By Ariana Pritchett My mom always says she could predict how my sister and I would approach new experiences in life by the way we entered the pool as children. My sister always started out on the stairs, taking them one step at a time, slowly getting used to the water before fully submerging. Me, well, I would take a running leap and dive head first into the deep end.
I am impulsive by nature.
If I get a hankering to do something, I want to do it now. I don’t want to ease into it. I don’t want to wait around and get prepared. I. WANT. IT. NOW.
This is why at 17 I ran off to San Francisco without thinking about needing money for gas or food. Why at 21 I flew to Spain by myself without a place to stay when I landed. This is why at 24 I got married, at 26 I bought a house, and at 27 I got pregnant. And it’s why three years ago I committed to adopting our second child without any information on what that really entailed. I was not going to wait around for anything. If there’s something I want in my life, my motto has always been, ‘Why wait? You’ll figure it out when you get there. No regrets.’
And so of course it’s only fitting that the universe would show up now with a big package of Waiting, my name written all over it.
Adoption for me has been all about the surrender of control . . . and waiting.
If I’d been given the green light I’d have jumped in head first to raising our second child three years ago. But adoption doesn’t work that way. First there was saving for the huge financial investment. Then there was the paperwork, which felt never-ending. Now I am waiting to be matched to a birthmom who chooses us to raise her child. We could get a call today. We could get a call in two years. And there’s still more waiting to come. Once we get matched we have to wait for the birth, and even then the adoption is not final until 6-12 months after the baby is home with us.
My family and friends question how I’m able to handle all this waiting. Tell me how difficult it must be. And it is, especially for me.
But after working my hardest to push through this wall of waiting, I’ve finally given in to it. And it’s amazing what I’ve found here sitting on the steps:
~ I’ve treasured my time with my son and husband all the more, because I know that soon it won’t be just the three of us anymore.
~ I’ve had more time to think and dream about this baby before s/he even comes into being. With each daydream I can feel my heart expanding in anticipation for this new life.
~ I’ve actually begun preparing for our child’s arrival without feeling rushed. This is new for me. We’re thinking through feeding, diapering, figuring out what is actually needed to prepare for a new addition to our family. I’ve spent quiet time mentally creating a nursery that will be a soft space of safety and comfort. Because I can take it slowly this time, activities that in the past would have caused me stress and worry are now relaxing and fun.
~ I’ve noticed all the opportunities that have presented themselves because the baby didn’t arrive in a hurry: work opportunities, travel opportunities, and time for personal growth.
But the learning that is the most tender to me is the build-up that comes from waiting, the love that continues to grow each day that we wait for our child. The knowledge that by the time we meet our son or daughter we will not be able to imagine it being anyone else.
Diving in is fast, furious and exhilarating. It has brought incredible experiences and countless blessings into my life, and I still do love to leap big. But lately I can’t help but wonder what might have been possible if I’d tried wading in slowly instead of jumping into the deep end of these huge life decisions. Because it is in the steady, gradual entry that I can really feel the water rising up over each inch of my body, until I finally immerse myself in the experience and just float. It is through this slow surrender that a deeper love and appreciation of each step of the journey is fostered and the space is created for something miraculous to be birthed.
If you want to know more about the Pritchett families adoption journey you can follow their facebook page (link to https://www.facebook.com/