As you may know from reading my bio, Spicy Girl came to us through international adoption from China.
The most difficult aspect of the wait to be matched with a child is, well, the wait. The matching process is cloaked in secrecy and it is done in a single bureaucratic office for every eligible child in the entire country. After we submit our dossier, it is placed in a cue, and it stays in that spot in line until you are matched. It doesn’t matter if you are Jill Schmo or Angelina Jolie – your spot in line is your spot in line. When you are “up to bat” then the creation of your family (i.e. the “matching”) is in the hands of a person who you have never—and will never—meet.
This can make you feel pretty helpless. But for me, I developed a coping mechanism, creating a fantasy world, where the people matching me with my daughter could see me and the hubby through some sort of a crystal ball, allowing them to make the best match.
This past June, we attended a reunion gathering of all the families that traveled with us, in the Fall of 2007, to China to adopt our girls. The last time we were together, the families were still getting used to one another—and, for some of us, getting used to the “mechanics” of parenting (read: diapering and sleep routines). Now, the families are solidified, and it is amazing to see what is nature and what is nurture and what is just “a good match”.
It went beyond how they dressed, what toys they played with and where they lived. It was their spirit and the connection they had with their parents and their siblings. I especially loved to see the look in their eyes when they ran to their parents for comfort or with joyful triumph after experience something new.
But, like with birth children, these children were woven into their families, with a spirit that was unique to each household. Since that weekend, I have never felt more confident that Spicy Girl was a “good match” for us; all of those little unquantifiable traits that make her our kid.
So clearly, the crystal ball works.