Well, today has once again gone as unplanned. We woke up quite early (again... it's amazing what all you can get done by 9:45 when the whole family is awake around 5:30!) Once we were all up and enjoyed a pancake breakfast, we rested a bit and headed outside for time around the pool. Logan was feeling much better and he was able to join us. The fresh air did him some good. Seeing him swim around and splash around with the other kids, we figured he's well enough that we should contact our agency rep here in Ho Chi Minh City to let her know that it would be great to set up our meeting with Jadon tomorrow and then we could have the ceremony either tomorrow as well, or on Thursday. She said she'd call the orphanage director and get right back to us. The orphanage director has a job to do and can only accommodate us date changing Canadians so much! The message we got back was to come by this afternoon to meet and pick up Jadon so he can spend the evening and night with us and then meet back tomorrow morning for the adoption ceremony (where there will be another family adopting as well). Soooo, we madly scrambled to eat lunch, run off and buy a few last minute items and get ready to meet our new son. This has been one wild trip so far!
I have been thinking over the last few days about the unknown. Whenever a child is added to a family, there are many unknowns. When we had our biological children, we wondered if they would be a boy or a girl. We wondered if they would be healthy. We wondered if they would get the majority of their genetic material from mother or father. As our children are born, and they grow, and develop, a lot of those questions are answered, and many more arise.
When a child is added through adoption, there are different questions. We know that we are getting a little 2 year old boy. We know that he has some significant health issues that have to some degree been dealt with. There may be more we are unaware of. We know what he looks like, we have seen pictures and watched videos. But there are other things that are unknown. We know very little about his past. How will he react to us. How will he bond. How will the process of attachment go?
Having been through the process of adopting internationally already once with Li Lin, we are in some ways prepared. We were aware of the mountains of paperwork (nearly done now!). We were cognizant of the long drawn out wait with very little news. We were anticipating the wonderful news that things were now ready and we should now book our tickets. We were knowledgeable of the time change, jet lag, different cultures with sights and sounds. However, each trip is different. The process in China was more standard. Everything set up, a group of families all traveling together. Here in Vietnam, things are more fluid (thankfully as the orphanage director accommodated our request(s) for change).
We have also been through the meeting, grieving, bonding and attachment process with Li Lin. We saw a little girl whose world was torn apart. Who lost all that she had ever known. Who was thrust into this weird looking and smelling family that sounded strange and spoke barely discernible Mandarin. Who grieved tremendously for a long time for her foster family. This little one has grown so much. She has developed into the energetic, lovely, adorable, spunky kid sister. She has been through so much.
Now, we go on to meet another one. Another child who will be leaving all behind. What little it is. All his comfortable smells, sights, sounds. All he has ever known. We approach our trip to the orphanage with trepidation. By the time most of you read this, we will be back here with little Jadon. We are aware that there are many unknowns. Yet we are honoured for the privilege to parent another little child. To have the opportunity to hold him when he is tired, to comfort when he is crying, to kiss when he is hurt, to teach as he is learning. We pray that we will be parents to him that help him feel loved and secured as part of our forever family.