So...we're adopting a baby. Really! We are! And we are all very excited about it!
We are also happy, joyful, nervous, conflicted, scared...ALL THE FEELINGS, people...all the feelings.
I keep waiting to announce this, hoping that somehow our situation will suddenly become simpler and I won't feel like the only answers I have for people's questions are "I don't know," which just sounds stupid, or "We're just trusting God," which trends a little more toward holier-than-thou than I like. But both are true. I really don't know what's going to happen with this adoption (who am I kidding, I'm pretty vague about what's going to happen in the next 48 hours) the whens, wheres, whos, and hows are all up in the air. We are basically just trusting that God will place the right birthmom and baby into our family at the right time and everything will work out. And, honestly, I'm mostly ok with that.
Let's just be completely transparent here for a minute. There are days when I'm bitter, frustrated that we couldn't just try for three months, have a baby on the way, and start planning our future. Days when I'm angry that working for kiddo number two involved 25 single-spaced pages answering every question under the sun in order to determine if we would be good parents, a three hour interview, and tax returns from the last three years. It's our story and I accept that, but it doesn't mean that I don't sometimes have big feelings about it.
On the other hand, there are so many days when I just feel so grateful. Grateful that we have such supportive family and friends as we navigate all of this. Grateful that we are a self-reflective couple who is comfortable with our "stuff," so interviews and intrusive questions don't make us feel threatened or defensive. So, so, so thankful that I love words and have the education to put together 25 single-spaced pages that are both coherent and present a clear, honest picture of what our family is like. Happy that adoption has always been in our hearts and on our minds and that we have both come to terms with the fact that we may not have biological children without the devastation and disillusionment that strike so many couples (this last one is nothing but God's mercy on us and believe me, we are GRATEFUL!).
The other thing that I've been realizing in these last three years is that as much as our road is not easy...no one else's is either. I think we all grow up with this illusion of "normal" pieced together in our child-brains from reality and dreams and media. And then we become adults and life doesn't fit that illusion. Some things are harder, some things are easier, but none of it really aligns perfectly with our childhood thoughts of what life should offer us. I think that has been the biggest hurdle I've had to get over: admitting that NO ONE is living their illusion, that we are all struggling, and that the struggle and overcoming, the loving and supporting each other through these things is really what makes life sweet and beautiful.
I had another one of these realizations this past weekend as we sat at our agency in Oklahoma and went through adoption training with other waiting families. In speaking of birthmoms, the director mentioned that she often gets asked "Why is my decision [to place my baby for adoption] so painful if I know it's right? Why am I crying every night and struggling so much?". Her answer spoke to me in a really profound way. She said, "Just because a decision is right doesn't mean that it will be painless." We believe that we are supposed to be pursuing domestic infant adoption right now, even though it breaks my heart every time I have to say no to a new foster placement because of it. We believe that we are meant to be working with our specific adoption agency, even though it is located 2,000 miles away and the travel back and forth is hard on us and on P. We are trusting that God will grant us the strength and grace to navigate our relationship with an expectant mother in crisis and to remain committed to supporting her no matter what her ultimate decision is about placing her baby. This journey has the potential for infinite pain and infinite redemption and we just don't know which one will fall to us. But we trust that there are good things in store, that struggles will bring with them growth and depth, and that ultimately our God is able to make all things beautiful.
So, we're waiting expectantly for a baby to join our family. For a birthmom and birth family to become a part of our journey. For miracles to happen and new things to come. We are excited...and brave and happy and scared and overwhelmed...so keep us in your thoughts and your prayers. I will do my best to keep things updated as we wait, but there are many unknowns. This could happen tomorrow or not for years and anywhere in between (and to be honest not much is going to happen until *boom* EVERYTHING happens).
In the meantime, here are some things that I've been reading and loving on this part of our journey:
When you just don't know...
But I do know. I know Him and He knows me. The hairs on my head and the number of my days. He knows my thoughts before I have them and every word before I speak it. He knows my coming, going, lying down and rising.On being chosen again after a failed adoption
Because He knows all things I don’t have to.
My trust is not in the certain outcome but in the Certain One.And, in this there is peace.
We are humbled and grateful for this opportunity. Choosing a family to raise your child must be the most difficult decision a person could make, and we don't take it lightly that they chose us. We hope and pray that no matter how this ends, whether with us bringing home a baby and loving her until she's old and gray, or J choosing to parent and love her herself, that this child will grow up knowing love, knowing that her life is infinitely valuable, and that this situation will be somehow redemptive for all of us involved.
A beautiful adoption birth story
P.S. I know that some of you might have some questions about what's going on with P's case. The short answer is that things are moving forward toward adoption and we'll be able to share more soon. We have some legal hurdles to get through in the next few months, but we are hopeful that he will be legally free by the end of the year. He is also over the moon about having a new baby around...actually, he's requested 10 babies and alternately names them all Teeter, Totter, or Ichabod. He is a wonderful brother and we are very excited to see him back in that role. :)
P.P.S. If you have questions about our adoption process, infertility journey, or foster care, please, please feel free to ask. Email, facebook, comment, call me. While there's a chance that my answer might be "I don't know," we love to share what we do know about all of these things. :)