Adoption is filled with highs and lows. Sometimes navigating the path of adoption can leave you feeling like you’re on the ride of your life. You know, I’ve never been a fan of roller coasters.
1. Deciding to Adopt
Beginning the process of adoption is filled with all the emotions of hope, longing, and the beautiful fulfillment of (for me) a lifelong dream of being a mother. My hubby wasn’t exactly on board for about the first 15 or so years that I would bring up adoption, so the day he finally said yes, I ran with it. You have the exhilaration of the beginning of a wonderful voyage and the frustration of researching the best avenue for your family.
2. The Home Study Process
Once you have filled out reams and reams of paper, you will finally have a home visit. You’ll clean like a madman, and you’ll need the adrenaline and good vibes to get you through that. Once the social workers leave you’ll begin to worry that the back hall closet wasn’t organized just right and that maybe your hair will make you the wrong kind of mom. Sounds preposterous, right? Welcome to the roller coaster.
3. The Matching Process
Depending on what type of adoption you pursue, and what agency you choose, there will be some safeguards in place. We decided ahead of time that we were worried about certain types of exposure and wanted to be asked whether we were shown to a prospective birth mom. Just knowing that there’s a possibility of a baby out there for you, it’s the best feeling in the world. And you will be on Cloud 9. Once you start processing all the information, whether you feel you can take on two sets of twins, work full time, find daycare for them, and your three-year-old son and their special needs, you’ll feel the soaring highs and the despairing lows realizing that perhaps five kids ages 3 and under is a bit much.
4. Saying No
For us, this was the ultimate difficulty. Knowing that we just didn’t live in an area with enough resources, that we were only two people with too little experience, and a young son to consider as well. Knowing that you just aren’t the right parents for a certain little one after numerous calls to your pediatrician, therapists, experienced friends. The guilt nearly killed us every time.
5. The Match and Placement
There is no high as high as knowing that you have been chosen to parent a child. Whether matched with a birth mother, or by a social worker with a toddler you never knew you needed, it’s a beautiful day. The joy of knowing that you have a very short time to prepare for the arrival of your child. Buying an entire nursery in a matter of a day to make sure you’ll be ready for this new little one. Pulling out bins and bins of clothes, not knowing what size you’ll need, to make sure this little guy feels safe and loved. Then that magical day when you see his or her face for the first time. Knowing that the path to you has been paved in heartache but the happiness of home lies ahead. Holding them, feeding them, every single first you can think of. It is the ultimate culmination of fear, trepidation, joy, ignorant bliss.