We are closing in on the last of the paperwork. I expect to have it all in hand and on its way to the adoption agency within ten days, as well as have another grant application done and out the door. The printer keeps running out of ink at the wrong moment, and I keep running out of coffee at the wrong moment, but luckily I did manage to be in front of my computer at the right moment to win an eBay auction for a ton of hats and headbands for Elvie. I'm pretty sure that I should be ashamed to say that I planned my whole day around being here for the last minute of that auction, but you know how those serious eBay-ers are. They swoop in at the last minute and get your bargain, and indeed that's what someone tried to do. With one minute left, a bid was placed. I bid well above it with twenty seconds left to spare and got the whole thing for just $2.01 above my original bid. For some reason this feels like a huge victory.
What I'm working towards right now is getting everything in place as quickly as possible so we can go get Elvie and get her home for medical evaluations as soon as possible. Once our dossier is to the agency, it will be authenticated in Washington, D.C., and sent to Ethiopia to be translated, after which we can have our case submitted to court. After that is where things get a little more uncertain. We do know that our process will be somewhat quicker than usual due to Elvie's medical needs, but we don't know how much quicker. I'm not going to worry too much about that because once the paperwork is out of our hands, we need to focus on medical plans and getting what we need for Elvie's basic care (and, ahem, general wardrobe cuteness). I've started on both already, of course, and have updated the Amazon baby registry we had for Zinashi to reflect Elvie's needs. I keep an eye on eBay and Craigslist (usually this task is relegated for late night, when I can't sleep but don't have enough mental wherewithal to reply to emails or do paperwork) in hopes of getting some things from our nursery basics list cheaper. I also have this fantasy in which someone discovers a stack of IKEA gift cards that they'll never use and sends them to us, but I'm pretty sure that won't happen. So eBay and Craigslist it is.
I think all these tasks have been keeping me afloat, even though things are somewhat stressful. When I need to devote my mental energies to the practicalities of getting Elvie home and making sure we have everything she needs, it gives me a break from thinking about how far away she is. This part of the adoption wait truly is the hardest, knowing who Elvie is but that I cannot go to her yet. It was the same with Zinashi. I don't even know how to describe that feeling, of knowing that your baby is far away from you, and you have absolutely no control over what is happening in her day to day life. I know that the agency staff is doing a good job of caring for her, but it's just not the same as a mama's care. It just isn't, and that is hard to take.
However, it is what it is, and I did learn a bit from the wait to go to Zinashi, and I've adopted (pun not intended, but kind of funny now that I'm proofreading) some of the same practices this time. There's nothing wrong with recognizing that things are about to take a turn for the way more hectic and then taking the opportunity to enjoy life's current simplicity. Even with all the tasks to do, I can still sleep in until Zinashi wakes up. We can take time out to go for a little coffee/hot chocolate/bakery run, every day if we want to. I can sit on a park bench while we wait for the bus and not have anything to do or anyone else to attend to while Zinashi amuses herself in the wildflowers. These are little luxuries, and I am soaking them up while I can. There is nothing we can do that's not already being done when it comes to getting Elvie home as soon as possible. We'd be fools to let these current moments pass us by.
(And now, back to paperwork. Hooray!)