Sunday, March 21, 2010

You Ask, I Answer: How Does One Wait?

Celebrating our five year wedding anniversary.
Post-polka-dot painting in the future nursery.

All the gifts from my baby shower.

Road trip! At the beach.

What do you do while waiting for your child?

When we were waiting, for 14 months to be exact, life as future parents was full of ups and downs. But here is what helped me get through possibilities, heartaches, and confusion, all that came naturally with the adoption journey.

  • I blogged, privately. I ranted, I questioned, and I marveled.

  • I prepared the nursery, a little at a time, on quiet, sunny days, by myself.

  • I mentally planned how we would tell our parents we had a baby....more on that in another blog entry.

  • I kept a running journal for my future child.

  • I scrapbooked.

  • I traveled with my husband. We went on a two week road trip along the East Coast and had a fabulous time.

  • I looked for signs. Once I saw three flowers growing together in a ditch while I was out walking. A SIGN! Then I saw a street sign once that boasted the name of our agency. A SIGN! Yeah....those weren't signs.

  • I thought of baby names. A lot. Like every day.

  • I joined and participated in an online adoption forum. There I found many caring, knowledgeable women (adoptive moms, birth mothers, and adoptees) who answered my questions, considered my thoughts, and taught me so much.

  • I read books about adoption. I read baby name books. (Yeah, that again).

  • I attended my "preparing for baby" shower hosted by my sister. I had a wonderful time catching up with friends and relatives, and of course, opening a lot of gifts for my future child!

  • I worked. A lot. Two jobs (teaching three classes plus nannying for three kids one day a week).

  • I did projects around the house---including lots of painting. In fact, we were painting our kitchen and dining area on the day we got THE call for our daughter.

  • Prayed---a lot. I prayed for ourselves and each time we were asked if we wanted our profile shown. I prayed for friends who were also waiting to adopt. I prayed for the women who viewed our profile---that God would lead them to parent or place---whatever was right in their situation. I prayed for the babies---born and unborn. I prayed for our agencies and our social workers.

Each person and couple is different in how they wait and how they cope with the GREAT WAIT. For many of my friends, they went through infertility treatments and YEARS of financial, emotional, and physical challenges in the numerous attempts to become parents. So when they did choose adoption and finally got THE call, some had waited five, eight, or even ten years to become parents.

I admit the hardest part of the adoption journey was waiting, simply because nothing was within our control, and well, I like control.

We were continuously asked, "Heard anything yet?" by well meaning friends and family members, but their question only rubbed salt in our wound. I wanted to scream, "If something happened, you'd see us pushing around a stroller!!" Instead I just said, "Nope." Smiled. Moved on.

As I was telling a friend on the phone today, one who is also waiting to become a mom for the first time, the waiting never ends. Once you are chosen, you wait. Once the baby is placed with you, you wait. You wait for paperwork, for post-placement visits, for the adoption to be finalized, for the communication with the child's bio parent(s).

Patience is a virtue. It's one I don't have. But I think this whole thing called adoption is easing me into a gradual acceptance of that virtue, and perhaps, some sweet day, implementation.

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