God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Although I’m not a religious person, I’ve always had a great appreciation for The Serenity Prayer. It speaks of a simple concept that can often be so difficult to grasp: There are some things in life we can change and some things we cannot, and knowing the difference between the two is of the utmost importance.
Craig and I realize that we have no control over our adoption process. We cannot make a referral come faster, or change the slowdown in reviewing cases. We generally understand and recognize our lack of change-making power, and while we might not always feel serene about it, we do feel at peace (most of the time) in knowing that the situation is simply out of our control.
On the other hand, we recognize that there are some changes we could make in this adoption game. For example, we could add another international adoption process, or start a domestic adoption process. We could switch to a foster-adopt program or we could try again for a biological child. We could do those things, but we don’t want to, for a variety of reasons. We recognize that we are actively making a choice in that regard, a choice to not make a change.
We have also known for a while that another change we could make was to increase our requested age range. I talked in my last post about how I was feeling a bit cowardly about it all, because we haven’t had the courage to make that particular change.
Well, just like the Cowardly Lion, we have found that we’ve had the courage all along, and we just needed to realize it. It’s not a huge change, but we are going to increase our age range to 0-18 months. We will most likely receive a referral of a child in the 12-18-month age range, and he or she will be 2 or 2.5 at homecoming, since current expectations are for processing of adoptions to take about a year. Gone are the days when we could expect to bring a baby home, and after a lot of careful thought, we have decided that increasing our age range by six months will not make that much of a difference to us as new parents down the road. Not to say we’re not still scared by the prospect, but we know that we’ll be pretty scared new parents no matter what!
Increasing our age range should make a significant improvement on our timeline. In fact, we should be on track to receiving our referral this fall if things continue to progress like they have been. We are working with our social worker on updating our home study and it will be official in the next few weeks. We are adjusting our thoughts yet again on how our family will begin, but we feel confident that the child joining our family will be the one meant for us. He or she will just be a bit older than we had imagined.
I can’t speak for Craig, but I can say that I already feel a tremendous improvement in my outlook. I won’t go as far as calling what I feel serenity, but it’s certainly something along those lines.