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