The weather here in NM is finally starting to reflect the calendar just a tiny bit. Our leaves are starting to change, and while it's still in the 70's by the afternoon, the mornings have been delightfully cool. I've actually worn sweaters! Winter is my favorite time of year--soups, sweaters, fires--but fall would be my next favorite. I mean, who doesn't love red leaves?
I grew up in Illinois, and my internal calendar still says that leaves should start changing some time in September. The first 'fall' I had in AZ, I was shocked to find that Christmas arrived when the weather was still warm. In my head, it still felt like September! I've gotten a little better (12 years in the southwest now, and at least NM has four seasons), but this year has been particularly late with the cold weather.
So perhaps it's the change in weather that has marked a change in my attitude toward this adoption. I take back everything I said about it being calmer/more relaxed/less pressured. The last week has been a roller coaster of wishing we were leaving tomorrow and wondering what I should be doing in the time I have left. I'm doing so much better this time in terms of not stressing mentally about some arbitrary list of 'must get done,' but communication between my head and the chemicals in my body isn't always great. At Bible study this week, my prayer request was that I'd sleep well between now and Christmas. :)
The truth is, there is an ebb and flow to the pain of being away from Titus, and it has flowed this past week. The process of falling in love with a child that you have never touched, never held, never spoken to is an interesting one--part deliberate and part uncontrollable. When we started the process, I would tell people I have four children--three here and one in China. Before we matched with Titus, I would calculate how old my son might be, and of course we started praying right away for "little brother" with the kids. I tried to do as much as I could to invite the bonding process to begin before we go to China.*
But by inviting that process to begin, you invite the pain of separation as well. And it gets way harder when you have a picture, and a video. You're not supposed to have to watch your son cry on a video halfway around the world. And now instead of telling yourself you have a son, you feel it in your heart, because it hurts. I wish we were leaving tomorrow.
*Of course you have to remember that while you've had time to start the bonding process, your little one has not. The odds are good that he or she will not fall in love at first sight. This time we'll get to send a care package to Titus with pictures, so it'll be interesting to see if things are different because of that.