The application has arrived, and so have my nerves
When The Man walked into the house wiggling that big yellow envelope in front of him, I felt a huge jolt of nervousness. Last week I was ecstatic to receive the application. Last night, when we opened it, I felt a weird mixture of joy, excitement, and panic.
I think part of the nerves are because this process is hard for me to measure. I'm not sure I can explain it, but I'll give this analogy a try.
Pregnancy, to me, seems like a pop song. (Disclaimer: I know pregnancies can be very different, but for the sake of this analogy, let's just imagine a straightforward, easy pregnancy.) Like a song, it follows a fairly set pattern. A few stanzas, chorus, stanza, chorus, finish. There might be a few surprises along the way, but you generally know how long the song/pregnancy is going to last. All the while, nature gives you a visual indication of where you are in the process so you can tell when it's getting near the end. It (hopefully) follows a predictable course and you are being prepared for parenthood throughout the entire process.
Adoption feels more like a free-form jazz performance---frenetic activity interspersed by long periods where nothing seems to be happening and you have no idea where the song is going. There is a vague notion of a schedule, but things can go much faster or much slower than anticipated. On a day to day basis, our lives feel exactly the same as they always have, and we are doing the same things we've always done. It's hard to measure the process, to know where we are at, and feel like we are moving forward. At some point the song/adoption will be finished, but it might catch you by surprise.
So when we move forward a step, like receiving the formal application (which is a bit intimidating) it kind of smacks me around a bit. Wait...this is really happening!
And that's when my nerves kick in. Holy crap. Whatever we put down on this application will directly affect what little person becomes part of our family. For a woman who is worried about doing the exact right things, this is a bit terrifying.
Take a deep breath. The right things are happening at the right time and in the right way. I try to comfort myself with that thought when I get a bit overwhelmed with worry, fear, panic.
My friend M told me this is exactly how all moms feel. That the emotions I'm going through are what all parents do--worry about their child. And my sister T says this really never goes away.
Well, I'm glad that my nerves aren't anything unusual. If only this stomach would ache go away.