So I told you guys about my great day I had recently with meeting a new friend that shares a love for beautiful babies from China. Well last night I got to go to my first gathering of the “Freshwater” girls. (I will have to find out where the name came from) What an amazing group of women!!!!!! I was almost overwhelmed with all of the support, instant friendship, and LOTS of advice.
I did NOT feel like an outsider even for a second. The ladies took turns introducing themselves to me and gave me a chance to talk about my situation and experiences so far. I was told repeatedly that I was a welcome member of the group, shown beautiful family photos (you know the ones that are on your phones and in your wallets), and encouraged to consider adding some “identified medical needs” to the list I already have. Each mom was an advocate for the special needs of her child. I tell you what- I am almost ready for a baby that is deaf with skin problems, cardiac problems, cleft lip and palate, and an imperforate anus. (maybe I should take it slow though and stick to what I have for now ;-)
I did learn a lot about the differences in how my adoption agency (CCAI) and how the majority of the ladies agency (Dillon International) does child matches and referral's. The shared list was a big hot topic. I knew that I was seriously lacking in experience and knowledge with some of the questions that they asked me, but it was a good educational experience- even in just figuring out what I don’t know and what I need to research further.
I also figured out last night that the thing that is going to keep me from an earlier child match will be myself. ALL of the other women there last night have bio kids. They had the ability to have little ones right from the start- so to them- getting a little bit older child is no big deal (less time in diapers). I want the experience with a little one. I may only wait for the little one once, so I want it to be the first experience and not when there is another kiddo tugging on my leg wanting attention. I want to be able to see SOME of the firsts even though I will still miss some of the true firsts.
I guess one of the biggest things that I learned last night is that I am my own worst enemy in the fight with the calendar and this ache in my heart. I hope that I have the strength to endure this process and come out on the other side what I expect to see.
Above all that happened last night was the most amazing feeling of belonging. I fit in with these women- regardless of personality and style. I felt like I was welcome and an active part of the gathering. Thank you for being more of a support to me than I am sure any of you realized!