Today as I ran alone in the woods, I thought about every step. I dodged the roots of the trees, pulled myself up the hills and hoped for that finish line. At the end of the race, as my dear friends congratulated me for reaching my new personal best time, I walked in circles trying to gather my breath. It felt good to be done.
Adoption is like that darn 5K. I am nervous because I don't know what is front of me. I am surrounded by people who can have children without question - who know that after a few tries, it will all just work out for them. I know that you can't just rely on things to answer themselves naturally. There are going to be roots in my way that can trip me. There are hills that I will have to climb that no one can climb for me. The finish line will infamously move further back like some kind of oasis in the desert.
Honestly, I am weary. Sometimes I am full of hope like I feel when I cross that finish line. Other days, the race feels like it will never end. I want to be at the finish line, but right now I am at the weary part of the 5K when the muscles in your legs ache and you just learned that you have only finished 1K of the race.
I know this race has a finish line and I know what awaits me at that line, but running like adoption is not a physical thing. It's a mental thing and the self talk can be brutal. It's also brutal to hear loved ones say both directly and indirectly negative things about adoption while you are in the process. All I can do is breathe in and out, watch the ground at my feet and turn up the Prince song playing in my headphones.