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...!)

+eccefiat+

13 comments:

  1. I love your analogy. I hated wedding planning. Dreaming about my wedding and marriage were great, the actual planning was awful. But it was just a necessary (to some extent) means to the end of marriage. Great way of looking at the adoption process, though I agree catharsis is definitely necessary from time to time :).

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    1. I'm glad someone else got my analogy! :)

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  2. There were many times I just wanted. to. be. done. with. the. stinkin'. paperwork. :) It's so worth it though... before you know it, you'll be waiting for that phone call. And then it comes. And you'll think, "what paperwork?" :)

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    1. Thank you! That is really encouraging. Got to keep my eyes on the prize....and just repeat, "it will be worth it, it will be worth it..."

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  3. Good analogy. I sometimes feel resentful about a the hoops and steps with adoption. The phrase "paper pregnant" that is sometimes associated with adoption is not for me. I know pregnancy has its ups and downs, but the adoption process seems so far removed from that. Its hard to feel excited when the whole process is so emotionally draining and the timeline so unclear. How good u got some helpful feedback.

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    1. I get those feelings! Yes, adoption is such a different process than pregnancy, even if you become a mother at the end in both.

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  4. I feel ya, lady! We officially started the process in September, and now we are just days away from final approval of our profile so we can "go live" and be eligible for a match. It is so true that there are things we have to do as adoptive-mothers-to-be that a biological mother doesn't have to do. I like to think of it as having an even better skill set and God giving us even more opportunities to come together as a married coupled and more opportunities to pray for our little guy/gal. Oh, and (typically) no one judges you for having a bio child, but plenty of people will read that letter and judge you, which isn't fair. I'm sure it's going to be a wonderful letter. Just remember that not everyone will understand; expect nothing and be beautifully surprised with the people that do help with funds; and to heck with anyone who wants to judge your situation.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Chella! That's a very positive way to look at it, that we're developing skills (that may come in handy later, who knows?) and growing together with our spouse.

      And yes, I am nervous about being judged by our letter...and judged for our financial choices, now that we're asking others for money...it feels very awkward to me, but like you said, I'm confident that we'll be wonderfully surprised at the positive feedback we'll get! And we are confident in our decision and are approaching the adoption with clean consciences.

      Praying for you as you're almost "official"!!

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  5. I too love your analogy. I'm very happy you wrote this, actually, because I think part of what is holding me back from adoption is the fear of the whole process. I totally just want to get to the being a mommy part!

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    1. Absolutely!!! I'm glad you found it helpful :) I have to remind myself too, it's just one *baby step* at a time (sorry, couldn't resist.....!)

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  6. We just started the adoption process... it is so overwhelming! It really stinks that the world is so corrupted that there is so much red tape to help orphans and unwanted kids in this world.

    Hang in there... in the end it will be worth it. That is what we are telling ourselves :)

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  7. I remember having the exact same feelings while we were working on our home study. SO MUCH WORK just to prove we're good people and get to grow our family. Whereas folks who don't go through IF don't have to prove anything to get pg. It definitely makes everything sting a little more. But like DM + AM said, hopefully you'll feel it's all entirely worth it in the end. And hoping "the end" AKA bringing home baby happens soon for you guys!

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  8. God is love! :heart: Catholic blogwalking :-) http://emmanuel959180.blogspot.in/

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