A few weeks ago, I received an email about an adoption situation in Georgia. The mother had seen our adoption profile via Facebook, of all things, and we happened to be on an old email listserv of the lawyer she was working with. The lawyer was to the point: baby boy, born three days ago, mother is choosing to make an adoption plan rather than have the baby removed by Family Services to disappear into the foster system. Were we interested?
Of course we were interested! In my “adoption situation presentation” fantasies, interest is always enough. So it definitely a swift kick to the ovaries when I immediately realized that interest alone was not going to cut the mustard in this scenario. There were a ridiculous amount of circumstances that made this situation impossible for us: paying new and unrelated adoption fees* for the baby boy in Georgia, when we have already invested our adoption nest egg into our adoption agency here. Ten days would need to be spent in the state of Georgia as we waited for papers to be processed that would allow us to bring the baby across state lines back to Oregon. Two plane tickets would need to be purchased on zero days notice, as well as ten days of lodging. We have a little boy who would wonder where in the hell his always-present parents, who have never been separated from him for more than one day, had gone away to, and why he was left behind; we also did not have family lined up to care for him for ten days on five seconds notice. The hubs is currently grinding his way through the absolute busiest time of work in his field, and leaving with no notice was going to leave a lot of people and circumstances in the lurch. We had absolutely nothing going for us in this situation except interest, and our interest was not a magic wand that was going to turn the impossible into the possible.
*Adoption fees and expenses: Been car shopping lately? Think of the MSRP on your favorite SUV…and now you know why it would be quite the hat trick to come up with that twice!
Adoption is an extremely competitive industry, despite the non-profit status many agencies hold; as a general rule, agencies don’t work in cooperation with other agencies, because it isn’t financially beneficial to do so. In other words, my agency and the lawyer were not going to join forces to make our dreams come true. Fair enough.
It was hard to decline the situation, but it was the only option at our disposal to make. Is it still considered an option if there is only one to pick from?
Something I know to be true about myself: I do not handle situations with one “option” well. I would say that is probably true for the majority of us, nothing special about that. For me personally, the concept of being without choice or power harkens back to our long infertility battle, and later on, our miscarriages. Grief with which I have long since addressed and healed, but which is brought bobbing to the surface again by that nasty common denominator: powerlessness. The ultimate place to find oneself robbed of choice, and even in the strongest of us, hope.
It was poor timing that four days after declining the situation, I was then felled like a giant oak tree by old school influenza, the kind you get a shot for, but then the shot doesn’t work because the virus is tricky and outsmarted the scientists this year. Plenty of time for me to lay in bed and analyze, analyze, analyze, which is both my best characteristic and my worst.
It’s hard to see the forest for the trees when you haven’t showered in five days. I think that is probably an undeniable truth for anyone, unless you are in an actual forest and the reason you haven’t showered for five days is because you went out there to see the trees.
And, for all those on an infertility journey or an adoption wait, I leave you with this groundbreaking realization: it really is true that the greatest joys in life are worth the wait. We waited over three years for our little man to grace us with his presence. I came up with that obvious little factoid after my cathartic ugly cry two days ago, and it made me feel so much better I wrote it down and taped it somewhere I can be reminded whenever I need a pick me up.