Adoptive mom Angela Colasanti reflects on finding hope, and lessons, in the wait to be united with a child through adoption. Angela and her husband are waiting for First Approval, a step in the process to adopt a 10-year-old girl through Holt’s special needs adoption program in Thailand.
Almost every morning I sit for a few minutes in a rocking chair by the window of my bedroom. Here on the second floor of our home, and with the slope of our backyard, I can see the distant hills, the tops of our trees, and the yard and garden below. In these moments I pause, take perspective, and prepare for the day ahead. I may see squirrels chasing each other, birds migrating, or snow simply blanketing the grass, but every fall the backyard trees let the heaviness of summer return to the earth as they prepare for rest.
The change happens when we are straddled between the warm and cool days, when the sound of laughing children outside is quieter, and when the peppers and beets in my garden are drying up, pushing out a few last pickings. From the top down, with the smallest part of the tree tips turning first, a magical change happens in slow motion. The same change, but every year, it shows me something new. The maples transform first, followed by the oaks, with others changing outfits to a different time. The lush green transforms into a palette across scarlet, amber, copper and more.
I am a parent, and our family was formed by adoption. Being a mother is challenging, but it is also enriching, revealing, reflective and astonishingly beautiful. It has revealed an inner strength I didn’t know I have, and it gives me days to spend with my daughter, someone who is amazing, and who showed me how deeply and powerfully I could love.
We, my family, are now in month fourteen of a very long wait for the approval for the international adoption of our second child. We, like other families in our agency, wake up each day hoping we will get the phone call that lets us know we can meet our child. Sadly, it has not yet come. Exhaustion and confusion are always close, while hope hangs on.
I think a lot about what I can do. I think about the reason for the delays and the challenges. There is no answer that comes. There is no clarity. I meditate and ask the universe for speed and for the protection of the little girl that will soon join our family. She has a wide smile and kind heart. She likes to write, and rabbits are her favorite animal. There will be challenges ahead for all of us, and we will all hold her in grace for a long time to come.
There are some beliefs that are easy to hold, and others that we struggle with. One I grapple with is that there will be a lesson in this period of waiting. Even though I keep working at fixing or managing the problems we face, some will not resolve the way we want them to. Another is that when some issues are out of our direct control, we must turn them over to the universe and let them be. Although this belief has been challenged in this past year, I also believe that we are supposed to meet the right people, in the right time, and that things will happen in the time they need to. There are so many things that I try to manage into a state of order and calm, but maybe I need to accept that I have done my best. Someone recently assured me, and it helped a little, that a child will open the door and come through when the time is right for them. I sit with that and visualize it, imagining that moment when we meet her.
My hope for the cooler season ahead is that I can be open to what nature is teaching me, allowing the wisdom of the universe to come through. There will be some perspective from which to learn. Eventually. For now, all I can do is look outside every morning and see the red and orange leaves fall into the grass. I can try to make peace with myself and the universe and its people and then just let go.
Angela and her husband, Ben, live in the Philadelphia area. They are parents to their 18-year-old daughter, Qinny, adopted at age 4 from China. Angela and Ben are currently in month 14 of waiting for First Approval, a step in the process to adopt a 10-year-old girl through the Holt Special Needs Project in Thailand. Their daughter in Thailand, “Bianca,” was featured on Holt’s waiting child photolisting and is living in orphanage care. During a recent trip to Thailand, she was visited by Holt staff. Angela is the owner of Life Artfully Told, a jewelry and gift company, and wrote this piece for her blog, Seasons Beyond, where she reflects on family, parenthood, nature, gardening and the synchronous connections between them.
Visit the Waiting Child Photolisting
Meet some of the children waiting for loving adoptive families. Could you be the right family for one of these children?