I'm about to be brutally honest with all of you. It may make you think less of me. It may remind you that I'm a flawed, crazy human being---just like everyone else. It may give you comfort in your own process and thoughts.
When I decide to do something, I do all my research, make pro/con lists, and jump in--quickly. There is no time for doubts or second thoughts. I'm in. I did it when moving to Chicago. I did it when buying a house. I did it when returning from Mexico. I did it when adopting a child.
I first heard about Reece's Rainbow in a television story over Christmas break 2011. I wrote my first blog post about RR and an idea that was in my head on January 1, 2012. I went public with my decision on January 25, 2012 after having contacted the home study agency, the adoption agency, and RR. On February 17, 2012, I revealed who my daughter was and we became public on the RR site. All of that happened in less than 2 months.
At that point, the momentum was in place. I was getting fingerprints, filling out paperwork and applications, having the social worker visit, working out details, fundraising. I was busy!
Most of the time, I was super excited about becoming Sara's mom. But, when I laid down at night to go to sleep, the doubts crept in. I wasn't just adopting. I was adopting a child with special needs. On my own. I was going to be giving up all of my time, my freedom, my money, my sleep! I was becoming a mom---forever!
It all came to a head when it was time to leave. I invited a bunch of friends to come over the night before I left. One of them asked if that was really how I wanted to spend my evening. It sure was! I didn't want to be alone with my panicky thoughts! I just might talk myself out of going. A couple of them stayed late into the night. I was glad because I was so tired when they left that I had no trouble going to sleep.
I woke up in a panic. I couldn't go. I was ruining my life. I was not cut out for this. I'm not the great person that a lot of people seem to think I am. I'm a mediocre teacher. What makes me think I'll be a good parent? What if I didn't like her? (My sister reminded me that I didn't really like all the students I've had over the years. What if I didn't like her? Thanks, sister!) What in the world made me think this was a good idea???
I knew I had to get up and get dressed because friends were coming to pick me up and take me to the airport. I talked myself through each step and took lots of deep breaths. I managed not to cry on the way to the airport or through the check in process. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I had to get on the first plane because my mom was meeting me in NY for our flight to Colombia. I couldn't leave her there alone. I had to get on the next plane because my mom was with me and she was so excited. I didn't tell her what I was thinking and feeling because I was afraid if I started to talk, I'd start crying and just never stop.
I am a people-pleaser and a peace-maker. I felt like there were so many people invested in this process. So many people had helped me fund raise and supported me. So many people were excited. I couldn't let them down! I'd have to go and complete the adoption because I'd never be able to face them if I came home empty-handed.
I should clarify that I didn't always have these feelings. I had sought wise counsel and spent a lot of time in prayer. I had seen God provide for my adoption financially and in so many other ways. I knew that I was doing the right thing. I just didn't feel it at all on that day.
I wish I could say that it all changed two days later when I met her. It really didn't. I felt like I was babysitting. I kept expecting someone to realize that I had no idea what I was doing and take her away. I had to keep reminding myself of all that I had gone through to get her because I felt like they were just giving away children to anyone.
A year later, I can tell you without a doubt that I did not ruin my life. Things may have gone quickly and I may have gotten caught up in the momentum. I may have had doubts but I do not have regrets. I may get frustrated and wish I could go grocery shopping alone but I am madly in love with MY daughter. Choosing to adopt Sara was the best decision I've ever made in my life.