Did you know I use to be a Girl Scout? I know that conjures up visions of a darling little uniformed girl selling cookies, I was that kind of Girl Scout, but I was also a not so little Junior, Cadette, and even a “closet” Senior Girl Scout. (As in I was in high school and never told a soul I was a scout!) In my 10 plus years of scouting, I learned practical life skills such as how to build a fire and change a flat tire. I learned skills that I have never used and will hopefully never have to use again, a.k.a. wilderness survival and identifying dangerous flora and fauna. (Do they really think I am going to get close enough to a snake to see which way it’s pupil is slanted? I mean really….) Being a scout taught me important life lessons like perseverance, dedication, and how to make people buy things they really don’t want.
One theme that has been coming up quite a bit lately is to “be prepared” you know the motto of the Girl Scouts? Well it is also the motto of adoption. I feel prepared, kind of. I think the best way to describe it is “I feel prepared because I have no idea what to expect.” It’s kinda like packing for a long trip where you have no idea what the weather is going to be like or how many pairs of underwear you’ll need. But you do know: 1- There only four weather possibilities (perfect weather, rainy weather, Africa hot weather, or Antarctic cold weather and 2- You know you need underwear, so just bring a lot. You can never have too many, right? With that in mind, I’ve been on a lot of trips and have always returned without incident and with relatively clean undergarments.
With the adoption the foundation of preparedness is secure in my mind. Whether real or imagined I think that comes from three basic truths in my life: 1- God will never give me more than I can handle, he will never leave me nor forsake me, 2-Chad and I make a good team. We balance each other out and we can figure stuff out together 3- I know I am not the smartest person, but I am capable. If other people can be good parents, travel to foreign countries to adopt babies, and figure out how to use a rectal thermometer, well then, by golly, I can do it too.
Today, I lined up our doctor that will review our referral upon receipt. He is actually out of Charlotte, has several adopted children himself (two being from Russia) and specializes in International Adoption Pediatrics. He even has a special rate for “Referral Reviews” prior to traveling. Everything is simply faxed over to him and a phone conference is set up for the next day. He also provides “on call” services while traveling abroad. It seems too good to be true. I hope being prepared for this step will make life easier when we receive our referral. I guarantee I will not be operating in my best “Girl Scout” manner when all of a sudden out of the blue all this waiting pays off and we are looking into the eyes of our baby. So in the meantime, I am “being prepared” so that when that day comes I am ready!