bebo norman has this song, written many years ago now, and he sings, "the clock moves so slowly; time moves so fast." i don't think i'll ever get past the mysterious truth of that line. time is a strange thing.
i just reread my last post, the one about grandma. during those 2 1/2 short weeks in july, we wanted whatever time of suffering that lay ahead to happen swiftly, for her sake....and yet, we clung to every moment we had remaining with her, always reaching for more. five months later, my sadder days seem to drift by slowly, like a lazy river current...and this mornin, i can hardly believe it's been a whole five months since she left.
i'm beginnin to feel this way a little about adoption. well, this adoption anyway. we were cautious to find and apply to another agency. we had a lot of money to work for and save. i was in grad school and, ideally, wanted to be finished writing monster papers w/o an infant learning how to sleep and wake w/the rest of us. josh and i had simple differences of opinion regarding how many years we wanted b/w our kids. probably underneath it all was a question as to whether we could do it - could we save enough money? could we put ourselves on the line again? could. we. do. it. ?
needless to say, it took us a while to pull the trigger and begin the process again. it was on our minds every day for a long stretch of days...days that turned into weeks....and months. but we finally took the plunge. we made phone calls and went to meetings and completed the application and worked to save and cleaned the house before the home-study. those days seemed to last a lifetime. and days/shifts of extra work? josh would say his night shifts crawled by...sometimes i visited patients and was pretty sure i wasn't gonna make it out of their houses before nightfall. the clock moved so slowly.
when we had enough money to feel a little more comfortable, we turned in the application, and we had the home-study done. suddenly, we realized those laborious days had somehow turned into months and months. nine months, actually, b/w deciding on an agency and submitting our application. did we intend for it to take so long? time moves so fast.
neither of us believed adoption #2 would play out as quickly as riley's did. with riley, by the time we finally decided on adoption and submitted our application, it was may...we met her birthfamily in august....she was born in december. bam. i kinda thought baby #2 would come in the summer. so we tentatively made a fewish plans for last spring. after finishing school, i didn't even consider looking for a teaching position. just a few weeks out at a time, we'd put things on the calendar. never spending nonrefundable money or committing to responsibilities we couldn't slip out of. my aunt gave me a book series by madeleine l'engle for christmas, and i eagerly shelved it, saving it for the during-the-first-few-months-of-mothering-another-infant time sure to come. the closer to summer we drew, the less further out we made plans. the pictures of riley we'd taken in february i kept in the thick folder, waiting to send them out (however belated they might be) with the birth announcements we'd be sending out (i presumed) soon.
then the summer came, the summer our family will never forget. a whole lot of days that seemed to last years - the night daddy went to the er, the next few days when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, and we scrambled to make sense of it all. we braced for a long and unexpected journey, and every single day we spent attentively to switching gears to do whatever might need to be done. then a couple weeks later, grandma, and the couple weeks that we had left w/her. hour after hour on the road, caring for riley and grandma and each other...navigating the unwanted decisions of grandma slipping away. all the while, daddy began having appointments and procedures and began treatment. it wasn't until about the middle or end of august that i even remembered adoption.
oh yeah - we were still waiting. the summer had now come and gone, and not even a hint of baby on the horizon. but my stars - i was relieved. there was no way we could have cared for an infant the way we'd wanted and been present w/my family the way we were, all at the same time.
autumn arrived. daddy was doin well. we were grief-stricken over grandma, but we'd all had to return to at least a semblance of normal life...as work and kids and bills had never gone away. nor had adoption. our routine 3-month follow up calls came and went. our profile was still bein shown; we simply had not been chosen. the agency had no suggestions - no changes to our profile picture might help, no tweaks in our letter should be made. just....wait.
so we return to our springtime mentality a little bit - plan for things a little at a time, though there was a newer mix of surrender and breath holding, as we began making decisions that weren't as easy to get out of - like my decision to take a 6 week position teaching nursing with midwestern starting in october.
day after day of decisions...small ones and big ones. flexible ones and ones that don't bend as readily. an hour here, a weekend there. a month over here, six weeks there. the clock moves so slowly; time moves so fast. now it's december. almost christmas. riley's almost four years old. we've actively waited for her brother or sister to come home now for a year. a year. how did that happen?
still no prospects on the horizon, as best we know. so we look ahead into 2015 and pause, our eyes beginning to look a little heavier with the weariness that comes from long waiting... and we wonder. we can't help but wonder a little if we made the "right" decision, whatever that means, about the timing and the agency and what's good for our family.....and the list goes on.
the saturday after christmas, our social worker will be here. home-studies are good for a year. after that point, if no baby has been placed and no match has been made, the home-study must be revisited. the social worker is required to physically inspect our home. as we'll be away most of next week for christmas with josh's family, i'm tryin to skim away the most visible layers of untended-to chores.
in the meantime, our waiting stretches on. our waiting and our wonderings aren't as tumultuous and volatile now as they were during the wait for riley layne. they're quieter, more settled. but they're here all the same. so we wait. we wait with whispering hearts.