1. Your friend is not crazy. (She is adopting.) There is, I will admit, a fine line between those two, but still, it’s good to remember. The international adoption of a child requires enough paperwork to kill a small forest. And more governmental red tape than you can believe. Imagine your longest, most frustrating trip to the DMV. Now quadruple that, add in twelve more governmental agencies in two countries, and remember it’s not a driver’s license you’re waiting for, but the final piece of paper that says this family you’re creating can finally, finally be together. Yeah. Not crazy. But close.
2. She loves a child she’s never met. It’s possible. So possible. It’s irrational and crazy but it’s reality. Does she love them like she will once she gets to know them? No. But she loves them. She wakes up loving them and goes to sleep loving them. She drives to the grocery story and aches to have them safe and snug in the carseat waiting for them. She pushes her cart around the store and hears a child cry and her heart pounds, wondering if her child is crying? Alone? Hungry? She might even have to leave an entire grocery cart full of food in the yogurt aisle to go home and cry because it just is too hard. Way too hard.
3. It’s difficult having your heart on the other side of the world. To people on the outside, they don’t look like our kids; on paper, they might not be our kids yet. But in our hearts, we love these children like they are and yet, we’re not together. We’re moms without children. It’s an ache that doesn’t go away. It starts before we see their faces and only ends when they’re in our arms. So, we walk about with half our heart missing. It’s hard to breathe, to think, to speak. Something always feels missing. Because they are.