Only 21 days until our lives change forever. 21 days until everything Milo has ever known changes forever. It's hard not to feel awed in some ways, and petrified in others. At the moment, my mind is filled with more of the small, day-to-day issues that I know will pop up: What issues will Xandra have on that long plane ride? How will she react to Milo coming into our lives? Will Xandra eat in China?
I know these are pretty trivial things to think about, but I think I'm filling my head with them so I don't have to ponder the bigger questions. The ones about Milo and how his life, his whole being, will change. Are we being selfish in bringing him to a new world where he knows no one and can't communicate?
I've had people tell me along the way (& I'm sure they will again & again through the years) that we're "such good, wonderful people for adopting a child." I don't want to be made out as some kind of "hero." I'm not. Our family's not. If anything, since the beginning of this journey, I've felt so selfish. Here we are, with the ability (both financially & emotionally) to actually choose a child to bring into our family. It is so hard to put into words how that makes me feel... almost guilty. Why did we choose one over another? Honestly, we looked at five different files before we found Milo. Out of them, one little boy in particular stole my heart. And I still think of him often. I cried for days when we came to the conclusion that it just wouldn't be fair to Xandra and our family to bring him to our home. He had an extensive, complex heart defect. The specialists said he would ultimately spend a lot of time in the hospital, and his chances of a long, healthy life weren't great. But you could see the spark in his eye that just screamed out that he was a fighter. I believe if given the opportunity, he would prove a lot of doctors wrong & I hope with everything that I am that he gets that opportunity. But, we had to think of Xandra first. Although we're adding to our family, our first priority is to her. Once Milo comes home of course, Xandra won't have top billing. But in that time of limbo, it was heartbreaking to see these children's files, and have to turn them down. I felt like a monster each & every time. I still have a lot of guilt over it.
Matt and I have talked about maybe going back someday to do this again (albeit with a different agency!). I hope with all my heart that it's not just talk. I truly want to do this again. As much as I've complained along the way, I know this has been a magical journey. I suppose it's like childbirth (well, other people's childbirth stories at least- cause I totally remember each & every second of mine), the outcome takes the edge off of the process to get there.
So, we have 21 days until we depart on this unforgettable journey half way around the world to change our lives. And we have 24 days until we can hold the newest member of our family in our arms. My heart is racing... :)