared for and it’s already proven to be the hardest challenge yet.
I mean, I knew I’d eventually sin against her, just as I sin against my other kids. But surely it would take a while. I have waited for this girl for years! I view her life as a precious gift! I was mentally prepared to face all kinds of challenges with her! But no matter how much you prepare your mind, it’s a whole new ballgame once you’re in it.
The first time we heard her cry/whine/scream we were like, “Oh, she’s so cute when she’s sad. Poor thing.”
I think it was only Day 3 when I thought, “Are you freaking kidding me? Can’t you wait ONE SECOND without flipping out!”