It has been over a month since we became “active” with our agency! We haven’t heard anything from them, so it’s safe to assume that our profile hasn’t been shown to any expectant mothers yet. It is finally fall here in Texas, and we're actually having more fall-like weather than normal, which has been wonderful! The leaves aren't changing much yet, so there's still a little while before winter comes.
Mainly we have been acting like we’re not really “expecting” at all, which is in keeping with advice I have read many places online – to live your life as normally as possible, not putting off any plans because you *might* have a baby at some undetermined time in the future. We are being given a shower by a friend and my mom next month, so that we will be prepared with all the necessary (and unnecessary!) gear that you need to raise a baby, and we are looking forward to that. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned before that we were hoping to have a shower before we were matched with an expectant mother so that the gifts are not “attached” to a child which may or may not come home with us. We are looking forward to celebrating with our family and friends the fact that we WILL be parents in the future, and that future is hopefully not too far away.
I have also been reading some books on parenting and baby care & development, such as The Baby Book by Dr. William Sears & his wife, Martha, an R.N. I have also been reading a book on attachment parenting, as well as The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. These are all giving me some good things to think about, and I’m hoping Tyler will peruse them a bit, too, so that we can both know what to expect and fill in the knowledge gaps of the other parent a bit. ;)
I might get down to business and *finally* finish painting the dresser for Baby Dawson’s nursery this weekend, and we might paint the room, as well. If we get around to it, I will definitely post pictures!
Until next time, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, as well as all the mothers out there deciding whether to parent their baby or to choose an adoptive family!
So remember how I said I wanted to find a way to blog our “paper pregnancy”, since so many bloggers follow a weekly update template when expecting their little bundles of joy? I have spent the last week or so brainstorming ways that I could simulate that for an adoption wait, and yesterday I finally came to a conclusion. Waiting for a baby to come home via adoption is NOTHING LIKE waiting for a baby to be born. There is no timeline in which this may or may not happen, unlike in a pregnancy, where 99% of the time you can know within a few weeks when your baby will be born. You also know that when you give birth to that child, it is 100% yours, no matter what.
In an open adoption, you first must wait for a birth mother to be interested in your profile. Then you will meet in person (which I’m guessing is more awkward than any blind date in history). Then you will wait on pins and needles to hear if she has chosen you to parent her baby. Then you have to wait for the baby to be born, and finally for the birth mother (and possibly the birth father) to sign their relinquishment of parental rights, which will occur no sooner than 48 hours after the birth of the baby. Sometimes, the birth family decides to parent their child rather than placing him or her with an adoptive family. Nothing is certain in adoption until those papers are signed, and things still aren’t legally finalized until at least 6 months from the date of placement.
As you can see, there is a lot of uncertainty and very little control for prospective adoptive parents until the child comes home with them. This is the reality I am facing, and it is not one I would have ever dreamed of 5 years ago when Tyler and I decided to expand our family. I longed for a positive pregnancy test, the physical changes that accompany impending motherhood, birth, and breastfeeding. Instead I will continue to pray for my future child, as well as for the woman who will make his or her existence possible. I can only hope that our day to be parents will come soon, but I also know that when that moment comes, it will be tinged with sadness for the birth family as they go home with empty arms.
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”. - Jeremiah 29:11
Posted by GnomeSweetGnome at 8:26 PM