Friday, May 28, 2010

No News is...No News

We are still waiting to find out if the other family will pursue adoption of the baby we inquired about. It's been two weeks since we sent our request, so today I sent a little follow-up e-mail. I don't want to be "that adoptive couple," the ones who feel entitled and are always asking questions and just won't get out of the way. I prefer to let things happen and not be too much trouble for anyone. After all, if this baby will be adopted by the other family, it will do no good if I'm being a total pain in the neck. We love our agency, and the last thing I want to do is cause extra headaches. At the same time, I want to confirm that we are still very interested in viewing the information if Little Miss is still waiting on her people. We could totally be her people! You know, if she needs some people. But if she no longer needs some people, that's fine too! We are easy to please!


I would be lying if I said that waiting like this is a piece of cake. It is much easier to be a number on a list than to be wondering about one child in particular, knowing that the entire course of our lives could be changed by this one little face. I really was doing fine with waiting otherwise; it's only been four months, after all. But this kind of waiting? Well, it's harder. That's really all there is to say about it.

In the meantime, we are continuing with projects and acquisition of nursery furnishings. I've got an envelope of cash with a short list on it headed to IKEA this weekend, and a can of white paint waits for me in the basement. Once all is said and done, there will be a sweet little side table painted white with bird paper Mod-Podged onto it, and an espresso colored table/shelf type thing will also be white. I initially was going to do a mixture of white and brown furnishings, but the walls are deep blue, and I'm putting up this fabric (in light yellow--the birds with cages) on one wall as wallpaper, so I feel like the furnishings really need to be on the bright side. Besides, there's just something about white and blue together...see what I mean?

blue and white

I'm excited to see the nursery gradually come together. By mid-June we'll have someone heading to IKEA for our larger items (crib and dresser), and then it will just be a little bit of work and the gradual plucking of things off our Amazon baby registry. Regardless of when we actually put a baby in there, I love the feeling that comes with completing a project, and it will feel good to have the bulk of it done.

Monday, May 17, 2010


In January I enrolled in a course called Mondo Beyondo. The kind of good it did me is hard to quantify, but mostly it allowed me to believe in my dreams in a different way than I'd believed in them before. In fact, one of the very first exercises is one of the things that has helped me most through our adoption process. In the exercise, we were provided a sheet to print out that had all sorts of affirmations on it (things like "You have everything you need to begin" and "Something greater is holding you") in little rectangles that we were encouraged to cut apart and put in a bowl somewhere that we would see it. One rectangle was left blank for each participant to fill in with something that should be remembered and affirmed. On my blank rectangle, I wrote, "Everything is happening in the right way at the right time." I've shuffled through the affirmations from time to time, but that one is the one always on top; it proved to be of infinite value to me as I navigated the end of the paper chase and the beginning of waiting and, frankly, chasing more paper (oh, I do love filling out grant applications--you know I do!). Every time something comes up that isn't as I'd prefer it to be, I look at that little slip of paper at the top of the bowl, and I remember that. I repeat it under my breath. And I believe it. In my core, I am absolutely certain this is true.

As most of you know by now, Jarod and I are open to adopting a child with special needs. We are realistic about what we can and can't handle, but we are very open. On Friday evening after work, I checked the waiting child list and there was a baby on it whose needs were definitely something we could handle. I sent the request to review her information immediately. And then today I came down with a case of Adoption OCD while I waited to hear if we were the only family interested, or if someone else would get the information first. I kept close watch over my e-mail. I took my cell phone with me into the bathroom. I skipped a stop at Marshall's so I could get home and check my e-mail sooner. And then I got word that, yes, another family had inquired about this baby, and that we were second in line. I was disappointed. I'd looked at her sweet face all weekend long and hoped and hoped and hoped. And then it wasn't meant to be, at least not today. The chances that the other family will choose not to adopt this baby are slim. She's probably not our Magnolia.

It's a bummer for sure. But then I look at that bowl on the counter, and I remember that we are waiting not in line, but on the right things to happen at the right time. Today wasn't the right time. And I'm okay with that.

Another thing I took away from class was that to have dreams fulfilled, I must move in the direction of those dreams. To be honest, I'd been slacking a little bit in that department--letting some grant paperwork slide, not getting quite as much money into our savings as I'd planned. And while there were legitimate reasons for both the paperwork and the lack of funds being funneled directly into the adoption account, the truth is that I could have made adjustments to make things work out. If anything, staring into the face of a baby that just might have been ours was the kick in the rear I needed to remember to proceed with gusto in the direction of this dream.

Thanks, Mondo Beyondo.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Better Mother

I'm pretty sure we are number thirty-nine on the wait list now, and I am earnestly diving into projects to have our house in order for Miss Baby Lady (who will have a thousand nicknames, I'm sure). We are excited, and hopeful, but also somber. One thing I do not want to forget is that this is not an ideal situation for our daughter. We wish that adoption weren't the best option in some circumstances. We wish that tragedies didn't occur every single day that would lead parents to be unable to care for their children. We wish that our baby wouldn't be arriving already having lost so much. In light of these wishes, we purpose to do whatever we can to be the kind of parents who will always listen, always soothe, never judge harshly, never shrink away from whatever our daughter may feel about her beginnings and becoming part of our family. The way we see it, she will always have two families. Always. Before she belongs to us, she belongs to her first family, and her story will include both.

I am grateful for all the adult adoptees who have written, and continue to write, about their experiences. I am grateful for their honesty and their openness. There is so much I never would have considered that I now seek to better understand, so much that is glossed over in the excitement of bringing home a beautiful baby. These adoptees are courageous and well spoken and just who I need to hear from. They are making me into a better mother, and I am indebted to them. Thank you for sharing your stories, your wounds, your path to healing. It means the world to me.
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