I've made quite a few comparisons in the past months between "this time 2009" and "this time 2008", just reveling in how much our family has grown and how much fun has been had and how different things are this year versus last. Look how much he's grown! Listen to all of the new words he can shout! Remember when he couldn't climb anything and everything? But what I haven't done is think back to years prior to 2008, specifically the year spent chasing after the baby who is now our very big-kid 2 1/2 year old son. Like two years ago during November 2007 when we were stalking the mailbox for our I-171H, scrambling between 3 State agencies and 5 NY Counties to properly notarize and certify one hundred million documents that would soon be sent to yet another agency, this time Federal, and then off to Ethiopia to wait. How I felt like the wait would be endless, at the time averaging 3-5 months. Oh how times do change.
These days almost every agency is posting at least 12 month, and sometimes as much as 24-36 month average wait times. We flew to Ethiopia a mere 7 weeks after we saw his picture the first time, a time period that has increased to 4 months today. To think how different our version of two-years-back is from families who started the process just a year after we did is quite amazing. Two years back we were nearing the end of our paperchase and had about 6 months to go before traveling, whereas families today nearing the end of their paperchase are frequently waiting upwards of 2 years, sometimes more before they can finally create a post on their blog with a picture of an airplane titled "We're off!"
And yet, things have changed and times have increased for a reason. Good reasons. International adoption is a constantly changing life of it's own process with zero room for inflexibility or impatience. And before every waiting family throws a virtual spoiled egg at my head, please know that I understand and sympathize. It's so hard to convince a heart that's ready now to embrace the fact that it needs to be later. But it's done, and no matter whether later is 6 weeks or 6 months or 6 years, there will be a time when you can sit down and think about what it was like 2 years back when 1 of those years was spent waiting, and the other parenting.
Between me and you, it's a pretty cool thing.