I’ve been struggling with how to write about this, whether to write about this, when to write this, and as a woman rarely at a loss for words, I knew that meant one thing – just write the damn post, Aimee.
A week ago last Friday we got The Call. Or was it “the” call? We don’t know yet.
- Four years ago we were knee deep in early stage fertility treatments getting dissed by DHS because we were seen as a red flag for adopting through them.
- Three years ago we were preparing for the DEIVF cycle that would lead us to our only pregnancy that we would lose before summer’s end.
- Two years ago we ended the massive onslaught of destruction that fertility treatments had inflicted upon my body and my eye exploded shortly thereafter. We also threw the rest of our money at a last ditch effort to become parents, this time via domestic adoption, where the average wait time was 6-12 months, maxing out at around 18.
- Last year, we were no further along…and our dog died. We were fucking desolate, and so we decided to move. Leave the house where we had experienced so much loss and start over somewhere else. Astoria. Five acres. Quiet.
- And this year? Maybe things will look different. We shall see.
Our adoption agency let us know a birth mother in another part of the state, also a small town, has chosen us. She’s older, and likes that we’re older and more settled. She already has kids of her own and is rebuilding her life.
No, she does not know the sex of the baby nor does she want to. Neither do we – it’s not our priority. To be parents, to have a healthy child, to open up our hearts and homes in a way that we never truly thought would ever end up happening? That’s what we care about. She is in her 3rd trimester. In fact, she’s due in…33 days.
Yep, just under 5 weeks now.
In 5 weeks, our life could change, or it could explode into more heartache than I ever can fathom. Expect the best, prepare for the worst, that’s what they say. Like pregnancy, don’t tell anyone right away, because what if it doesn’t work out…that’s what they say. But I can’t not write about this. I can’t not process via this blog like I have so many other things these past 10 years. While I can’t reveal specifics because of confidentiality, I can tell you this – our nerves are shot. I stayed awake til 3am last night just trying to wrap my head around all the unknowns.
We’ve all read the stories about failed adoptions and how things can go from bliss to shit in the blink of an eye. And we don’t believe in statistics…not after what we’ve been through. Some might say “ohhhh it will work out, don’t you worry!” but I’ve been there a million times before.
Of course treatment will work. We believed the doctor’s fraudulent statistics.
Of course you’ll go to Addis Ababa and pick up your daughter.
Of course you’ll get chosen right away, because so-and-so’s friend/brother/coworker/neighbor did and they got a match the same week!
So we are in this unknown race. Being in the depth of a master bed/bathroom remodel with a hole in the floor and two-by-fours for walls in there at the time of the call, the rush to get those kinds of things done that you could not imagine doing with a newborn around, not right away at least, it’s in high gear. Oh yeah, and the thought about spending another $20K which will bring us into the six-figures-plus (and eliminate that savings completely)…but not getting too drastic about any of this because, well, nothing is in stone.
We had our first call with her yesterday, and it went very well. She was excited and nervous. We were excited and nervous.
But you never know if they’ll change their mind. You never know til the ink is dry and it’s legal if it is truly for real. So you send yourself hurtling towards the finish line, all the while knowing that you could lose everything you’d hoped for, as you’ve done so many times.
Yet at the same time I’m trying to keep my chin up. While I’m in Serious Logistics Mode, and we’ve made serious progress in our remodel in just the last week (subfloor completely finished, will be installing bamboo bedroom click flooring later this week, and tons of drywall patching), husband has actually been the greater optimist even though he doesn’t even have a full week of vacation time and his employer is too small to qualify him for FMLA (yeah, unpaid time off makes me vomit…WTF, America…). Amen for him big time! But, I’ve dusted off the how-to books and started madly scribbling some notes, and pulled out the “just in case” supplies and equipment (box of cloth diapers donated to us, pack & play, and the various DIY things we’ve made over the years like wipes and a baby wrap) we stowed away in the upstairs closet, I’ve gone ahead and picked up a secondhand version of the Tula carrier, and talked to my neighbor about getting goat’s milk for a homemade formula recipe we want to follow. My husband and I practiced with cloth diapers on his childhood teddy bear. We told our mum and she started to cry because the baby’s due on Dan’s father’s birthday – which is also the day he passed away, 5 years ago this June.
And each day feels like a week. Hence, for my infertility buddies, 5WW is what I refer to this as. The Five-Week-Wait.
There are too many stories of birth mothers changing their minds, or worse, taking advantage of adoptive parents who will pay their bills during that time. Hell, there’s even the recent one that happened to one of our agency’s adoptive couples whose birth mother grieved simultaneously as the child was stillborn.
As I told my husband last night, I’m not quite sure what I’ll do if this does not work out.
The feeling is a surreal one. First, hurry the fuck up and figure out what you’re going to do if/when the baby comes in 5 weeks. Do I tell my clients? Not until something is signed on the dotted line, to be honest. Mama needs to make the money, y’all. Does my husband tell his boss? Well, he told him it’s a possibility and they are super supportive…but of course with no FMLA, his job is not protected and hell, we need his stable income.
Do I feel like I belong to the land of motherhood?
Not even close.
In this small town, you can only take the ‘baby care’ classes if you are ‘having your baby at their facility’. There are no adoption resources or groups, and the thought of suddenly being a part of that group I’ve stood outside of for so long? It’s not something I can comprehend, and with all the unknowns, it’s hard to put belief in any of it. Happy Mother’s Day yesterday? In a way I was intrigued by the concept, yet I still put it out of my head for the most part.
But we do have some names picked out, and we do have a few newborn items for a little one to wear should (s)he join our family next month. And yesterday I talked to three smart-as-all-get-out young girls down at the Sunday Market who reminded me why I want to be a mother so badly. One I even bought a little tiny homemade felt infant cap from and told her we are adopting and she was so excited and told me all about how she is home-schooled and they have traveled all over the country…and yeah, my heart just melted.