What, if, and when?

We were watching a movie the other night when we got a call from a number in California that we didn’t recognize. It turned out to just be a call from work, but for a split second I thought it might be our adoption case worker calling to tell us we had been chosen by a birthmother. I got really excited, imagining what it will be like to get that phone call–the phone call that will change our lives forever.

I felt silly immediately for thinking that, because it has only been about a month. Way too fast. And then I felt a sense of relief because I realized that while we are emotionally ready for that call, we are materially unprepared at this point. The question is: when should we get prepared, like buying-a-crib-and-decorating-the-nursery prepared?


I have no idea. Part of me wants to wait until we get the phone call about a birthmother match, because the last thing I want to do is look at an empty nursery for an unknown length of time. Plus, it feels like buying a bunch of baby stuff could jinx the whole thing in some way. There is so much uncertainty about the process that I’m at a loss for when to accept it as reality.

After checking out a few other adoption blogs and websites devoted to the topic, one thing became clear: everyone approaches it differently. Some people are prepared from day one. Ready to go. Others don’t do anything until the baby is home. Some have a baby shower during the wait or after the match but before the birth. Others wait until the baby is at home or on the way to have a shower in order to avoid disappointment. “A watched pot never boils,” is what they always say. So, does that mean a watched nursery never becomes occupied?

The other side of the story

With all of our initial paperwork, home study and profile signed, sealed and delivered, we have nothing to do now but wait. And with waiting, comes a lot of time to think. Unlike a pregnancy, we’re not sure what is going to happen next–or when. But if the typical timeline our agency advised us of rings true, somewhere out there the birthmother who will eventually choose us to parent her child may be finding out she’s pregnant soon. This thought conjures up mixed emotions in me.

At first, I only thought about it from our perspective. So, of course, it is exciting–our baby may actually exist as I write this! That’s something I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to say, and it makes Jamie and I so happy to think that in 9 months or less, we could be bringing home our baby.

But this adoption is not just about us and our feelings. There’s another side to the story. Unfortunately, the discovery that our birthmother is pregnant is (most likely) not going to be a happy or positive event for her. In fact, it’s probably going to be terrifying and met with regret, shame, and fear. I can’t help but feel for her and the confusion and pain she is, or will be, feeling in the months ahead. What will be an extremely joyful event for Jamie and I is going to be the most difficult thing she may ever go through. And I can’t help but also feel sadness for our unborn baby, whose life at first will not be welcomed or celebrated by the woman carrying him (or her)adoption-reality.

So, alongside our joy there is also sorrow at the thought of the heartache that will be endured by our birthmother and–who knows–maybe at some primal level, by our baby too. There is nothing I can do but hope she, whoever she is and wherever she may be, finds comfort. I hope she has someone to talk to, someone who will be there for her with a shoulder to cry on and an encouraging word. I hope she does not have to go through this alone and that she finds peace by choosing adoption. I wish I could be a friend to her; to reassure her that her child will be loved and cherished and cared for always and that she’s making the right choice.

I think–I hope–I will eventually get a chance to be that friend to her. But for now all I can do is wait, keep her in my thoughts, and hope that our baby will somehow know that while his biological mother may not be ready for him, his adoptive mother is. And that I have loved and wanted him from the very beginning.

The search for our baby is on!

AdoptionisnewpregnantWe are officially “active” adoptive-parents-to-be – our profile has been printed and shipped to the agency and is now being shown to prospective birthmothers who match our criteria! Now, when a birthmother is sure she wants to put her baby up for adoption (her and her family have gone through counseling and been vetted by the agency) she may get to see our little 12-page profile book (along with a stack of others).

I think the coolest thing about open adoption is that the birthmother chooses the adoptive family and isn’t matched up based on a wait list or something meaningless. And when someone chooses us, we get a chance to find out who she is, and the birth father too hopefully, and decide if the situation is right for our family. Hopefully sometime soon, the right birthmother will relate to something in our profile and will decide that we are the best family to raise her baby–and we will agree. They say the average time from now is six months for a match. Could be less. Could be more.

We’ll just have to wait and see!