Lately, life has been feeling a lot like shape-shifting.

Are we gonna be a family of four with school-aged kids?

Are we going to be a family of three with a baby?

Are we going to be a family of two with a cat?

One of my husband’s strengths is Adaptability, something that I have envied and wished for and tried to cultivate… but it ain’t working for me. The only way I can easily adapt is when I mentally prepare myself for the upcoming changes, but usually, that resolve doesn’t last too long because I run out of emotional and physical strength (and often get sick right after that.)

It’s not that I thrive in routine, but it feels good when major things remain the same (or at least not dramatically different.)

We’ve been on the adoption journey for a relatively short period of time, but the past month has been the hardest in terms of changes and adjustments. Assessing personal strengths and weaknesses, our family, what kind of things we can deal with and what is a deal-breaker… So many things to talk about, so many things we’ve never even considered before!

(If anything, this process has been interesting to observe because I don’t think Sam and I have ever discussed that many serious deep-level things… I mean, we love sharing ideas and thoughts, but it has never been so concentrated.)

But, talking about strengths, mine is Connectedness and last week I thought about how this strength of mine is showing in the adoption process. I long to connect to the kid (or kids) and it feels almost natural to me. Every single profile that we’ve looked at – I found myself immediately looking for a connection. It could be the name, or it could be a date of birth… anything.

And when I get connected… it’s hard to accept the disconnection and not to blame myself for being too weak or too slow or too analytical.

We have heard stories about the journeys to adopted kids – looking through profiles, meeting, deciding it won’t work out, moving on, and finally finding your own… But when I see a family with adopted kids, I don’t usually remember (or know) the entire process and it might seem that it was a “love at first sight.” (Sometimes it is.)

I’ve got attached twice now… and it didn’t work out. And while it wasn’t a physical miscarriage, I think it feels similar to that and it’s hard.

Shape shifting… 

It’s not easy for me to keep changing expectations. I know, some are great at it, but it drains me. So after I had to let go of the idea of two siblings aged 5 and 7 (and after we have bought a couch to sleep on because our queen-size bed took too much space in the bedroom if we also bought a bunk bed for the kids), I got attached to the idea of a 4-month-old (with, once again, dreaming about sleeping on an actual bed, since the crib would be much smaller than the bunk bed…)… and that idea fell through today as well.

So we need to adapt again… to someone else.

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