We made it home from Portland! I left the house Friday kind of bummed that we still hadn't gotten the referal and I came home on Monday with a huge smile on my face! :)
But now all the craziness begins! Gone are my long afternoons waiting for the phone to ring. They've been replaced by long to-do lists, stacks of paperwork that has to be filled out and notorized and breaks to stare at Clarissa's photo fifty times a day. :)
And speaking of Clarissa's photo...I spoke to the agency yesterday to verify that it would be OK to post her photo on my blog and on my adoption message board and to my surprise I was told no. I understood from people at other agencies that it was OK to post photos once we formally accepted the referral so I expected to be told the same thing. That's true of some agencies, but apparently ours is a little more strict. We're not allowed to share photos until the adoption is finalized!! Crap. I totally understand why and I'm not going to try to get around it, but I am a little dissapointed because I was really excited to share photos here.
So for the time being there won't be photos of Clarissa posted on my blog. You're just going to have to take my word for it that she's sweet and beautiful. :)
I'm completely overwhelmed with emotion these days. All weekend I just kept tearing up everytime I thought about her. Saturday we went to the Portland Zoo. For the past month I have been telling Shawn that one way or another I was going to take Clarissa's photo to the zoo with us, and when Friday morning came along with no referral I was really having a hard time. So Saturday morning when we got to the zoo I stopped and made Clarissa's photo my cellphone wallpaper and Shawn said "see, you got to take her to the zoo after all!". It took us both a few minutes to get our emotions under control before we could continue on our zoo adventure. I know it's just a photo at this point, but to me at that moment it felt like our family was finally complete.
Then I go from tearing up with emotion to serious butterflies in my stomach! Every now and then I will just have this moment where I start thinking about how much our lives are going to change and I think about the fact that I'm actually going to be flying halfway around the world in a few months to bring home a baby who doesn't know who we are and I think about her being in Seoul without me for the next few months and I worry about her being safe and loved and cared for and I wonder what it's going to be like when she gets here...and then the nerves start up in full force!
I'm prone to anxiety anyway and my mind is always working overtime. It doesn't take much to work me into a panic attack and this is one of those life changing things that tends to cause them. This is a fantastic life change, not a bad one at all, but change of any sort scares me a little. The unknown scares me. I know in my heart that this is the right thing for our family, that Clarissa was meant to join us and I already love her so much. But it's still kind of scary!
Life is going to change a lot in the next several months. It's a lot to prepare for. I'm worried that we're going to have problems with the paperwork, I'm scared to fly to Korea, I'm worried about North Korea being a big bully and what will happen if a war breaks out while my daughter is in Seoul and I can't protect her. I worry about all sorts of things that really don't need to be worried about right now. That's just how I function, unfortunately!
So these days I'm kind of all over the place in the emotions department. The best thing for me to do is just make a list and focus on one thing at a time. I made a huge list last night of all the things that need to get done this week and I'm just going to work on them one at a time. I've got to get her medical reports reviewed by a doctor, I've got to write a letter to the foster mother and have it translated, I've got to finish up her care package, I've got to make sure we get an appointment to be refingerprinted by USCIS, I'm keeping an eye out for the big packet of forms that is on its way to me that has to be filled out, notorized and sent back, this is the boys last week of school so there are programs to attend, field day to get them ready for and I also remembered yesterday that this weekend we're going to a cabin with some friends and I agreed to make Korean food for 13 people!
WHEW! Remember when I was bored, lol?!
Life is good and I feel very blessed right now. In between the happy tears and the nervous stomach, I feel peace. When I have quiet moments and my mind isn't trying to comprehend this sudden change of events, I have a quiet peace that tells me that this is what our family is meant to do. I may never know why, but I will always believe that Clarissa was meant to join our family this way. She may not have my DNA but she's my daughter and I feel blessed to be able to be her mom.