For some reason, those words seem daunting. When we decided to pursue adoption, we'd heard about the stacks of paperwork that needed to be compiled, and as we checked off items on our list (I actually made an excel spreadsheet and listed each thing we needed to sign, fill out, or copy, along with a spot to check it off once we'd done it; yes, I am that nerdy), I kept waiting to see what else we needed to do. It just didn't feel like this was the tree's worth of paper we thought we'd have to work through. It really wasn't that bad!
We completed the paperwork fairly quickly - although the questions about our childhoods, medical history, past hair-dying experiences, etc. seemed fairly tedious and, frankly, narcissistic. After that it was just a matter of waiting for the home visits (I was uncharacteristically calm about this part, despite the fact that I had previously scared myself into thinking that a total stranger would come into our home and scrutinize our furniture placement, tile color, and child-rearing techniques). We're halfway through those now (we need four, total), and I can truthfully say that it's been a painless process.
And then what? It seems like we should have a plan in place. An agency ready to receive our quasi-tree, so that we can then be dubbed "a waiting family." But the truth is, we're not even 100% sure which country we're adopting from! The people who have been there before assure me that the time will come when we'll know what to do. "Finish the home study," they say, "and wait for God to reveal the next step to you."
I'll confess that part of me is hoping we'll attend our meetings, and there will be magical sparks and chimes in the air as we hear the name of the country God has chosen for us, spoken randomly by someone we've never even met. And the other part of me thinks that we'll finish the home study and still know nothing about what to do next. That, in fact, we may never know what to do next and we'll be stuck in the land of finished home studies but not yet waiting families, possibly forever.
I'm leaning more toward the magical sparks than no-man's-land.
What can I say? I'm a poetry or non-fiction kind of girl. There's not much room for middle ground, rationalized thinking in my world.