Friday, March 6, 2015

thoughts on the adoption process

I'm just wondering if any of you ladies who have adopted, or are in the process, or are even just thinking about it, have had a thought like this:

"I don't want to adopt. I want to be a mother."

This popped into my mind this week after we received some very helpful but very, very thorough (!) feedback on our adoption fundraising letter from some close friends. I am super grateful that they took a lot of time and put a lot of thought into examining our letter, and I think in the end their suggestions are going to strengthen it a lot.

BUT as they were giving us edits - "shorten this, expand this, move this here or there" - I was starting to feel really exasperated with the whole project. It was one of those moments where it felt immensely unfair that in order to be a mother, I have to be good at writing fundraising letters!!! Ugh.

I mean, of course it is ultimately up to God! He will bring us our children one way or another, even if our fundraising letter is awful.

But seriously, the skills needed to adopt are not necessarily the skills needed to be a good mother! To adopt, to just get through the process with some efficiency and without going into major debt, we need to be organized, write a fantastic fundraising appeal letter, set up a decent looking website, be vulnerable to friends, family, and strangers alike, be articulate about our life story, jump through hoop after hoop after hoop. And so on.

For goodness sakes, we even had to move in order to adopt!

Sigh. I really want to be a mom, and since biological motherhood has not happened and is not looking super promising, I am very glad to have the option of adoption. But I wish oh so much that I could skip over the whole adoption process and just get to the motherhood part!! Or at least the baby registry and nursery decorating part.

The best analogy I can think of is with wedding planning and getting married. For the most part, I enjoyed planning our wedding. The anticipation of the big day brought me a lot of joy, and it was a great bonding experience with the family and friends that helped us with the logistics and were so generous with their time. But there were definitely moments - especially towards the end - when I was just so sick of thinking about centerpieces and the wedding day schedule and the seating plan and I just wanted to get married already! After all, that's the real deal. The planning is just a means to that end, and thank God it doesn't last forever!

Thinking about adopting in that way gives me some perspective. The adoption process is a means to the end of becoming parents. An important and necessary means, but not the end goal. It's a process, and it is painful at times, but it is not going to last forever. And I don't want to waste too much energy complaining about how we have to do this while so many other people don't. This is the path we're on, and complaining won't change that. (But it does feel cathartic every now and again...!)