I have been thinking a lot about patience. Many dear ones comment about how patient my husband and I are, waiting for this international adoption to progress, even after our four biological losses. To be clear, I like the sentiment and think it is very kind for our long journey to be recognized with such loving statements.
The truth is…I don’t feel patient, but – instead – feel disciplined. Really, I am outraged by the wait. I have a deep sadness that my soul seems to rest in like it would a hammock: a lazy, tired sadness that I realize is accompanying me through this phase of my life. There is discipline in the fact that I refuse to follow a path that is not for us, but it’s hard to think of myself as patient because of this.
Juxtaposed with the sadness is also a joy for what will come. There seems to be a rooted truth that I have found the right place to put my next step. So, yes, there is discipline. There is a process that looks like patience, but I wouldn’t say it is patience. I would say it is tenacity, persistence, or focus.
Maybe I resist labeling myself with the word “patient” because it seems like there is an acceptance in it and I am resisting the notion that I have accepted how long this is taking. I don’t accept it. I probably never will fully accept the four plus years it will take to bring our first child home. However, my lack of acceptance doesn’t change the reality that, in order to fulfill our dreams, we have to wait. And wait some more.
We wait while people have one kid, and then they have another. We wait while our Facebook feeds and holiday cards multiply with new little people. We wait while people give us parenting advice. We wait while people tell us how we will feel when X or Y happens to/with our kids. We wait while we buy baby gifts, cuddle other people’s infants, and accept invitations to birthday parties thinking, “Adam Gabriel would have been this age” or “our Haitian son [soft match…hopefully son], still in Haiti, will be turning one that week, too.”
This isn’t to say we don’t enjoy buying baby gifts, cuddling infants, or going to kids’ birthday parties. But, I also wouldn’t describe myself as patient through it all. Instead of accepting the timeline, I make what feels like a difficult – but right – choice to keep living and loving, despite being frustrated by our own family timelines.
So thank you for calling us patient, but that word is way too generous. We are still raw, but we are choosing to live despite the pain. And that looks like patience.