Adopting a baby is like running a marathon only, instead of a set route, you run through paper and background checks and intruding questions and family references. You don't necessarily notice the insane checklist until it's over, which is usually when you simultaneously realize there are so many things you can only learn about your partner after you've adopted a baby.
We began our adoption journey while moving across an ocean, renting a new apartment in a new city, and finding new jobs. By all rational thought, it's a terrible idea to do all of those at once. Oh, did I mention we bought a house in our original country, the week before we moved? When it rains paperwork, it pours paperwork. The good news is that a whole lot of the paperwork from all those life changes overlapped! We just wore out the photocopier in the process.
Our daughter miraculously arrived just five weeks after we moved. We got the call one morning that our daughter was here and we met her sweet, tiny self in the NICU that evening. It was only several months later that we realized what a feat we had accomplished together, and in order to create our family. And I was so glad to tick off a whole new list of things I had learned about my partner in the process. Things I hope I never have to re-learn in the future, and thankfully involve no time standing at the photocopier, but a welcome list nonetheless. From my husband's ability to perform CPR to whether he's wanted for armed robbery in another state, adoption teaches you a whole load of things about your marriage and your partner.