Quarantine during the adoption process

We were on our last lap in the adoption race. While we still had time, unaware of a ticking clock, we made the best of it. But for now things are put on hold. Like the rest of world.

Shoulda’ Woulda’ Coulda’ are pointless, though a few times (moved by intuition) I tried to push for personalized speed and efficiency …Alas, I now sit here and ponder for a while, on what we do have, the connection we’ve created, and how God is in control still. Always.

I feel at peace. Oddly calm. Though my child is in preventative social distancing quarantine, away from me.

Last night, after a perfect day together, I dropped her off at the foster family. The last three nights, as it got dark and we were close to Jackie’s bed time, I would bring up going back to the foster family (who love dearly and care for her very well) and Ivy would just frown and ponder. She doesn’t wear her emotions on her sleeve. She doesn’t blurt out her thoughts. You ought to give her space, and listen well.

Yesterday was absolutely wonderful. We went on a long hike in nature. It was the warmest day this year. We didn’t even need light jackets. The girls ate well after such an adventure and fresh air intake.

Instead of a nap we went on another walk in the neighborhood. We wanted to make the best of our day together. At some point I raised my voice at Jackie for calling me for no reason yet again, after I asked them both to not call “mami” for 5 minutes while I prepared the meal. They would both call my name repeatedly for no apparent reason. Upon hearing my serious “Enough!” Ivy ran into the kitchen to look me the eyes, with a serious face. I told her to go back and play nicely with her sister. She obeyed. And the best part of this experience? They played the nicest together, collaborating, for the longest time. It’s like they stuck together in the face of adversity (namely my irritation with incessant unnecessary noise and calling me).

At night we watched the classic Disney “Snow White”, and both girls had the patience to watch it entirely. We snuggled on the couch and giggled, and laughed a delightful joyous young laughter at the cartoon physical humor.

Later Daddy carried both girls on his back, roughhoused with both and danced a first dance with his littlest girl, while Jackie applauded.

When I told Ivy it’s time to go, she asked “where?” as if that’s not our routine every night. Then she asked “why?” – what do 3 years old know about the boundaries of law, that we have to abide by? Then she said: “I stay here with you!”

Putting my shoes on, got Jackie on a crying spell. She looked heartbroken. So sad that her sister has to go away for the night. Ivy stopped what she was doing and sat next to Jackie, and caressed her head, wiping her tears, pushing hair away from her face. She had the sweetest upturned eyes, yet sharing an encouraging smile saying: “Don’t cry… you are my sister! I love you!” and then kissed her cheek. It made Jackie smile. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed. I held them both. No rush. Just sitting there in the moment.

The third night I had to take Ivy back by myself (so far we’ve had 7 visits home with just her) when Jackie stayed home with Conrad, he put her to bed and Jackie cried. She cried unconsolably. She told Bunica about it. She said she felt such sadness, and felt like crying and crying rivers of tears. But then she remembered to pray. And then she felt peace. <3

Isn’t Jackie amazing? – we’ve had this talk about turning to God in prayer when we feel sad or afraid or furious. I told her about how I feel at times and how I pray, and we pray freely together for minutes on end. My heart swells with joy at hearing that she is making her personal way to God in time of hardship. We can’t protect our kids from all hardship. On the contrary, giving them the tools, showing them the way, walking the path ourselves…

How does a 3 year old understand quarantine? How do they experience time? How will we overcome this time apart and how will we come through on the other side?

COVID-19 has been out of my line of sight. It didn’t affect us directly as we work from home and don’t spend much time online. I got the news about schools closing and other social limitations from people… last minute.

This is our biggest hurdle. We can’t bring our daughter home at all this month. And then we have a few more weeks to wait still. I pray for health. Pray for patience. I pray for a faithful heart. And I pray for Ivy’s mind, heart and understanding in this process of physical distance.

I am so grateful we had 3 weeks together. Our lives changed completely and we became more joyous and hopeful and colorful nonetheless.

I look forward to our future together …but meanwhile we respect the guidelines of health and state directions, and FaceTime daily with our darling daughter. <3