So, apparently we do adoptions like we do pregnancies: closely spaced, back to back.
That's right. Another call has come in. I still feel like I'm realing from the last one, and, now... More decisions, more thoughts, more pain, more joy. At least less hiding the info, I suppose, which is similar to how we told Nicholas & Sophia's news, hid Alexander's, then told (fearfully) Bobby and Maya's. Maybe things come in threes...
As you may recall, Peter and I initially had our paperwork, etc, done because we do some work with a pregnancy crisis center. That was how the first adoption 'referral' (I know it's not the correct word, but I cant really think of another) came our way. When that one fell through at the end of June, we were contacted by a friend in September, hence the recent adoption that fell through. Shortly after, we were asked if the Center could keep us in its portfolio listing, in the event parents decided on adoption and wanted the Center to help faciliate a private adoption.
Peter was more comfortable with that than I was, to be honest. My initial feelings were that I was done. I needed a break. My heart was hurting. I didnt want to go through trying to talk to Bobby and Maya about a baby only to have to tell them that no baby was coming. I didnt want to have things prepared only to have to put them away and get them out of sight. I didnt want the anxiety of waiting and waiting only to have the hurt of something that wasnt meant to be.
All this being said, we both have positive feelings about the first adoption referral that didnt work out; that scenario ended as it should have. We are so thrilled that the mother kept her baby and is doing extremely well. We get updates and it really warms my heart to think that we had some part in that, small though it was. She chose not to abort because she knew we'd be there; she chose to parent because she realized that she could and that she had support and real choices before her for education, housing, parenting help, etc. It's great. I'm happy. The hurt was WELL worth it. This last adoption fall through, I cant say that about. It still hurts. Am I happy that the child will grow up with his or her biological family? That they wont have questions about that aspect of their lives? Yes. I think that's a good thing. And am I hopeful that his/her mother really had a change of heart when she realized that we werent coming to the hospital? Truly, I am hopeful of that. I pray for it. But I dont know it and, because I dont, I worry... And my heart hurts. I'm trying, one day at a time, to 'give it to God' as is the phrase, but it still hurts. And I'm still afraid. But I am hopeful, truly I am.
So, the Center... Can they keep us in the portfolio... My intial thought was no, Peter's was yes. So, we talked about it. Because the one thing we know for sure about any major decision is that we need to be on the same page. And ultimately, we decided that yes, they could keep us... Until our homestudy expires in the summer. And then, we wanted to be removed. Not forever, but for a while... For a break... For our hearts, to focus on our family and our endeavers... A much needed family building vacation. While I may not have been physically pregnant in 2011, it's still a year where there were child possibilities- and we've had that since 2007. So, since we are ready on paper AND since we truly believe we didnt start this journey last year for no reason at all (although I kind of assumed the entire reason was so that P would feel like she could, indeed, parent her child and that our saying "yes" gave her time to meditate on that decision and find that answer), we opted to stay on the list... For now...
Last week, I had a call from the Center. A call that, honestly, even though I said that we were okay keeping our info in the portfolio, I wasnt expecting. On so many fronts. A young couple with a toddler already is due on Easter Sunday... And they picked our profile out of the portfolio. They share a lot of information with us, which may be one of the reasons they picked us. They are young (19) and engaged (Peter and I were married when I was a teenager and he was barely not). Ethnically, he is part Native American (my mom is Cherokee) and she is part Puerto Rican (Peter's mom is). And they liked that I am adopted. There may be more, but this was the information they shared. They are due on Easter Sunday- as in 3 months from now- with a little girl. They would like an open adoption so that the child knows she is adopted and has a sister, so that, as she is older, the sisters could know one another. I'm sorry- did I mention April 8th? As in, 3 months away? Slightly less?
I have to be honest, when she first said it to me (the whole thing), my first thought was "You have got to be kidding me". I mean, there are other families in that portfolio. They picked ours? And right after this failed adoption?
Peter and I have had quite a few talks. There is definitely a part of us that is afraid of getting caught up in the cycle again. A part that is afraid of being ready for another child that is never going to be. But, the one thing that helps in this situation is the knowledge that this scenario is what we are okay with... That we went into working with the Center knowing that the ultimate goal is parent-child staying together. That's why we have the programs that help provide education and housing, and the meetings that provide baby products. That's why the Center works so hard to help parents become good parents. So, in that vein, saying "yes" only to have "no" present itself is the right thing to happen.
Doesnt mean it is easy.
Because it's not.
For us, part of saying yes is giving that child the same that we would give a child I found out I was pregnant with. It means giving our prayers and thoughts and love. It means preparing our hearts for growth as new parents. With that love comes the risk of great loss... But it's a part of the journey. It always is. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that. And, at least with this loss, there is the knowledge that the baby doesnt lose out... They still have a family to love them and care for them, it just isnt us.
We've decided to go through with it. If the parents decide to parent, then we will ask that the Center take us out of the portfolio (and we'll start our 'rest' a little earlier than the summer).
This week, we are due to craft a list of things we are okay with in the sense of "open adoption", for the parents to review and consider. That part wont be hard; Peter and I are firm advocates of extreme openness (unless it is detrimental to the child)... And then, there's the initial paperwork... And discussion of the birth, being at the hospital or an agreed upon location, etc... Here we go again.
Dont tell anyone, but I'm extremely terrified.
Help me, will you? Keep us and B&M, the birthfamily, and this sweet little girl in your prayers and thoughts. Help us to be open to the Universe's plan, whatever that is, and that, no matter what, we'll be able to come through this without too many tears or broken spirits.