As we close in on the 4-month mark in our time on the waiting list, I have to say this. Having experienced both the 2-week wait in trying to get pregnant MANY times and now having experienced almost a half a year of waiting in the adoption process, the adoption wait is proving to be much more difficult.
Sometimes, it's torture.
With treatments, it was a constant cycle. Yes, I'd wait for two weeks and the end result was always negative, but at least I could be hopeful again in the two weeks that followed the negative. With adoption, there is nothing to lift you back up (unless you get a phone call). There's not a room full of doctors encouraging you - yes, this could be your month! Things look awesome! There's just . . . silence.
With treatments, you KNOW what your odds are. You know how the situation looks. You know how many eggs, or chances, you have. With adoption, you have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. You pay a shitload of money to sit there and hope that the agency is doing its job and working as hard as possible to put you out there in hopes that someone will choose you.
With treatments, you're constantly doing something. If it's not charting and temping, it's going in for scans and blood work. It's taking pills, giving yourself shots, timing, or monitoring your diet. With adoption, there's nothing to keep you busy. There's no regimen to follow. You're just out there on your own - floating. As much as I look forward to graduating with my master's degree at the end of next month, I fear what will happen when I don't have homework to fill my free time.
With treatments, as much as I wasn't in control, I felt more in control than I do now. Taking those pills and giving myself those shots MADE me in control. Now, I'm helpless. And for someone who craves order, this is a difficult feeling to swallow. Not only was I able to have some control over the process, I was also able to control what came next. Like many infertility patients, I was always researching the next "fork in the road" - the next step in the process. Now there is no next step. This is it. The end of the road. It's this or child-free living. If something happens, we're scammed out of money or we fork out too much in birth mother expenses for a failed adoption, that's it for us. There's nothing left to plan for.
I think the worst part, though, is the loneliness. I never felt completely alone when we were going through infertility treatments. There were dozens of women, whether on blogs, on Twitter, or in person, going through cycles at the exact same time. We would over analyze symptoms, bitch about pregnancies, and provide each other with the much-needed support that a negative beta requires.
And now? Well, most of those women are busy with babies and toddlers. Occasionally, there's a "new round" of infertiles, and then even they get pregnant. There are very few people going through the adoption process alongside us. It can be an isolating feeling. A feeling that will probably exist for the remainder of this wait.
However long this wait lasts.
Disclaimer: I'm not undermining the difficulty of waiting during IF treatments. I'm simply writing about my own, personal experience and emotions.