I can't write here about all the reasons I might choose to worry about my court date not working out the way I want it tomorrow (in Ethiopia, that is tonight). I can tell you I have done everything in my power to have things prepared and ready and complete. I think maybe everything will be in place, and the judge will say Yes, and declare Laird and I parents of these three kids we already love in an unbelieveable way. But I also think maybe the judge will want something more, and say: here, have another court date two months from now, they're delicious. (argh) My question is how does one visualize success while simultaneously bracing for a longer wait?
It turns out this is something that is not in my hands.
So... I figured out this is my labor experience. I thought maybe it would be the big exhausting 24-hour trip over there, but now I think this is it. It is like a very long labor, the due date for which has changed many times, after a 16-month-and-counting pregnancy.
Art by Mara Friedman
I've done labor before. I've done "I have no idea if this if for real" labor. I've done three weeks of Braxton-Hicks contractions wondering if this is it labor. I've done totally prepared everything in place home birth with medical back-up friends on call totally ready for labor waiting. I've been through the mountain and valley marathon experience that is called labor and birth. Three times. I know what this is. This is where I have to hand my life over, and trust the people around me to take care of me during one of the most significant events of my life.
In my personal I Can Do It, Just Do It, Gotta Do It world, this is one of those moments when I have to NOT do it.
Just. Hand. It. Over.
Sure, I've got some power over my attitude and my viewpoint. But really, I am pretty helpless. This is just one of those wonderful growth opportunities in which I have virtually no power (at this point) to affect a very important event in my life. I did my research, I carefully picked my care provider (my awesome agency), and I got everything together to be ready to "birth" these babies. And now, I have to hand myself over to my caregivers and the universe. This is labor. I can't control how fast it happens, or how much pain I experience, or whether there will be complications, or how those complications are handled. I can only breathe, and know that this family will be born.
It's especially hard because there is nothing physical about it. My body is not tuned by millions of years of evolution to totally take over during this momentous event and completely get my attention in a way that makes me Let Go. This is Adoption! It's all Inside, down at the core, there is nothing physical about it right now, except that my eyes can look at this picture of these kids who want nothing more than they want to be part of a family who will take care of them and protect them and love them like the very special people they are.
So, I am taking notes. I know the energy it is taking right now to trust that everyone who has anything to do with this thing that is SO important to me and my husband and my kids is doing a good job. I know how much faith and hope it is taking me to believe that people are working in my children's best interest. It is an exhausting task trusting people I barely know. I need to remember this when my kids are home and working hard to build trust in their new parents. They are waiting now, not having any control or knowledge about when they will come here. They are looking at a picture of us with all kinds of hope in their hearts. They probably have no conscious idea of how they will be using a lot of energy putting their trust in us for the first months to years of their life with us.
Anyone know where I can plug in my trust-and-optimism energy pack for re-fueling? Let's see, what did I do when I was in labor? Oh yeah, I need to hold my sisters' hands. I need to look into my husband's eyes. I need to moan from the deepest part of me, and know I am loved, and know I Can Do This.
Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers--strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.
Barbara Katz Rothman