Hi friends, family, and future baby,
It has been a year and a half since we applied to our agency, and 6 months as an official waiting family.
These past two weeks. I was going to write these weeks have been hard or challenging, but that robs all the wonderful moments from their deserved moment in the sun. In these past two weeks, John found out about some vaccines that were going to waste 40 minutes away and got his first Moderna shot. In these past two weeks, I reunited with my class for our final quarter after our 5 year journey and began the tender process of sharing memories and treasuring moments. In these past two weeks, we reconnected with family over Easter, danced in the kitchen, finished the Sopranos series, and savored the sunlight.
Waiting was hard these past two weeks. Even that sentence isn’t quite right. The weeks began with a phone check-in with our social worker. We decided to redo our video that is shown to families considering an adoption plan. I’ve been uncomfortable with out video since we made it, so that decision was a relief. We’ll need to film the new video in Lancaster the week of our wedding anniversary. We decided to make an overnight trip out of it. That’s pretty joyful and fortunate.
We attended a Birth Parent Panel hosted by our agency. Three parents who made adoption plans for their children shared about their experiences. One father placed his son three years ago. One mother placed her daughter eleven years ago, another mother placed her son thirteen years ago. Each parent cried throughout the evening, the emotions still so raw and painful. Each parent explained why they made the choice they did, all three reasons were unique and interesting, but it almost felt as though they needed to justify their choice to us. As if we were arbiters of forgiveness or approval when, as adopting families their pain is exactly what brings us our joy. We should have nothing other than gratitude and respect to offer back.
I left that discussion struck by the depths of their sorrow and filled with gratitude that we chose the agency we did. Each parent thanked the agency multiple times. In their 3, 11, and 13 year journey since placing their child, the agency has stayed with them, supporting them. he agency has been there not only to help manage their grief and support the relationship with their child and adoptive family, but also to help them navigate life and find their feet. We chose this agency specifically because we wanted to work with an ethical agency that supports birth families. That is hard to find in the adoption industry and I am so grateful we made thus choice.
However, part of being an ethical agency that supports expecting and birth families means it’s harder as a potential adopting family. As it should be, but sometimes hard is hard.
Another thing we learned on our call with our social worker is that even though birth and adoption rates are currently going down, our agency is still accepting new families seeking to adopt. Other agencies will put a cap on Waiting Families so that they aren’t waiting too long, their odds of being placed increases. Our agency prioritizes birth and expecting families. They should have as many families to choose for their child as possible. Their odds of finding a perfect match should increase. This is right, but it’s hard.
Last Sunday we got an email about a little boy who had just been born the day before. He was incredibly healthy, his mom was healthy, and she very much wanted to place him right away. We had an hour to respond and say if we were willing to be shown to her. We said yes. And waited. For 24 hours, my phone never left my side. Not a second went by without the awareness we might get a call, find out we’ve been chosen and need to immediately jump in a car, pick up a sweet baby, and change our lives forever. Not a second went by without the awareness that we wouldn’t picked. While I was teaching Monday morning, I got the alert. We weren’t chosen.
It’s hard for me to have the experience of “not being chosen”. I believe we will be matched with the child that is meant to be in our family. Logically this means “rejection is protection”. We need to be rejected so we are read for our child when the time comes. It’s difficult for me to not see rejection as rejection. We were viewed and determined not right. The only thing in our control is a ten page booklet and a video. Did I make the booklet wrong? Did I write the wrong words? Do I look sad in that picture? Are we too old? Are we not special enough? Our social worker lovingly hinted that I might be over-thinking things. Of course she’s right. That’s what I do.
It’s easy for me to focus on the light in the distance. I see it so brightly in others, in John, in our agency. It’s hard to stop the darkness of doubt when looking inward. These past two weeks. They’ve been a journey.
One thought on “Waiting and Doubting”
Oh Katrina, “hard IS hard”! And as you know, there are no shortcuts around processing these sad emotions if you’re going to live your truth and live fully.
I so admire both of your courage, embarking on this journey. I hope that by sharing the pain and the joy with your community, it helps lift you up on the really hard days. I am crying tears for you both now as you move through the sadness of not being chosen (this time), but I know that in the future I’ll be crying tears of joy when your precious child joins your family.
Sending hugs and light ❤️Xo