Today we all traipsed over to the Columbus office of our adoption agency to attend an information seminar. This was the place where our dreams of bringing a child into our family first took root. I remember sitting in that room, looking around at the other eager couples in attendance, and wondering what had brought them to this place, on this day. Did any of them already have children at home? Had any of them adopted a child before? Over there was an older couple- had they simply waited too long to try for a biological child? What about that very young couple? Certainly they were too young to have tried fertility treatments? Now that I look back on that day, I wonder what the others were thinking about us.
But today was different. Today we sat in front of the group, sharing our adoption story, sharing our son with a room full of strangers. We talked about our decision to adopt, then to adopt internationally. We talked about how we came to the decision to choose the agency that was hosting this seminar today. We talked about the process, the long wait for our referral, about the trip and navigating immigration at the airport. We talked about special needs and surgeries and medical care. We talked about bonding and time off from work. We even talked about the cost of an international adoption.
And I remember what it was like to sit in that room and want, no need, all those answers. Knowledge is power, right? The more we know, the less we can be surprised, and the more control we have. But if there is one thing the process of adoption has taught me it is that there is very little control. Control is something that must be surrendered almost immediately upon beginning this journey. And if you try to hang onto it, you will only end up frustrated and confused.
As Brad and I talked about our adoption journey I looked out into the expectant faces of these people desperate for a child of their own and I wanted to scream out to them that none of their questions mattered. The process, the timing, choosing one country over another, none of it mattered. Do you see that little boy toddling around the room? See his smile as he hands his car to you, wanting you to be as excited about his toy as he is? See how he points to me and says "mommy"? THAT is all that matters. I wanted to pull each person aside and say "Just do it. Just start this most incredible journey. Don't ask any more questions, don't worry about the small stuff like the overseas trip or the time off work. Just go, as quickly as you can, and bring home your child." Because that toddling little boy, that bright smile, the word "mommy"- that is all you really need to know. Let everything else fall away; it will all take care of itself.