The Purple of Life

She told me to hold on to the purple in my life.

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Location: Chicago, United States

I'm a 37-year-old editor and city dweller, wife and mother, moderately liberal and radically optimistic. I would fill my perfect day with a cup of coffee and the Op Ed section, a flea market and the playground, a run along Lake Michigan, a walk through the neighborhood with my son and my greyhound, a Cuban dinner and a bottle of red with my husband, and an evening flight to some European city. I wouldn't be picky about which one.

March 19, 2012

Home stretch

On Tuesday, March 6, we found out that Will’s emigration permit—his EP—had been submitted to the Korean government for approval! This is the last big paperwork step before he can come home. After the long, long delay—no children have come home since spring 2011—the Korean government is saying it will expedite these EPs, approving them in about two weeks. Soon after that will come our Travel Call, the phone call from our social worker that will say, Buy your plane tickets, come to Korea, get your son. He’s ready for you.

All of this was shocking to us. We’d heard rumors that EP approvals would be starting again, but they’re submitted in batches, and because of when we received our referral, we didn’t expect to be in the first batch. For the past few months, we’ve thought we might travel in April, then maybe early June, then (fingers crossed) May. All of this was based on supposition and rumor and sketchy math, on online postings and wishful thinking. We had no idea what to expect. We’ve been disappointed before.

Then, suddenly, concrete information. His EP submitted. A travel call coming soon. Me once again standing up in my office, phone clutched to my ear, stomach flipping over. Something happening. Something real.

I felt a lot of strange things last week (to be honest, likely influenced by the fact that it was a certain time of the month). I felt elated and terrified and not ready. I felt a sense of mourning for my current child-free life, a sense of closeness to John as I realized our “just the two of us” days are about to end. I felt panicked about my annual reunion with my best friends from college, scheduled for the last weekend in March here at my house. I felt utterly and 100% unprepared. Then I felt worried that these feelings meant I wasn’t ready to be a parent, that something was wrong with me. What was wrong with me? This is what I’ve wanted for more than two years now.

I am happy to report that these feelings have shifted and largely dissipated. Creating two big lists—To Do and To Buy—and beginning to cross things off them was a big help. His nursery is pretty much done, and we’re well stocked in toddler gear, thanks to a lovely baby shower my mom hosted for me. We have hotel options picked out, flights researched, Stella care lined up, a printout of Korean phrases sitting on the coffee table. Is there still nervousness and fear? Of course. But the excitement—the sheer excitement to imagine holding my son, to imagine the first time he turns his head and smiles at me—I am giddy with it.

I’ve been reading the research and I know we will have some dark, hard times. A major trauma is coming his way, a major change for all three of us, and we need to be ready to support him as he works through it, and support each other as we do. But I think of him here, in our house, in my arms—and I realize that we’re in the home stretch, that it’s actually going to happen, and happen soon—and I’m just amazed, exhilarated. I’m smiling. I see John smiling, too (he tends not to worry as much as I do), look at him studying the Seoul guidebook, and I can barely comprehend that this process is finally coming to an end, and a beginning.

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Blogger sue said...

so happy for you guys!!! can't wait until you are on your way to meet your son!!!!

10:37 PM  
Blogger Birdie said... sounds to me like your feelings are spot on where they should be :). It's a weird wave of emotion that will no doubt continue for...well, not sure, I guess here on out!

So happy you are in the final phase before meeting Will!

2:38 AM  
Blogger Kellie said...

I had chills that wouldn't quit as I read this. Can't stop thinking about you many hugs coming your way. Congratulations, Mommy!!

7:53 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

Oh wow, you guys are so close now! Yes, I remember having all those same mixed emotions, too. It's normal. When your son comes home, it will be a whole new normal and it will be wonderful. Congratulations! Can't wait until you get that Travel Call!!

12:36 PM  
Blogger Farm-Raised said...

This is wonderful news!!! And I recognize every last one of your feelings. You are not alone. And you can do this. Oh my's going to be amazing. Difficult, yes. There will definitely be those hard moments when you face the challenges begotten by the whole experience. But oh...the traveling, the meeting, the homecoming...I am sooooo excited for you!!! Traveling mercies, sweet friend!!!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments. They've made me smile. :)

8:01 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

Fantastic...I can feel your excitement and anxiety in this entry. So happy for your family...blessings to you, dear friend!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

You are so, so close!!! I can't wait until you get the travel call!!! That is going to be amazing! EEK!

6:47 PM  
Blogger tricoachgirl said...

So amazing.. that is such great news!! I hear that VI are happening this week! :)

12:34 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Everything you felt - either normal, or evidence that I'm also not normal! Both times we prepared for the worst for adjustment and grieving, and both times our sons shocked us with their capacity to heal and to love. I can't wait to see pictures of you with your son!

6:25 PM  

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