I love meeting new people. I love how a stranger can walk through your door and you suddenly find a connection and a conversation begins. An editor of the home and garden section of a large city newspaper, Tracy, traveled to my home to interview me about my kitchen makeover. Somehow during the first few moments of introductions, my oldest daughter informed her that we were adopting.
“Oh, I have two adopted children. My youngest son is 4 months old.”
Wow. Tracy talked about her two boys, the domestic adoption process, and how quickly time passes with each new child. What a delight. She came here to talk about the kitchen but, as she put it while talking, you never realize how adoption touches so many lives until you are involved in the process yourself.
But, alas, we were there to talk about my kitchen. Being a doula and childbirth educator, I have been accused of seeing the birth analogy in every area of life. I am finding it is the same thing with adoption, only more paper driven. As I talked about the kitchen transformation, I was beginning to see connections.
I am in the planning stages of our adoption, much like I was back in January and February with my kitchen. I am currently awash in the ‘I can’t-believe-this-is-happening’ feeling. I am a little fearful of the unknowns and questions: will we have enough money? what if it all goes wrong? what if I don’t like the outcome? I am fascinated with families who have adopted, reading every article and blog I run across. This past year, I probably bought every Kitchen and Bath magazine to hit the newsstands. I wonder how many books and articles I will amass this coming year on adoption.
I also find there is much creativity and flexibility involved in both processes. How will I fit five children in two bedrooms (don’t worry, they’re huge bedrooms)? How will I help the siblings to adjust to each other? Will we have to move? Should I start color-coding the children’s belongings? How long am I willing to wait for a referral? What will we do if a match dissolves? The questions and possible outcomes seem endless…
I did find some things out about myself and my family during the past year. I found out that I am more creative than I gave myself credit for. I found out that in areas that I am not so good in, a little self-education at the library helps tremendously. I found out that, after years of neglecting my checkbook, I can keep a ledger of expenses successfully. I found out that my family of 6 could exist with one bathroom in the house (did I mention that we renovated the children’s bathroom at the same time?) I found out that no one went crazy while having a temporary “kitchen, ” complete with refrigerator and table, set up in our bedroom for 5 months. I found out that our family works really well together as a team.
I like to think that all of our experiences in life will, if we let them, help us grow and become better. I know that winning the makeover was the most unexpected thing to ever happen to me. It certainly was such a visible blessing, though it came not without hardships. I am confident that when we meet the newest little person of our family by adoption, that little stranger will suddenly be family. This kind of makeover will hold far greater blessings, the kind that will last much longer than a kitchen.