It's an old expression, but one my family swears I invented. I'm always "borrowing trouble" or worrying ahead. I find, though, that preparing for the worst is the best way for me to be prepared for it. And, even if the situation turns godawful, my imagination proved approximately 45% worse. So, worrying ahead made it seem not as bad as it could have been.
Did I mention I also rationalize things in a circular manner?
As if I didn't have enough to worry about on a daily basis, we mixed it up in March.
My husband arrived home on a Monday from his year-long deployment to Iraq. At his homecoming ceremony, our adoption agency called to tell us we needed to be in Ethiopia that following Tuesday for our Embassy appointment. That meant we needed to leave that Friday to be in country in time.
And so begins the trouble borrowing...
Most of the families I have met through the adoption process are not military families. If they are, few of them are National Guard families. And, fewer still ( I can think of none ) went through the nitty gritty of the adoption while one spouse was deployed. Of the adoptive families I have made connections with, not many were adopting an older child--our daughter is five.
It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I had a ton on my plate this past year. Many of you can relate, I'm sure, to the life with a job, a couple kids and their activities, a house, the pets, and all the havoc Murphy decides to infuse into the situation. In addition, I was completing our paper chase and waiting for all the big dates--dossier acceptance, court dates, Embassy date, etc.
And then WHAMMY! Within one week's time, I had my husband home and we had flown to Africa to pick up our daughter. Whiplash, anyone?
Now that we are home and working on everything from personal space (we Americans have a bigger bubble of it than most places, including Ethiopia) to international sibling relations to table manners to English, I'm already thinking ahead.
I'm thinking ahead to the inevitable "next time." It used to be, I think, that for National Guard families an overseas deployment was an "if" rather than a "when" proposition. My husband and I will be married eight years tomorrow and we've completed two so far. I'm sure the Army has one more for him before he retires in a few years. I look at our two homegrown daughters and see the effect of deployment and separation on them and I worry about what it will mean to our new daughter whose life has already had more loss and separation than a short stuff should have to bear.
And, it may be a long shot, but I'm wondering if there are any adoptive families in the SpouseBuzz universe whose kids may have had attachment or bonding issues who had to face a separation longer than a training exercise--although I anticipate mutiny when that happens too. I'm wondering what you do to prepare, what you do during and how you handle the reintegration?
Maybe you don't personally know, but you know someone who might--please send them the link to this post and ask them to chime in, would you?
There simply aren't books about this kind of thing and our pool of qualified, experienced National Guard families who adopt an older child from another country seems kind of small. I'm hoping I just haven't been looking in the right places and you will be able to help a sister out.
I'm ready! Hit me with your best shot.