Sunday was an important day. I might even go as far as to say it was monumental, a marker in this 2+ year journey to become a permanent dad. Sunday, with T’s help – literally and figuratively – we pushed, pulled, dragged and kicked ourselves into a new chapter. It all took place in the empty parking lot of our local post office at about 7pm. That’s when T and Juan opened the mailbox door and mailed our home study application to a private adoption agency.
On the drive to the post office, I asked Juan what he thought about us having T put the application in the mailbox. Juan suggested that we think of it as T helping us find a little brother for him. I agreed, managing to put my newly-found negativity in check. I liked the T/little brother symbolism, but I have to admit now that I wasn’t really in that space on Sunday. It helped me to think that T was helping us find the son, not the little brother. T was helping us let go and move on.
As I watched the envelope slide down into the dark, I suddenly was not ready at all. For an instant, I imagined me – in a moment of He-Man strength and adrenaline-filled desperation – wrenching the mailbox from the concrete, upending it and then pouring all of its contents onto the sidewalk. In those few seconds, I didn’t want to let go, and for a moment I thought “What the hell did we just do?”
Letting go means having to face some things I am not particularly eager to deal with. Starting a private adoption feels like I’m starting all over again, and starting over in my mid-40s was not part of my plan. When we started this process in June 2007, I did not imagine being a dad for over two years only to have to begin again. Home studies, fire and safety inspections, FBI background checks – they all seems like things of the past. Been there. Done that.
There are some new twists though. For the first time, we’ll be faced with waiting for an expectant mother to choose us as the permanent family for her child. We’ll have to do one of those Dear Birth Mother letters and create a photo book of ourselves and our lives. By the way, I hate that term – “birth mother”. There’s something about it that rubs me the wrong way. I’ve seen some letters start “Dear Expectant Mother”. I like that much better.
Anyways, there will be – no doubt – plenty of new blog material for this new chapter.
Two weeks ago, I was angry – angrier than I have been in a long long time. Since then, I think I’ve managed to claw my way out of that dark hole. I’m able to see Sunday’s act as as a helpful reminder of our quiet and enduring hope.
One day…Someday…we will have a permanent family with kids of our own.