Day 34 Update

It’s Christmas Eve Eve! Although this isn’t the Christmas I had hoped for, I read a quote that really helped adjust my attitude: “The things I now complain about are the things I once prayed for.”

I was called out by a good friend for being so negative in my accounts of the days here in Nigeria. He’s right, they do all mostly read pretty negative. And although I don’t want to sugar coat how I feel and what I’m struggling with while here, I could definitely use more of my energy thinking and sharing the positive. So I want to make a conscious effort to do that now.

The first thing I’ve neglected to share, at least on this blog, is how wonderful the staff at Morgan Hill Children’s Foundation are. They have been extremely helpful our entire process- especially Utibe, the director. You would have to understand the laid back nature of Nigerian culture to see this, but Utibe is an absolute lion when it comes to getting our adoption process moving. She told us early on in our time here, “There are no emergencies in Nigeria,” and she is so right. Getting things done quickly is not the norm, but she was able to move us through the legal process with speed and efficiency. I wish I could have her on our side working the visa process, too! She would have had us on a plane home before Christmas for sure! That’s just how she is- miss Utibe the adoption angel sent from heaven!

Something I would also like to share is how much time the staff at Morgan Hill dedicates to their adopting families. They sacrifice quite a bit of personal and family time to see that things are being taken care of, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Another HUGE positive is how well Ruth is adjusting to her new life. Things aren’t perfect, obviously, but she has done remarkably well even in spite of my many mistakes. She still laughs when I say no, which is problematic- especially when she’s doing something dangerous. But she is beginning to understand boundaries, so that’s good. She is curious and mostly willing to learn, and hopefully with a little help her speech will catch up with her intelligence! She is very observant and I have no doubt she’s as bright as any child- just have a few developmental delays to overcome. And at the suggestion of another dear friend, we’ve started trying to potty train. She doesn’t communicate with me when she needs to use the potty, and at the orphanage she just wore a diaper 24/7, even when they tried training. So, since we have lots of time, we’re giving it a go! It would be so nice to have both kiddos done with pull-ups/diapers for good!

It has been so nice having the Wilks bunch here- the kiddos are playing together (like typical siblings sometimes!) and I get to enjoy some adult conversation! It’s wonderful. And hopefully will help both Bryce and I not be so down about not being with our whole families this Christmas.

I feel like I have finally accepted that we’re going to be here a while. I know part of my struggle is believing I can move this process along faster if I just tried harder, spoke to more people, explored more options etc.. My control freak tendencies kick into overdrive when I’m in stressful situations, and this is definitely the most stressful situation I’ve ever been in. And it’s not like I was unaware that it would take this long, either. I booked our return tickets for January 17th- so I knew it could take this long. It’s just one things knowing the facts, and completely another living them.

I am so glad it’s Saturday- that means another week done. I’m anticipating Wednesday, when the Consulate opens back up and hopefully begins reviewing our adoption. Then Thursday is when we can collect her completed medical report, which completes ALL documents we are responsible for getting to the Consulate. Then it’s just waiting for the final interview appointment and AT LAST her visa. It’s difficult to powerfully anticipate something but not know when it’s actually going to happen! But it W I L L happen, and that’s all I need to hold on to.

(Side note to anyone considering adoption: there’s something to be said for using a well established program- maybe don’t be the very first family to adopt from a country! Hindsight *wink* But definitely consider adoption!)

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