Clichés are usually something writers go to great length to avoid, but today I’m making an exception. Here are five clichés that have proven true about adoption.
You can’t judge a book by its cover.
I could just as easily have gone with things aren’t always as they seem or even, all that glitters isn’t gold. The point they all make is don’t take anything at face value. Do your due diligence! When it comes to agencies, international affiliates, websites, and all things adoption, it’s important to research everything and use only reputable contacts. Unfortunately, a thing of beauty doesn’t only attract beautiful people, and the more you investigate before you’ve wrapped your heart (and let’s be honest here, your finances) around a particular country or child, the more certain you can be of your decision. Better safe than sorry. (You saw that one coming, didn’t you?)
Adoption is a labor of love.
We may have missed the physical pain associated with childbirth, but we are not without labor. Research, home studies, dossiers, parenting classes, and the like, can leave you wishing coffee could be administered via IV drip. But just as a laboring woman bears through the contractions, we push through the next contract and sign our names for the ten-thousandth time. Seriously, hand cramps are no joke. And while many women suffer long physical labors, ours can last weeks, months, even years. Which brings us to our next cliché…
A watched pot never boils.
You dotted the last ‘i’ and crossed the last ‘t,’ and there’s nothing left to do but wait. It’s excruciating, I know. The social worker moves so slowly. The agency moves so slowly. The government moves so slowly. Even the line at the grocery store moves so slowly. Everything in your being screams, “I’m ready to hold my baby in my arms now,” but it feels like everything in your world has been sucked into a time warp of slow motion. The hardest piece advice I was ever given (and the one I wish I’d actually followed) was to just breathe–to not waste the days pining for what will be but try, really try, to see every waiting day as another day to prepare yourself by taking care of yourself.
Because we all know, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Get some exercise, take a walk, take a nap, or read a book. It will happen! You will have your child in your arms soon and it will be all the beauty and wonder you’ve imagined. And a lot more. More work, more energy, more emotion than you ever thought possible. And less. Less sleep, less sanity, and way fewer showers. Trust me, you will need those self-care reserves to fall back on. In the end, it will all be worth it because meeting your child face-to-face for the first moment truly is…
Love at first sight.