Waiting sucks. Waiting for anything is hard, but waiting for a baby? It’s particularly rough. Anyone who has waited for a pink line on a pregnancy test or waited for that call in an adoption understands how nerve-wracking it can be.
Adoption certainly isn’t for the faint of heart or spirit. It takes an incredible amount of emotional and spiritual fortitude to open oneself up to this process. Your life is dissected like a frog in biology class. Friends and neighbors are asked to share their innermost thoughts and opinions of you. You’re forced to share your bank accounts, debts, grades, and medical history with total strangers. But none of that compares to the wait. The wait is something you’re never really prepared for. I like to be prepared for things, and I tried to brace myself for the wait, but I still feel completely caught off guard.
I think most adoptive families are surprised by the emotional pain involved in the wait. In adoption, waiting is the fiercest fire one must walk through. I would read statements just like that one in preparation for this journey and just laugh. How hard could it possibly be? I couldn’t imagine myself “climbing the walls” or feeling desperate in the same way I had heard other potential adoptive parents describe. However, as we approach the six month waiting point, I know now what they were describing. It certainly does make you feel crazy.
Every night, I dream about babies. I dream about healthy pregnancies that will never happen. I dream about begging Travis to give it one more chance, promising him I won’t get sick this time, as if it was my personal choice to have Hyperemesis and if I just commit to the process then maybe I won’t bring it upon myself this go-round. In my dreams, I’m a pathetic blob desperate to feel that baby warmth again. All the thoughts I won’t allow myself to have during the day come out at night. I dream about putting together a nursery that I never got to assemble when I was expecting Little. I dream that I’m close to delivery and then the baby is just gone. No miscarriage, just slipped away from me. I imagine it’s my mind trying to cope with the fact that I can get pregnant, but that doesn’t mean I can or should have babies. If that makes any sense at all. I wake up crying and praying in the morning. It happens at least once a week.
When my mind isn’t betraying me at night, I think about babies constantly throughout the day. Little’s third birthday is quickly approaching, and while I’m excited for all of the ways he’s growing and learning, there’s a hole in my heart that fears I’ll never have another baby again. My baby is growing up and there is no guarantee that this will work. There’s no promise that we’ll end up with a match, and while I know it’s irrational to assume our adoption attempt will be unsuccessful, it’s hard to not wonder when you’re in the middle of the journey. My sentimentality over Little’s birthday is creeping into my desperateness with this adoption. The two emotions don’t make for good bed partners.
I had a good little cry the other day when I decided to box up some clothes from Little’s dresser and closet that no longer fit. I can only hope that we can use them again someday soon for another baby, but that doubt made me very sad. I was also sad remembering Little in each onesie and pajama set, thinking of how quickly he’s growing up. I think any mom who has wrestled with the joy and sadness of their little ones getting older can relate to my feelings. Mine are just made worse by the tiny seed of doubt in the back of my mind that says I’ll never have another baby in this house.
We’ve only been a “waiting family” for six months, but it was two years ago in January that we started this process. That feels like an eternity ago. In some ways we are closer to a baby and in other ways we’re only more in debt but really no closer.
I just wish I knew something. I wish I knew if there were positive thoughts from birthmoms regarding our profile. Our adoption coordinator said that our profile book is the most beautiful they’ve ever had. Are birthmoms reacting the same way? Do they like us? I imagine our limited budget is the main factor that’s keeping us from being matched, but I know that a mom will come along who doesn’t need a fortune from her adoptive family and she’ll be perfect for us. At least I tell myself that. I wish I knew a vague idea of when the call might come. I hate waking up every morning with that excited and anxious feeling in my stomach, thinking perhaps something will happen today. I hate carrying my phone on me at all times like a fifteen year old waiting for a call from a boy. But most of all, I hate the let down that occurs at the end of every night when I know that the day is over and the chance of a call is gone. I hate that I can’t do anything to speed this process along. There is nothing I can do to even participate in the process at this point, and that drives me crazy.
I spend so much time praying and asking God to bring our birthmother to our agency. I wonder where she is, who she is, if she’s even expecting yet. I was just certain that we wouldn’t wait for very long, but now I feel kind of foolish for those thoughts. Well meaning friends and family warned me against setting my hopes on a certain time-frame, but I ignored them because I truly think I needed that hope at the time. I needed to cling to that feeling that it would happen within a certain time-frame, even if it was only a false feeling. Now that the time-frame has come and gone, I don’t feel any more disappointed than I do at the end of any month. There’s no huge crushing blow since my window has passed. I’m just more desperate now. It’s starting to wear on all of us. It’s a very frustrating feeling knowing in your heart that your family isn’t complete yet, but you have no clue when it will all come together.
I’m sorry this post is so down. I have never hidden the ups and downs in the adoption journey from my readers, and I want to continue being as honest as I can with all of you. This month has been hard. January is so dreary anyway, but I’ve had a rough time knowing that my sweet boy is turning 3 soon, and my heart yearns for another baby so badly it hurts. I never felt or understood the desperateness other adoptive parents have talked about until recently. It’s settling in full force now, and there doesn’t seem to be anyway around it. I’m comforted by the knowledge that the feeling of desperateness is just kind of part of the process. At least I’m not alone. Every adoption forum, blog, and book you pick up will talk about it. And apparently I’m not immune. I feel silly that six months ago, I was certain it wouldn’t hit me.
So we’re still here, still waiting. I’m learning more and more firsthand about the complexities of emotions that make up the adoption process. I’m going to feel like a viking when we’re done with this process. The ups and downs have stregthened my character and given me compassion for people in varying circumstances. I realize right now I’m just feeling sorry for myself and I may sound a bit selfish or short-sighted. I apologize for that. Throughout all of the “woe is me” feelings I experience, I know that I’m extremely blessed and it could always be worse. The Lord is watching out for us, and he has blessed us with supportive family and friends, good health, and a precious happy boy. The joy that Little brings into my life is the main reason I yearn for more children. He makes life delightful and I want to fill my home with sweet little ones because of him.
God is teaching me about my personal control issues, and I’m learning more and more to rely on him, because sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do. I’m sorry for the pity party. This too shall pass.