The last few weeks have been busy. All the paperwork and running around that is done to bring a child home is exhausting and frustrating. Sometimes it seems as if there is no way you will ever make it to the end. In reality you know there are thousands of families who have gone before you, and they have made it to the end, so you just keep plugging along, getting it done as fast as you can. The faster it's done, the faster your child comes home.
But towards the end of the process, just when you think you are spent, you start to get a little taste of the fun. As the fact that you're adopting becomes more real, and you can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, you allow yourself small pleasures. Those small pleasures are all about gathering the actual items that you know in just a few weeks your child's hands will be touching.
Painting your child's room is one of those things that will keep you going.
Everyone in the family gets excited and wants to help. They gather where they can keep an eye on the action.
Picking out the paint color and bedding is another step. As you put each sheet on the bed, and lay out the blanket, you picture your new child there, sleeping securely in the room closest to yours. You wonder if he will want you to lay with him those first few nights as he learns the noises of his new home.
Some things you decide to leave until your child is home, knowing it will be one of the first times he'll be allowed to express his opinion, and that his opinion has value.
And of course, buying the clothes he will wear is one very important step; clothes that are like wrapping him with a hug. You touch each item and find yourself praying over each them, that they'll find him healthy and happy each time he puts it on. You pray over his shoes that will walk the streets of his birth country for the very last time. You pray over the winter coat that will protect him from the bitter cold, and hope that you can protect him from some of life's bitterness.
Finally, the day arrives when it is time to pack up the items you've gathered, and try to pack your fears away as well, shifting your focus to the days ahead. In a matter of days, you will travel to the other side of the world for him, to touch him, to hold him again, to see his smile and hear his laughter.
You try to sleep those last few nights. Knowing when you leave your bed on the day of your departure, your life will be forever changed. You stop in his room one last time and say a prayer for the days ahead.