We've been gearing up for our bring trip across three continents to bring our baby home. We are leaving in two weeks, and reality is finally setting in that we are really doing this! After a year and three months of paperwork, meetings, fingerprints, applications, tears, joys, ups and downs, we are leaving!
We actually found JJ when he was only 3 months old, so to know that he has grown without us was hard, but a blessing at the same time. I am so nervous about what to expect when we meet him. Will he understand at all that we love him and are his new parents? Will he miss the women who have taken care of him for the past 9 months of his life? Will he miss the sounds of the orphanage that has been the only home he has ever known?
I'm sure that most new parents experience some degree of anxiety before they actually meet their new babies. But I almost feel as though pregnant mothers are a little more prepared and will know what to expect from their newborns. The nine months of pregnancy leading up to the first magical meeting are usually filled with countless hours of research in the forms of Lamaze classes, reading of parenting books, unsolicited advice, and conversations with friends about their pregnancy and parenting experiences.
While many adoptive parents have likened the adoption process to that of being a pregnant elephant (due to the fact that elephants are pregnant for around 18-22 months, about the same length of time for the adoption from start to finish), I haven't felt "pregnant." My past 15 months have been spent stressing over paperwork, financing the adoption, talking with doctors, and making travel arrangements for a "very" third-world country. On one hand I feel cheated, on another I wouldn't change a thing as I know this was the path chose for us.
To say that I am nervous about becoming a parent is an understatement to the nth degree. I worry about the babies health and if I will be able to recognize when he is not feeling well. And if he is not feeling well, will I know what to do to comfort him and help him to get better? And if he is sick and has to visit the doctor, will the doctor be able to diagnose him quickly so the situation may be remedied?
There are so many things to worry about once we are parents, I haven't even began to worry about our actual travel to Kyrgyzstan yet. I hope that part takes care of itself...probably not the right approach.