Wednesday, March 7, 2007

So Much To Do, So Much To Feel, So Little Time

It's been a while, folks. I know. After the initial "high" of being "picked" the reality of the situation started setting in. Like, how unprepared we are for a baby. Which is funny, of course, because we have spent the last three years trying to have one. But, who knew the adoption thing would happen so fast? I certainly did not. After all the dashed hopes, and all the disappointments of the last couple of years, I will admit, I thought our luck would carry over into adoption territory.

But to bring y'all up to speed: We had our "match meeting" over the phone with the Birthmother, and (briefly) with the Birthfather (who had to run off to work), and our adoption counselor on Feb. 21st. It went pretty well--I was very nervous, and it was hard trying to gain a sense of intimacy with a disembodied voice over the phone. After the match meeting, I sent our Birthmother a card and a gift certificate for Target, so she could do some much needed shopping. In the card, I tried to express our gratitude for her choice of Mister and I as adoptive parents. I tried to go deeper and make a connection that I thought was impossible to make over the phone. I shared with her a little bit about our loss, and how, though I cannot begin to know what she is going through, I do know what it feels like to hope and dream for the child you are carrying, and that I can understand this is a time in her life that is fraught with many difficult and conflicting emotions. In a way, though I've never been in her shoes, I feel myself identifying with her. I seem to be most concerned about her in all of this. I keep hoping she'll be okay, emotionally, after she delivers this child and has to say goodbye.

And that brings me to the other scary part for us: What if she changes her mind? What if she takes one look at that precious baby, and just can't say goodbye?

We flew out to Idaho to meet them last weekend. I haven't felt such stage fright as I did right before they showed up to the hotel. What would they think of us? What would they ask us? What would they be like? Would they regret their decision after seeing us up close and in person? Would they think we were too old? Too boring? Too vanilla? They (Birth Mom and Dad) are little hipsters, after all. And young. When I was 19, I thought everyone over 30 was ancient.

Well, they were absolutely adorable, charming and...what's another word for adorable? They were nervous. I could see Birthfather's hands shaking. We spent most of the day Friday with the two of them, and I think we really got a rapport going. I think that seeing us, getting to know us a little better, made them feel more at peace with this whole process. And, the fact that we are committed to this adoption being fully open, and to letting our child have access to his Birthparents whenever he chooses, made them feel relieved. Especially Birthfather, who seems to feel a bit guilty or ashamed of not being able to provide for his son at this point in his life. They are both very intelligent, sweet, and caring people. Just very young--and don't have it all figured out quite yet. Where was I when I was 19? Certainly in nooooo position to raise a child. We could identify with them. It's not so hard to remember what we were like at their age. At the end of the weekend, we wanted to adopt our Birthmother along with the baby. She's just that wonderful.

So now we're back home, and there's a baby room to get ready, books to read (how many years has it been since I changed a diaper?), paperwork to be filed (more paperwork!), strollers, bottles, car seats, insurance, aggghh!! Not to mention the work stuff I've got to get organized before I have to leave for the birth. And it's not like we fly out for the birth, get the baby, and come right back home--we may have to stay in Idaho for up to 2 weeks for the Interstate Compact thingamajig. *Sigh*. If my clients knew I was going to be gone (let me just say, I work with BRIDES--if that gives you any idea) they would freak out.

And, in the midst of all this whirl-wind, I am realizing, there's not only a lack of time to get everything done and organized, there's a lack of time to feel all the feelings that are popping up at the strangest times. When women get pregnant, they have 9 months to flow through a range of emotions. Emotions that range from excitement, to fear, to ambivalence, and back to excitement. Everyone keeps saying to me, "You must be SO EXCITED!" And, of course, I am. But not every single moment. Sometimes, I'm just annoyed. Annoyed I have to do a crash course into motherhood in 3 weeks, and can't do it like "everybody" else. Sometimes, I'm just in a daze. Most of the time, it doesn't even seem real. After all, it's not like I have a big fat belly reminding me every second that there is a baby on his way. But, I don't want my lack of CONSTANT excitement to make my friends, but most especially my husband, think I'm NOT excited. I just need some time to catch up.

And maybe, just maybe, there's a part of me that is too scared to GET excited. A little voice that says, "Remember what happend the last time you thought you had a baby on the way? Remember what happened the last time you got excited and told everyone and their brother you were expecting a baby? See where that got you?" And, there's no avoiding the fact that the news of this baby came almost exactly one year to the day that we found out we were pregnant. One side of my brain says, "It's a sign that this is meant to be!" The other says, "You fool--this is doomed. Don't get your hopes up."

But, I leave you with this. However it is meant to end up, that's how it will end up. If I've learned anything from 3 years of infertility, it's that I have no control over any of this. I am, of course, hoping for the best. I will, of course, be devistated if it falls through. But, knowing that is a possibility, I am just riding this wave wherever it may take me, and I am not fighting the current. Hopefully, we will all wash ashore safely, Mister, me, and baby boy. Finally, a family.

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