Sunday, January 22, 2012

While We Wait

We completed our last interview on March 21st, less than two months after the information meeting we attended.  With the interviews completed, all that was left to do was wait for our approval.  There were a few items on our to do list while we waited.  Once we received our approval, we could potentially receive a baby any day.  So although we were in a waiting period, we felt an urgency to prepare ourselves and others for some possible quick life changes.

One of the first things we did once all of our family and close friends had been informed was to send out a letter informing the people in our life that provide endless support for us.  Yes, a letter.  Envelope.  Stamp.  Snail mail.  There is a tangibility that a letter provides that is lost in email.  I wanted people to feel the importance of our news.  I wanted them to leave it on their kitchen island for a few days and remember that we were adopting every time they walked past it.  I wanted them to lose the letter in a pile of bills and find it a month later and be reminded of our good news.  Email can't do that.  When was the last time you read an email from a month ago?  It's probably under one hundred other items in your Inbox.  Our letter not only informed people about our good news, but also made them aware of the financial need we were facing.  Though we didn't ask anyone directly for money, we believe that if you provide others with information and knowledge, either they will help or will find others who can.  We didn't immediately see any money as a result of this letter, but there was comfort in knowing that the most important people in my life know what's going on and are praying for us and our future baby.

Even though we were now able to tell people the best news of our life, I felt exposed.  I had been so private for so long about wanting a baby.  When I told people, "We're going to adopt a baby,"  I felt like what I was really saying was "I can't get pregnant," which was true, but still so sad for me.  Here I am delivering such wonderful news, and inwardly I'm still mourning a loss.  In that moment of vulnerability for me, I'll never forget those who responded with such grace.  I had one coworker who was so sincerely happy for me she wept when I told her our news.  What a sweet moment to share tears with someone.  I had another coworker who said she had been praying for years that God would bless us with a child, not knowing a bit of what we were going through.  The most rejoicing came from those who I expected it the least.  Jaws dropped on some and others squealed, but people were unanimously happy for us.  I chose to get over my self-consciousness and be grateful for the supportive people God had put in my life.  And so what if they were thinking, "Oh, Amanda can't get pregnant, and that's why they're adopting."  No one cared that I couldn't get pregnant.  They were so happy for the adoption.

I found that in general people were very unfamiliar with the adoption process.  Most people were more familiar with fostering to adopt and international adoption.  Domestic infant adoption was a mystery for most.  I usually just answered whatever questions someone had and figured they were okay with the rest of the unknown, rather than bombard them with all the information I stored in my back pocket.  We also found that  no one felt the urgency to prepare like Chris and me.  I wouldn't expect them to, but it left Chris and I wondering what to do about all that stuff we had on our registry.

I suppose we could have had a shower upon our approval, but there's that feeling of "We might not use this stuff for another year... or we might need it next month."  There was no known due date, yet practical me is feeling internal pressure to prepare.  I had spoken with other approved adoptive moms, and many of them had this feeling of emptiness walking past a furnished nursery that lacked a baby. I just couldn't relate.  I don't know how many times I asked Chis if we were crazy for buying items from our registry.  I was always on the Babies R Us website finding sales and deals.  "Chris, our sterilizer is on sale this week, and I have a coupon."
"Go ahead and get it."
Two weeks later, another sale and he said, "Go ahead and get it."
I slowly was filling the baby's closet with bottles, pacifiers, burp cloths, changing pad covers, water proof pads, and the occasional toy.  I would ask my friend, "Am I crazy?"
"No, you're being practical."
Before I knew it, I had a fully furnished nursery.  All that was lacking were the bigger items {stroller, car seat, swing, high chair}.  Oh, and $19,000.  It was the end of May.  No approval yet, but we were ready to be handed a baby.

More to come,

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