When I became the parent to a very healthy, tiny little boy after preterm labor and his near-loss during delivery, I wondered if that feeling that it might have turned out otherwise would ever leave me. It didn't, really. I often look at him and have the awareness that there was the very real possibility that it might not have been this way. But that feeling isn't so painful, or quite so fresh for me anymore.
But today I learned that families whose dossiers were accepted relatively close to ours will not make the June 15th cut-off. They won't receive referrals before the Ethiopian courts close for the rainy season. I am brokenhearted for them, though I know that this still means a much shorter wait than the families with daughters in China.
I am also having that familiar real feeling of potential loss: If our documents, already so late, had been just a little later. If we hadn't been open to a toddler. If she hadn't arrived in the care center just when . . . I might not be waiting 16 days for my beautiful, playful, running!, loving to be cuddled daughter. I might just be waiting. I feel very fortunate, but also very sad: that it might not have been this way is so painfully real.
I wonder if it is always that way with adoption.
(The flipside of this is, of course, that had things been ever so slightly different, my 16 month old might have become Miss Jolie-Pitt instead of la petite Bloom. I wonder if my daughter will find that "might have been" painful or amusing. Perhaps a little of both, as all those viable alternatives - and some imagined ones - surely register as losses at some stages).