So, people are asking me, these days, exactly what is the hold-up now? I bet you think I have an answer for you here. Well, I don't, really. But I do have a lot of thoughts on this topic--thoughts that actually create more questions--so read on if you're interested in my ramblings. It contains some nuggets buried somewhere in there, I think!
The short answer to the above question is: It's all bureaucracy and paperwork, folks. These things take time.
And here's the long answer (rambly interpretations begin now):
People laugh when they hear that Kathleen the Anal-Retentive, Detail-Oriented Editor isn't all that detail-oriented in other aspects of her life. Including our adoption. Here's my little secret: I may seem like an adoption expert to some, but the truth is, I don't really know HOW this whole adoption process works, beyond the step that we are involved in at any given time. It's hard enough to focus on the step we're currently involved in, much less worry about the steps beyond that.
I do know that the parties involved include us, Catholic Charities (our local agency), Holt Korea (our international agency), the United States, South Korea, the foster family, Matthew's birth parents, and of course Matthew. We all do a whole bunch of paper-swapping and as soon as all of that gets done, Matthew gets to come home to us. That's a whole lot of parties, so it's no wonder it takes years to move through this adoption journey! It's a series of small steps that has one giant reward waiting at the end.
Bring on the small steps!
I honestly think it would be more painful and frustrating for me to be sweating the small stuff...I'm just not interested in doing that. The wait HAS gotten harder, not easier, which admittedly surprised me. But I continue to live my life: go to work, teach my yoga, take my yoga, go running, go walking with Jeff and Jupiter, read my books (these days, they're all on parenting and Korean culture!), continue to organize/decorate the nursery, go to book club (don't think I'm going to get to this month's book, though), sing in choir, get together with friends for dinner ("do it now!" people tell me), go to the movies (again, "do it now!"), and the list goes on. It keeps me sane, not worrying about too, too many details in this whole adoption process. I have many other friends who are just the opposite, and that's great. It's all perfect just the way it is. This is just my way of dealing with stuff. In yoga, we talk a lot about "letting go"--not just of things we CAN control but things we can't. The way I see it is, if I know too much (e.g., "His file is on so-and-so's desk in Korea! Once that Korean official signs it, Matthew can come home!") then I'm going to worry too much (e.g., "It's been 2 weeks! Did it get buried by other papers? Did that Korean official forget to sign it? What if it got lost? What if? What if? What if?"). So, deep breath...and let it go. Good things will come.
So, instead of dwelling in the land of "what if," I'm choosing to live in the present moment, which is so filled with blessings RIGHT NOW: good friends, Jeff and I laughing at Jupiter's antics, family members who keep calling (upon hearing the latest updates and seeing the latest photos) with such excitement and love in their voices, tons of good friends, a great job with tons of great friends who I love to work with every day, and of course, yoga. Life in its present moment is so juicy and sweet--that's where I choose to reside. I know that God and the Universe will bless us with Matthew soon enough. For now, for whatever reason, this is where we are supposed to be...in this in-between kind of "waiting place." Maybe sometimes it's hard because of its nature as an "in-between" kind of place. Maybe the "waiting" place is some sort of incubator for the love and affection we'll be SO ready to bestow on Matthew by the time he arrives this fall! We're heating it up and making it nice and warm and cozy ("just right") for when he gets here! Maybe, just maybe, for adoptive families, this is part of our rite of passage. So many maybe's, but Matthew himself? Now, he's a definite! Brings to mind that song, "I've got your love to keep me warm." Jeff and I definitely have all of YOU to thank--indeed, your love and support during this whole process is what we've had to keep us warm--and sane!
Don't mind me. This is turning into kind of a stream-of-consciousness piece. My mind is going in all these wacky random directions, as I sit here munching my turkey sandwich and writing away.
What I'm trying to say is, I honestly can't tell ya WHAT, exactly, is happening in Korea and with USCIS; all that I know is I do what I'm told, fill out the required forms, go to get the required re-fingerprinting, etc.
And by the way, I've given up trying to make rote government officials laugh. It just doesn't work.
And in my next blog (which will immediately follow this one, for I've lingered too long in this space), I'll provide an answer that may clear up some of the fog you are feeling surrounding "what is going on" and "why can't he come home yet?"
Stay tuned...and keep reading about our journey to bring our little buddha home!