But beyond that is the waiting. The expectation. With a typical pregnancy, a couple knows when the baby is due and plans accordingly. A nursery is set up, baby clothes purchased, showers held, doctor visits attended, ultrasounds posted on Facebook, lists of names generated, gender reveal (or secrecy) decided, and the time leading up to the birth is a time of great excitement.
For a hopeful adoptive parent, many or most of those things are absent. Don't get me wrong--it is definitely a time of dreaming and hoping. Of praying that the right baby will find its way into your arms. And generally speaking, when someone adopts through an agency, they have reasonable assurance that they will eventually get their baby...albeit oftentimes with a long wait and then very little warning. But with other types of adoption, there are no guarantees at all that it will turn out the way you hope. For every plan put in place, a contingency plan accompanies it. The word IF is in every sentence you speak. Shopping for anything ahead of time feels like going out of your way to jinx it.
We adopted our amazing son through an agency. We had a terrible experience, fraught with their missteps and empty promises and never-ending need for more of our money and two failed matches and 51 days of our newborn being held in limbo. And yet, we somehow clawed our way out of that claustrophobic tunnel and into being a forever family, and we now know that we would fiercely do it all again--ALL of it--in order to find this same wonderful child that is ours in every way.
But how to get a sibling? Our embryo adoptions failed. Four beautiful human beings at the very earliest of their lives were simply not to be. The grief and guilt was immeasurable, yet most people didn't even know we had tried, so life had to go on as if nothing had happened. And we began to ask, what if the dream of being a family of four or five or six is also not to be? What if three is our number? Can we accept that? Can our son? But suddenly...
We were chosen. Can this be real? We were CHOSEN! We were asked to become parents again through adoption. Not by an agency, but by someone we know and care for. By one of the bravest and most amazing young ladies I have ever met. A wonderful, spectacular opportunity for an open adoption, and the possibility of finally feeling our family is complete. Wow!
So we are expecting! But we're not. Because we haven't really done those "expectant parent" tasks? Well, partly. We're definitely excited...but cautiously so. We're definitely making plans...along with contingency plans. But mainly it's for a different, really important reason: this baby girl is not ours yet. She can't be, legally. Yes, every plan is in place. Every sign points toward this dream coming true. But that sweet baby girl will not truly be ours unless--and until--her mother chooses to release her with love into our lives and into our family, after she has been born.
But we announce happily to the world that we are expecting a baby girl in March! We ask for prayers for her mother, as she continues to journey toward giving her baby life in this world. We fervently hope that they both--along with the rest of their family--become a forever part of OUR family. And yet we honor the fact that this choice is hers alone, and it's not one that she can truly make at this point. And we pledge to surround her with love no matter the result. So we're expecting ... but we're not.
Hi! I'm Lyn and this is where I blog about family, health, workouts, nutrition, meditation, relaxation & life in general. But it's not all about me--it's about inspiring healthy changes in other people's lives.
"...the only gift I wanted was to take back my health and reclaim my body."