One year ago today we received Travel Approval (TA). Like much of our adoption process, and quite honestly life in general, it didn't go as planned. I never wrote the whole story because I wanted to make any negative comments regarding our agency private until we had our daughter in our arms.
We fully expected to hear the phone ring, see it was our agency and cry tears of joy that we were finally going to China. Instead, I was in bed with stomach issues that plagued me throughout 2013. I learned from my face book group that many families on our time line were getting TA and I became increasingly anxious knowing we were facing Chinese New Year delays so I decided to email our agency rep. I was infuriated to find out we had actually received TA a few days before but, was never told. I spent the next hours fighting with our agency to get us to China ASAP, making tentative airline arrangements, freaking my parents out that we were possibly going to China in less than two weeks, and freaking myself out that we were possibly going to China in less than two weeks. All the while I watched others in my group receive TA and consulate appointments while we sat and waited at the mercy of our agency. Finally, four agonizing days later we got the okay and 10 days later we were on a plane.
As I wrote before, just a few days after coming home from China our agency closed. It was at that time it all came together and I realized why they were trying to keep us from going to China. It also made sense why our time in China wasn't as organized as we would have hoped for. Our trip cost them money. If we had not gone to China at the exact moment we did, our daughter would have sat in an orphanage for 3 more months and we would have incurred additional fees. I watched this happen to a friend and it was truly devastating.
This January 10th is so different than last year. Today I woke up after another sleepless night. Not because of worry over how my daughter was a million miles away but, because I woke multiple times to comfort as she is fighting a cold. I am so thankful to be where we are now. The two weeks between TA and travel were some of the hardest in the process for me. There were so many emotions involved: anxiety of travel, heart ache of leaving my kids, excitement to meet our daughter and fear of the unknown.
Today, we will simply enjoy what has become normal. After a year of transition, normal feels so good!
By the way: This child is nothing but "normal". Everything she does, she does BIG. Today it was painting herself rather than paper with glue and shaving cream.