Monday, June 11, 2012

distancing and disconnecting

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.

15 comments:

missohkay said...

You're so right. I always thought I could be detached enough to assess situations but when there's a BABY! that could be YOURS! it's so much more difficult than I imagined. The waiting does suck, but I do believe your child will find you just like you said! <3

Shannon said...

i think this is very inciteful as i too have been finding myself at this very crossroad many times lately. although we are by no means as far along in this journey, i often find myself reevaluating the 'at all costs'scenario. its smart and i commend your strength.

Emily said...

We're not at the stage where we're pursuing adoption yet, but this is the very same thing I was thinking about just last night. You're absolutely right that we all have to be honest with ourselves about what we can and can't handle. It doesn't make you a bad person in any way if a particular situation isn't the right one for you. I believe you will be matched with the baby you're supposed to have, and you'll know when it's right. I really hope you get chosen soon!

Alex said...

Great post. I've thought a lot about this. Part of what scares me about adoption is this. I don't trust myself to say no to so many situations. And I think a big part of it is my history - I was adopted at age 4 - after a lot of bad history. I was very difficult to adopt, and I think my mom was desperate, which caused her to say yes. And in retrospect, it probably was not a good idea. We obviously made it work, but I don't think I could, or should, do the same thing - take in a child that I may not be able to take care of in the best way possible. But how hard it must be to say no to situations like that!

I'm very impressed with your patience, and your decision-making process. I know it must be so hard to say no, but I know you're doing the right thing for you, and your family. Thanks for sharing this.

Patience said...

Thank you for sharing this post. We've had to make some of those hard choices ourselves. I'm still questioning myself on a few of them. Here's hoping that both of us are able to make the "right" choice very soon!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Beautiful post and such important advice that I think extends beyond adoption. It is so important to respect your limits, to not get swept up in the now but to look forward.

Lavender Luz said...

You are very wise: "make sure you are always honest with yourself. Know what you can handle and know what you can't."

We had a similar situation come up in which we had to opt in...or not (http://drama2bmama.blogspot.com/2009/12/meaghans-baby.html). It was one of the most agonizing parts of our journey.

Abiding with you as you wait. Bravo for knowing yourselves.

Trisha said...

So, so true. We actually made a list before we got "knee deep" in the process so our emotions wouldn't take over when situations came up. Your perfect baby is out there; I know because mine found me! The waiting does stink but the end result is well worth it! Hang in there!

S.I.F. said...

I can't even imagine how difficult it must be, and I would be lying if I said I don't live in fear sometimes of the day adoption is in frotn of me, because I just don't know... I mean, how do you really know what you can and can't handle, when all you really want is to be a mommy? Thinking of you lady, and hoping your baby finds their way to you soon.

theonehandman said...

It is so interesting reading about adoption in the US, and your story particularly, there are many differences, but you have touched upon many aspects that are the same as well, especially in your feelings toward adoption - very well written - thanks

It Is What It Is said...

Such a well stated, balanced post and one that applies beyond adoption but is so apropos for adoption. In 15 months, we were never presented with any scenarios but I did often think of how things might play out and we were clear with what would and would not fit for us. Certainly, there is a lot of grey area to any given situation, but clarity is key.

Bravo, and hoping the child you are meant to have finds you sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

As much as it would be unfair to you, it would also be unfair to that baby. You are smart to know your limits and stick to your guns.

You are going to be a great mom, I know it for a fact. :)

xo from your adoption cheerleader

erika said...

The matching process is not easy. You have to make the right decision for the whole family (including new baby) and there are so many factors to consider. I wholeheartedly wish your child may arrive very soon. You are doing the right thing. I wish there would be ways to make this process easier, emotionally.

Anonymous said...

WE have been considering adoption and we have two biological kids. I think it is a very smart thing to consider the genetics of the child you are bringing home. THat is my biggest fear, to be honest. I am afraid of bringing home a child who will one day give me a ton of pain - via alcoholism, mental illness,etc. I know this is just not for us and this child will not easily fit into our family. For these reasons, I don't think we will be adopting.

learning patience having hope said...

I have just found you blog and am reading between tears...thank you for sharing your story, you are so strong. I am battling infertility the second time around it has been a difficult path and we are beginning to consider adoption. I really appreciate you honesty in the situation...you have helped me a great deal. michelle