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Saturday, 28 February 2009

The Other Woman

I think a lot about this other woman.

She is often there, in my mind, like a too recent memory of something painful and sharp. Like a void within myself that I can't yet fill or abandon, my thoughts and prayers often turn to her. My heart and soul ache for her in a dull, quiet way. My mind understands there will be pain involved, grief even, depending on her circumstances of which I know nothing.

I try to picture her but find it difficult. Arms around herself, hands resting on her belly. Is she just a child herself? A widow? A wife who simply can't support yet another child? What will she feel when she learns she's pregnant? Will she be filled with joy and hope, praying for the possibility that maybe there's a chance however small, she may not have to part with her precious baby? Will she be terrified, dreading what is to come? Is the child she will carry the product of love or anger or neither? When will she begin to think about me? A nameless woman in another country, another world. She will change my life. I will change hers. Will she hate me?

Her pain matters to me. I want to promise her so much. Mostly, that I will not forget her...and I won't allow her child to forget her. That I love her and cry for her. She will always be a part of me, living in her child that I also love already. That this is so complex. I may leave Sri Lanka with her tiny bundle of hope in my arms. But I pray I can leave a little bit of hope behind me too.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Celebrity Appeal

To those of you who know me, you will undoubtedly find it surprising that the title of this entry is not an allusion to myself. I most definitely have an appeal of some sort but maybe not a celebrity one.

I was reminded last night how very sadly I have neglected my super informative blog in the last few months. There are several reasons for this, most vague and fuzzy, but the one I believe it most to be is that sometimes in one's life, the momentous takes place and then you find really that words are not enough, words diminish what is precious about the emotions one feels. It is almost a selfish thing, wanting to hold your own knowledge close to your heart because to you it is precious, it makes you too vulnerable and somewhere deep inside you fear desperately that others won't find it as wonderful as you do.

October 24th was my 28th birthday, a day that this year at least, didn't seem worth celebrating.

Per and I went away to Mandal for my birthday weekend and when we returned Sunday evening, there was an official letter in the mail saying we had been approved to adopt! I saw that we had been approved on October 23rd, and this was special to me as it was my grandma Leona's birthday, who I loved immensely and who passed away just months before I came to Norway to live.

Along with the approval we also received the news that we would not be able to adopt from our chosen country, Ethiopia, at present because there were so many families waiting. Articles published in adoption magazines suggested that this increase of interest in Ethiopia was brought on by the celebrities who have adopted from there. For a very brief time, I grumbled about people who want to adopt just because Angelina Jolie does and then it struck me...a blinding revelation of sorts...who cares? Who cares why people want to adopt, to take a child who needs a family into their home to love and care for, who cares? So long as they do!

So we were given a choice between Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and where as before we had months to decide and get used to the idea of Ethiopia, now we had at best a couple days to choose from these countries about which we knew very little! So one October evening sitting in our favorite Indian restaurant in Stavanger, we decided. And we chose Sri Lanka!! (After all, Sri Lanka is very close to India and sitting there eating delicious Indian food inspired the hope in us that Sri Lankan food was just as delicious...;)

For interests sake the length of time between beginning the adoption process and the actual approval was 9 months. It took another 2 months to collect all the subsequent papers needed after the approval and 1 month until the papers reached their destination.