In international adoption, there is a lot of waiting. You wait to find out if you are approved by the agency you’ve chosen, you wait to receive each document you send need, you wait to find out who your child is, you wait to travel to meet your child, you wait to bring your child home. Each stage of waiting has its own type of anxiety, but I found the stage between knowing who my children were and getting to them to be the hardest. With Elvie, we have had additional periods of waiting due to her medical needs, and interestingly enough, it has sometimes felt very similar to the rest of waiting that comes with the adoption process. Lately, we’ve been waiting on one last big thing in regards to her medical care, and on Wednesday we finally got the call we were waiting for.
We have known since the first time we saw Elvie’s face on our computer screen that she would need one major surgery to correct her birth defect, then more medical care as time went on. It was this first surgery, however, that would be the big one, that would truly change things the most for her. When we arrived in Ethiopia and discovered that she was very sick and malnourished, we knew that she would have a long road to recovery before planning surgery would even be possible. Still, we hoped it wouldn’t be too long, and now we finally have what we have been waiting for: a surgery date. Elvie will have her big surgery, the one that will change her life so much for the better, on January 7. This date also happens to be Genna, which is Ethiopian Christmas.
Because both our children are Ethiopian, we include Genna as part of our holiday season. It seems appropriate that we will close out this year’s holidays with the gift of a better life for Elvie. It will be a hard day, as no one likes to see their child in pain, but it will be a special day. This surgery will give Elvie a chance at a more typical life and allow her to move forward in ways she’s been held back by her birth defect. I can’t wait to see what magic she makes with the life she is given once her biggest obstacles have been cleared out of her way. Really, it’s all I could wish for this holiday season.