I’ve been keeping this blog to document all the steps along the way, including emotions and tough stuff, so I’m trying to share as honestly as possible to as to give an accurate picture of what domestic adoption is like. Perhaps it will help someone in the same boat know that they’re not alone!
Some of you have followed our journey so far and know that in May, we had a whirlwind week or two where we were matched with a newborn baby girl, but the mother changed her mind and decided to parent. What you might not know is that in the meantime, we have had other situations fall through also. We were chosen by a young mother in Louisiana, but after about a week of contact, she decided to parent as well. Then we had another potential mom in Washington D.C. contact us, but she ultimately disappeared also. The frustrating part is that all three of these situations came to an end using the same pattern…lots of contact at the beginning, then they suddenly stopped emailing/calling/etc and simply disappeared. In the first two cases, we finally heard from our agency that yes, they did change their minds, but I have no idea what happened with the third. Luckily all of these were short matches only lasting a few weeks at most, but it’s still hard to go from having a due date in mind back to no prospects at all.
Jump to today. A few weeks ago we were selected by a wonderful girl who we decided to match with, who is due with a baby boy in December. From the beginning, this match felt different than the rest. “C” is smart, caring, and easy to talk to. She has a very realistic view of what open adoption is like, and is making wonderful choices throughout the pregnancy. We love her already and have been super excited to get to know her and share in her pregnancy for the next few months. There have been absolutely no red flags this time around, which is really refreshing. It’s the kind of match we’ve prayed for. The kind of match that makes us think “oh ok, that’s why the other ones didn’t work out!”
But I can’t help but worry anyway, because the fact that things seem so great makes it all the more terrifying at the thought of it not working out. The last time when she took about a week and a half to answer an email, (and though in my head and heart I knew that she was probably just really busy or hasn’t been online), a little piece of me goes “oh no…this is how it started with the other ones! What if she’s changing her mind?” That wasn’t the case, most people don’t email constantly, of course, but I get scared nonetheless. And find myself constantly checking email. We’ve seen the ultrasound and have started talking about little boy names, researching travel plans…this baby is a real possibility in our future. But it’s a weird balance, because he’s NOT our baby at the moment… you want to get excited, but at the same time have to hold back your emotions, because as we know, it can always fall through. Yet you also don’t want to be completely stoic and not get excited at all. I’ve been trying to keep up with hobbies and learn new skills to pass the time over the next few months so I don’t go crazy, and it always helps reassure me when I get contact with C. So I guess what I need more than anything right now is to pray for faith and trust, to know that God does have a plan for us. It would be really nice to be able to look into the future and see what happens!
I frequent a lot of forums and blogs for adoptive families, and sometimes when couples express how devastated they were that a mom changed her mind, they get a lot of comments from birthmoms (who were unhappy with the way their own adoptions went) saying things along the lines of “well, you have no right to be sad, it wasn’t your baby,” or “your disappointment is nowhere near the pain she would have felt giving the baby up,” and things like that. Sometimes it gets nasty. While technically those things might be true, pain is pain. Hurt is hurt. Whether they had a “claim” to the baby or not, in my mind, it is similar to experiencing a miscarriage, which you have every right to be sad about. These couples dreamed and planned about a baby that they were told was going to be theirs, just like any other expecting couple, then had that dream taken away suddenly. Of course that’s going to hurt! That’s just a reality. Especially when many of the couples adopting may have experienced years of infertility or pregnancy losses of their own. It’s devastating to be suddenly plunged back into that unknown time period of “waiting,” without any idea of when you’ll finally meet your child. So I wish that both birthmothers and adoptive couples would show eachother more compassion and realize that they’re both struggling. It’s not fair to treat the mom like they don’t matter and are just a means to an end, and it’s also not fair for an expectant mom to disappear and not tell the couple they’ve changed their mind. I think the hardest part of the whole adoption process is that you have zero control over anything…your future is determined by someone else, and you can only hope and pray that they make the right decisions for everyone involved.
Anyway, I think I’m just hitting a point this week where I’m a little sad and frustrated that everything has taken so long, which allows those fears of “what if” to come creeping in. Spending time with family and two adorable little babies just made me want December to come quicker! Waiting 5 more months is going to be tough. If it’s not going to work out, I’d rather know now before we get even more attached, but I’m obviously praying that it does work out, and that I can stop worrying about it. We don’t mind talking about the adoption, answering questions, etc at all…it’s not a sore subject, in fact, we’re happy to share our experiences. I don’t get sad looking at the nursery, and the idea of a baby shower doesn’t bother me…we are still expecting a baby, just not 100% sure on which baby it will be and when. My feelings toward adoption are still very positive, but I can definitely say that it’s not an easy process. I still have no doubt that this journey is what God wants us to do, and that we’re on the right path. I just wish I knew how long of a hike that path was going to be!
Prayers for our sanity during the wait and prayers for the expectant mom are appreciated.