Normally, it's our tax forms that make me cry each year around this time. Today, however, our agency sent us instructions on how to properly complete our I-800 form from USCIS.
We've already completed our I-797 and gotten an I-800A form, but this one is different. Don't you just love how our government makes so much sense of things?
The I-800 is a "Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as Immediate Relative". Okay, just typing that gets me choked up again.
I guess I can liken this to feeling the first strong kicks during pregnancy. I know these boys are our sons, but each step is making it more real.
With pregnancy, the milestones were the EPT test, hearing/seeing the heartbeat, starting to show, feeling flutters, then full-force kicks, Braxton hicks, then labor.
With this paper pregnancy, the milestones have been seeing their photos for the first time, getting pre-approval from the agency, sending a letter of intent, getting pre-approval from China, receiving our match packet from CCAI/CCAA, filling out a form stating your intent to make these boys our "immediate relative".
I have loved following this blog from a fellow North-Texan who is coming home today from China. Her real-life, mostly uncut journaling of her time in China has been a blessing to me. I would encourage anyone to read it, especially if you have a fairytale picture in your head of the whole adoption process and "gotcha" trips. Read her entries from the last two weeks if you are traveling soon to get your kids or if you are a family member of someone going to get their kids. It's important to see the real picture so you won't freak out or think you're alone. Adoption is beautiful and wonderful, but it's also tragic, scary and heart-wrenching. And it's all worth it.
One seasoned adoptive parent commented on Kenlyn's blog said, regarding the hard days in China, "Funny thing though it is kind of like labor, God has a way of letting those memories fade and then you have LOVE LOVE LOVE left! And then some of us do it all over again."
I'm emotional today, feeling these "kicks" and dreaming about our boys.