Yesterday, I was sitting with the kids at Chick-fil-A when Buddy asked if I knew if Jones had been moved yet to the WACAP House. I told him it was supposed to happen some time this week but I would check my email on my phone and see if I had any news waiting for me. I fully expected to not see anything from our case worker in my inbox. If I’m going to be completely honest, I really wanted to check my email to see if the bunk beds I ordered for the boys had shipped yet 🙂 My heart just about leapt out of my chest when I had an email saying that he had in fact been moved to Addis over the weekend and was at the WACAP House now!!
The WACAP House is where the children from our agency move after their court decree is issued and while they wait for their adoptive parents to return to bring them home after the appropriate legal steps are taken. Here, the children are apparently given some counseling on the transition they are about to face when they are taken into custody by their new family. I don’t feel like I can fairly say they receive better care because I really don’t know what the care is like in comparison to Ajuuja. I hear that it is better and the children seem happier here, so I’m hopeful that he’s in good hands. I do sense that he was loved by his caregivers at Ajuuja, especially since he was there for so long (3 years). It’s probably one of the reasons I started crying right there at the table at Chick-fil-A as I read the email. The only home he will have any memory of is Ajuuja, and whether home evokes happy or sad memories, it’s still your home. He most certainly won’t remember his first home and we have no photographs to even show him of his family other than his uncle. Ajuuja will always be a tremendous part of his past and it will be interesting to see over the years what he has to say about what he remembers from his life there.
I was thankful to hear that he made the six hour drive to Addis with other boys his age. We know these boys and saw Jones interacting with them at Ajuuja so it gave me peace to picture them all in the van together, probably scared but hopefully with a tinge of excitement mixed in somewhere, since they are all old enough to know what this journey to Addis means. My sister, being the wise woman that she is, made me feel so much better about it when she took the time to email me this from her beach vacation, “kids are pretty much in the moment so right now he’s with friends in a nicer place and not worrying about the highs and lows to come.” Given how confined his life was for the past three years, maybe it was actually exciting to him to break free from the city limits of Awassa and have an adventure that was finally all about him
When I think about it, we really know nothing about our child still. It’s unsettling at times how many question marks there are in his life and how much faith we put in our abilities to parent this child who has been through trauma that we’ll never be able to relate to. Yet despite feeling completely naive sometimes about what my son is really like and what makes him tick, I do put my faith in him and the process–that he will gain the strength to heal and to know he is truly home for good, and with time, to trust us enough to bust through those protective walls around him and love without fear. I put faith in myself and L to tough out all the inevitable stress and emotional turmoil that we’re bound to go through together as a family. I know there will quite possibly be days when I think that we’ve made the biggest mistake of our lives because it’s just So Damn Hard, but I also know that sinking to rock bottom is the only way we can start to climb out of the hole sometimes.
Despite all the unknowns and fears, I am giddy with excitement. Oddly enough, he is truly the first child I’ve become a mother to whose pending arrival isn’t making me a nervous wreck. It’s uncharted territory in so many ways for our family, yet L and I both know how to navigate the waters of loss and grief in our own lives. Jones’ story is unique to him, and while we’ll never be able to relate to his own life experiences, we share the common bond of loss with him in our own right. Our own losses coupled with our desire for a third child were the driving forces behind his adoption, and for me, it’s my way of kicking grief’s ass and proving to myself and the world that love will always triumph.
So we continue to wait…..the waiting, oh the waiting in the world of adoption is so maddening! These past few weeks have truly been the hardest stage for us because every day that passes is another day lost without holding his hand, kissing his sweet head and watching his dimples shine when he smiles. Soon enough, not another day will be lost and I can hardly wait….