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.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

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.

This entry was posted in adoption, baby, ethiopia, family, home study, waiting. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to serenity

  1. Holli says:

    Great news, Kelly! I’m glad you found a change you’re both comfortable with and that you feel will keep things moving. Here’s to a referral THIS fall!


  2. Julie says:

    Yay! Excited for you guys, and don’t forget the added benefit of your child knowing words. πŸ™‚ Helps communication, as soon as everyone knows the same language, and even before.

  3. laurie says:

    Good for you. Stay strong πŸ™‚

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Kelly, I’m so glad that you’ve found a change that will both make a difference in your timeline and that you feel good about. I’m sure it will feel even better once it’s all official!

  5. Barbara says:

    So excited for you!! Andy reminds me of the serenity prayer fairly often and I do wish it was easier to let go of control. It sounds like you’ve gone through the stress and angst of a big decision and you’ve come out in the other side, ready for the next steps!

  6. I know that there is a baby out there, already born, destined for your family, and once you have him/her home, you will never ever question your decision to change your age range. I am so excited that your referral could be coming by this fall!!

  7. Meg B says:

    Good for you and congrats! That ‘s a big decision to make and it seems many are reevaluating their original age ranges/program options/etc. since the news of slow downs. I’m glad to hear yo are comfortable with your decision and I hope hope hope you get that good news call asap!

  8. Emily B. says:

    YAY, so exciting that your referral is on the horizon! I also love the serenity prayer. Letting go is something I struggle with daily but that prayer always helps. Congrats to you guys!

  9. Jaclyn says:

    Once that child is in your arms you will know that he/she was meant to be. How wonderful that you could have a referral by Fall!

  10. inventingliz says:

    So glad you’ve made a decision that brings you something close to serenity! Looking forward to hearing good news from you soon!

  11. Ellen says:

    Exciting news! Sounds like you just took a giant step closer to your precious little one. Here’s hoping it won’t be long at all until s/he is home and scooting around the upstairs of Dukem with the rest of our kids.

  12. Leah says:

    I love the serenity prayer. I find myself often times worrying about things I have no control over, and I try to take a step back. There are so many things in my control, an dI try to focus on those.

    I’m happy for you guys that you changed the age range and that you are at peace with it. I have no doubt that you will parent the child who is meant to be yours. Thinking of you!

  13. Sarah B says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling more at peace with your decision and also taking some control over the process. Adoption is not for the faint of heart. Thanks for keeping us updated and I hope you get some news soon.

  14. Christine says:

    Oh, I love this update!!! I’m a big fan of the serenity prayer myself… as well as the concept of fate. This is just the path you have to take in order to find *your* child. While it’s challenging and heartbreaking at times, once you see your child, you’ll at least understand why. (I do not believe you “forget” though…. I still feel the anxiety of our wait some days) And, honestly, two is still a baby. I didn’t think it then, but I do now! (Go look at those goat videos again if you don’t believe me!) AND, toddlers are much better cuddlers than babies. πŸ˜‰

    And a random note: Do you know I’ve honestly considered getting a tattoo that says “serenity”? Little known fact.

  15. Janet says:

    I’m happy to read this…sounds like some good changes to expand things for you.

  16. Kelly says:

    Yay for feeling some serenity-like feelings. Ommmmmm. Seriously, though, I do love that prayer. I find it *almost* impossible to live my life according to it because I’m a control freak BUT I strive to. Does that count? Anyway, I want to echo what Christine said … she’s right, two is still a baby! They may be heavier than a baby but they certainly still act like babies most of the time (for better or for worse πŸ™‚ Oh and as I mentioned when we chatted – you won’t be the only one bringing home a toddler so we’ll all have each other to lean on. In the meantime, I’m super excited your referral could come this fall!!!

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