Last summer was my twentieth high school reunion. The husband and I had a surprisingly good time at the party on Saturday night reconnecting with a few old friends and chatting up people who I never would have remembered if it wasn't for their handy yearbook photo name tag. Sunday there was a family friendly picnic that I went to with the boys (hubby was working). I spent the afternoon talking with a classmate who was a casual acquaintance in high school. We had similar friends, but other than a handful of random cafeteria conversations we didn't have much history. Twenty years later we discovered a different bond. My classmate was planning to adopt, and she and her husband had recently started the grueling, often heart-wrenching process. Being a veteran myself I was happy to lend an ear and share advice. They were taking the domestic route, which is an entirely different set of experiences, but one that shares a few common threads with international adoption: the homestudy - which everyone must endure, and the wait. A few months for some, years for others. We were lucky that our wait for P one was only a year from our first meeting to when he came home (almost to the day). J took a bit longer because of changing regulations in Korea; around two years. I have friends who have waited much, much longer.
After the picnic, I connected with my classmate on Facebook (honestly, what DID we do before social media?) and checked in on her every once and a while. This past week I noticed that she and her husband were traveling and wondered if it was THE trip. Sure enough, just moments ago they posted a picture of their new baby girl. There have been a handful of other baby arrivals on Facebook in the past few months - all with their own stories of excitement. My old boss recently remarried and welcomed a new baby boy to her blended family. A former colleague had a baby after years of struggling with infertility. I am happy for both of them, and for all the new moms in my social media circles. The constant cycle of ultrasound pictures and hospital bed posts have stopped stinging as much as they used to. But as an adoptive mom, nothing warms my heart more than seeing someone become, as we call it in the adoption world, part of a forever family. To become a mom through a series of amazing circumstances that lead you to the little person who will be your child. Not someone you created and can immediately fall in love with because they are a small piece of you. Someone who you waited for, who grew in your heart instead of your body. That is an amazing thing to celebrate.
Cheers to my classmate and her new baby. And cheers to all those who have adopted or are waiting to adopt.