I’m Back, and I’m Reclaiming My Joy

I took a little break last week on account of great sadness at the loss of this adoption. I was really grieving the loss of this baby I never even met because we thought we had made our way to The One. And when I heard we hadn’t, it was very hard to accept that. On Friday morning, I woke up and decided I was reclaiming my joy. I can’t live in this hypothetical “what if” world anymore. Anyone who has experienced similar issues knows what I’m talking about, whether it is infertility or the adoption wait, or even the adoption wait after you have allegedly been matched.

An example of the hypothetical world is where even though you need a new single stroller, you decide not to buy one; after all, why spend the money when you will need a double stroller any day now!

The sorrow I felt last week at yet another failure to grow our family was like a gray, gloomy stalker cloud that followed me around and made it very hard to remember to be grateful for every miraculous blessing in my life. And I’m an extremely happy person! I irritate the hubs with my optimism on a regular basis. It has been hard on him to see me suffer the past couple of weeks, but he has been my big strong rock to lean on during the worst of it, despite his own pain. Just another reason why I’m grateful to travel this oft-painful road with a man who (usually) knows just what to say or do to snap me back into annoying optimistic mode again!

It took three years to become Mama and Dada when we welcomed our son, E, into this great big world. Since he was 18 months old, we have been trying for #2. Over half his life, to put it into stark terms. The hubs and I both have been extremely careful to protect him from feeling any second-hand stress, and I think we did a good job despite having several incidents where stress and grief were certainly warranted. But I learned something sombering this week: My son, the sweet, deeply empathetic lovebug that I have tried to shield from my aching heart, told my mom while they were playing, “Mama still doesn’t feel well.” Well, I haven’t been sick. And that means that I haven’t been as clever about hiding my emotions from him as I thought I had. I was horrified, horrified. Hearing that he said those words was like getting punched in the ovaries. AND that’s the moment I decided enough was enough. It’s one thing for the hubs and I to struggle with our feelings about the fall-through, but I will not allow that to spill over into my son’s world. He’s three. Our problems are not his problems. I absolutely decided in that moment that he would never again have to worry that, “Mama isn’t feeling well,” along with the added burden of wondering why.

For those of you who have adopted, are in the adoption process, or are thinking about adopting, please take note: Our adoption situation has been atypical. I will be discussing that more in my next post. I know of many people who have adopted seamlessly, no muss no fuss, and the common denominator seems to be the quality of the agency you work with as well as the competence of your adoption coordinator.

I reclaimed my joy this weekend by spending time with family in the beautiful sunshine. I spent lots of cuddle time with my little man and taught him how to do Eskimo kisses. I worked on my “big” project, my pond and the waterfall; it’s just never quite the way I want it to look, so I took it apart and built it up once again, after looting all kinds of tips and ideas from Pinterest. It looks fab. I did not clean the house, because cleaning the house is not joy-giving.  It’s joy-thieving.

Most importantly, I asked God to carry this burden for me. I have prayed this before, but this time it was more of an impassioned plea. And wouldn’t you know it, before I even opened my eyes I felt like some of the weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and replaced with a feeling of calm that seemed to whisper, “Isn’t this better? Let’s stay in this emotional space, shall we?”

Thank you for following my journey, friends. Here’s to hoping the baby that’s meant for us makes an appearance soon!

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Good Things Are Happening!

The wheels are moving!

Yesterday, the hubs and I received an email of an expectant mother profile! What that means is that our agency is working with a young lady who has decided to make the courageous decision to find a family for her baby, and her preferences and our preferences overlapped so we asked to be presented to her! She has received our adoption portfolio, along with several others, and will make a decision by the end of the week. I do not know how many other couples asked to be presented, nor how many she was interested in looking at, but we were among them. Our agency is pretty small and they have about 8 “paper ready” couples, including us; although there are not many adoption situations that come along, when they do, the ratio of waiting parents is narrow enough that we feel like we at least have a chance of being chosen.

This is very big for us, although to be completely honest we do not allow ourselves to fully experience emotions of excitement or anticipation at this stage. It is just one of those things where we sort of perk up with optimism, but don’t let it overwhelm us, because we still need to wear our “heart armor.” It’s sort of like running a computer in safe mode!

I won’t reveal many details about the adoption situation here, out of respect for the expectant parents. If she does choose us, I can reveal more details at that time, with her permission.

For every family that is overjoyed and elated about the addition of a long-prayed for, much desired baby, there is always a mother, and sometimes a father, that is grieving the greatest loss of their lives. So, while we certainly appreciate, and in fact, solicit, your prayers and positive energy, consider doing the same for this amazing woman who could easily have chosen to terminate the pregnancy and go on with her life. Instead, she chose to carry the pregnancy, all the while knowing that the family that would be blessed by this baby, wasn’t her own.  I know I sure haven’t done anything that selfless lately, or ever.

I will update this post with the news of if we were chosen, or not, as soon as we hear about it. I have been committed to transparency all along on this site, and that means sharing the good and the bad. Sharing the bad sucks, it is true. Oh so true. But it is part of the process, and all of the process matters.

Wish us luck, cross your fingers and toes, channel that energy, or shoot up some prayers!


Fact: It Will Be Worth the Wait, I Have Proof!

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.