We had a day to remember on Friday. In my last post I told you how we had ONE paper that had not been certified. Well we had it re-notarized and mailed it to the Chicago county clerks office per the websites instructions. FOUR weeks later after many phone calls and messages I received a call that not only was our paper notarized incorrectly but they could not certify papers through the mail and we would have to redo it and bring it up to Chicago ourselves. Did I mention that they are only open Monday through Friday 8-3:30? With Nick and I working full time we would have to take time off to get there. A few weeks later my Aunt (who lives outside of Chicago) invited us up for the weekend. I realized this was my opportunity so I got my letter and took Friday off.
After crazy weather and traffic we made it to the city with 45 minutes until the office closed. It was sleeting, wet, and 38 degrees outside. Thankfully Evelyn was dressed for the weather but Nick and I were not. We were both wearing fleece jackets, jeans, canvas sneakers (Nick) and flats (Me).
After a mile walk in the cold we made it to the office where we were informed that our document was notarized “incorrectly” and we would have to get it redone. “Luckily” there was a notary a mile away (12 minutes) but we would have to hurry because they closed in 30 minutes. The storm was really picking up as we made our way to the notary. The sleet/rain/ice mix was blowing sideways and hitting us in the face, we were freezing, I stepped into a huge icy puddle, and Evelyn was crying because she wanted to get down and didn’t want her hood up. We started to run to get out of the storm and all I could think about was what a waste of time all this running was going to be because we obviously were not going to make it back in time and we should just give up and go inside and WHY COULDN’T SOMETHING JUST BE EASY FOR ONCE? I don’t know what happened at that moment but something clicked in my brain and my favorite mantra popped into my head, “it’s only time, it will go by”. I realized that we were already here, we still had time, and we needed to just get this done so we could move on to the next step and get our baby home. We made it to the notary, Evelyn ran around for a few minutes, we got our paper signed, and then we were back out into the ice storm. Nick looked over at me, smiled, and said, “let’s do this”. We only had 14 minutes left so we did what any rational family would do, we ran through the icy streets of Chicago with wet shoes, while getting pelted in the face by chunks of sleet, holding a screaming baby, and shouting “for Henry!”. Looking back, I’m surprised no one called the police on us.
We made it to the county clerks office with 6 minutes to spare. I had to use my inhaler twice and was losing feeling in my toes. But we did it, as a family, and it’s done. FINALLY.
Since that day I’ve been thinking a lot about how I respond to obstacles. Looking through this blog and other aspects of my life I realize that when something comes up that isn’t a part of my plan or my to-do list I sometimes just get so overwhelmed that I shut whatever that stress is out. Which is ironic because if I’ve learned anything in this process so far it’s that NOTHING goes according to plan in adoption. And while I wish I could say I’m getting better at dealing with that, nothing has wrecked me the way this process has. I am constantly disappointed by timelines, costs, or my own inability to just get things completed. It’s so hard to see other adopted kiddos or hear about another referral. I feel like I am letting all of you down when I can’t give you updates or have to say for the millionth time, “we’re still waiting”. For a people pleaser like me, this is so hard.
But, BUT. I can feel this process refining me. Working on my heart, my patience, my toughness, my faith. Teaching me to put my head down and run through the storm. And sometimes it hurts but I think it is also making me the parent my son needs and that is giving me the motivation I need right now. So I guess this is kind of an “in process” post because I have a long way to go, but I’m so thankful for this lesson.
If you’re still reading I love you, thanks for letting me speak (type?) from my heart it really means so much.