Last week, one of my friends at work brought up the adoption process and asked how I was feeling during our wait with this current situation. This was several days after we'd decided to have our profile presented for this current situation and about a day after we declined to have our profile shown to a different expectant mother. I'm very open with everyone about what we've been through and what we're currently going through when it comes to IF/adoption. So when the subject of profiling came up, I didn't hold back in explaining how difficult deciding over each scenario can be.
The past seven months have taught me a lot about patience, and not just in the sense of waiting for "the call." They've also taught me patience in dealing with all of the other phone calls we receive throughout this process. I never expected it to be easy to read about an expectant mother and then make a choice over whether she can or can't look at our profile; yet, I also never expected to get emotional about it. And this is where the other aspect of patience comes into play. It's simple to fall into the trap of desperation - to think, "We've waited so long, we might as well go for it." It's another thing to distance yourself from the situation and then make the decision.
Take for example a "profile" we received last week of an expectant mother. We received it because the situation was so dire, so difficult to place, that the agency was reaching beyond its own PAPs (potential adoptive parents) to find a suitable match. It was an incredibly sad situation. Did I feel for this woman? Yes. Her story was devastating and difficult to read. But I also knew that we would not be able to handle a child with these needs. So we declined to have our profile presented.
Make no mistake: the expectant mother's decision is far more difficult than ours. However, it's not easy trying to decide whether you want to (or can) pursue a situation. I don't think most people realize how emotional trying the process is - especially if you're an emotional person to begin with, or you're enduring the emotional process of infertility. You want a BABY. Trust me, I know this because I want one, too. You are willing to do almost anything to make that happen. Yet there comes a point in time when you have to say no. You have to think with your head just as equally with your heart, weigh the risks and the benefits, and make those tough choices.
What I told my friend at the end of our conversation is what I'll tell all of you - whether you're thinking about adoption or are currently in the waiting process, please make sure you are always honest with yourself. Know what you can handle and know what you can't. Those lines may bend and blur for certain scenarios, and they may not for others. But make sure you set those lines at the beginning.
I want to take home every baby on the planet. But we can't. It's impossible. We can't put ourselves out there for every situation, and if that means we wait longer, then so be it. I'd rather be the last woman in the waiting room and feel comfortable with my decision than feel as though I was forced into something because I didn't want to wait anymore. The waiting sucks. But I'll hold on as long as I can manage, until my child finds me.