Friday, March 11, 2011

The Waiting Place

Alternate Title for this Post:  "Can I have some Cheese with my WHINE?" 

Yep . . . this one's a venting post.

Lately I’ve found myself giving in to feelings which can become all too familiar for those waiting to adopt (or for anyone who is anxiously awaiting anything significant in their life, for that matter): namely- feelings of self-pity, alienation, and impatience.

It’s been 27 months since our home study has been approved, or as I automatically equate it with- 3 “regular” pregnancies. Enter Impatience. Looks like we WILL have to wait as long as an elephant for our next child! [Reference to this post where I noted that elephants are the mammals with the longest gestation period of 22 months.]

Waiting is hard. And I’m well aware that there are plenty of others out there who have been waiting much longer than I have or will ever have to! Waiting can indeed serve a purpose, but sometimes it feels, in the words of Dr. Suess, like “a most useless place.” To further quote Dr. Suess‘s Oh The Places You’ll Go (it seems fitting seeing as this month is his birthday):

"The Waiting Place … for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting."

The thing that frustrates me most is that we haven’t just been “sitting around” waiting for the phone to ring. We’ve tried to be proactive and do our part. Over the past two years I’ve had another surgery but no resulting pregnancies (which, incidentally makes me feel like a total failure). We’ve also taken two foster placements which have resulted in a reunification and a kinship placement/adoption. GREAT for our foster children, but hard on us. I’ve searched through profiles of “Waiting Children” but thus far nothing has felt right. We’ve researched additional adoption agencies and a few adoption facilitators and discussed which ones seem most reputable and affordable.  We’ve updated our birthparent letter and online profile with our current agency and we’ve sent out even more reminders to family and friends about our hopes to adopt in the hopes that they can “keep their ears open” for us, But every time I do so it just serves as a reminder of how “different” we are from most everyone else who builds their families seemingly effortlessly and predictably through having biological children. Enter Alienation.

Sometimes on my especially bitter days my thinking is overcome with “If Only’s”. Enter Self-Pity.

“If only my body were normal.”

“If only we were rich- maybe adoption IS all about the money.“ (Not true- but sometimes it seems that way.) Then we could fly to Africa or China and adopt internationally. Or we could go through an agency that can guarantee us a child-preferably in months rather than years as we’re not getting any younger. When you’re in your early or mid-twenties you can wait four or five years for a child, but when you’re in your mid-thirties or older TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

“If only we lived in Memphis, Tennessee- then we could post our adoption profile in the bathrooms of Frayser High School.” Just kidding . . . sort of.

“If onlys” can be my worst enemy. They defeat any hope and faith I have and leave me feeling very ungrateful. But perhaps the most damaging spiritual aspect of If Only’s is that they cause me to think that my plans and personal timeline are more important or wiser than the Lord’s will.

Every so often I feel the need to take a break from the online adoption community simply because it can be so emotionally all-encompassing.  But as I recently dove back in and started reading the thoughts of others- wether they are in the middle of an adoption journey or just starting out, dealing with the uncertainty surrounding foster care, or in the process of making an adoption plan for their child, it was comforting to realize that I am not the only one in "The Waiting Place" or "The Inbetween". 

Here's a little nugget of wisdom offered up by another foster mom (it was accompanied by a beautiful picture nonetheless) which helped to buoy me up while I wait:

“when times get muddy and unclear - keep persevering. something beautiful is about to bloom.”


Katrina said...

Thanks for the great quote. Right now I am waiting on my husband to agree that we have a daughter with HIV half way across the world that is going to stretch our faith and wallets farther than they have every been stretched.

So it is nice to read blogs like yours that remind me that my timetable is not God's timetable. And that after we have done all we can do we just have to sit back, have faith and wait.

jendoop said...

My heart aches for you. Although I've given birth to 4 children, I dealt with secondary infertility so I know a small part of how you are feeling. Now, 11 years later, I see how the Lord's hand was in our lives and I appreciate God's great love and how it is shown in the trials.

At that time I felt the opposite- that God must not love me, or I was a horrible person. Now I see God in those times as crying with me, hurting with me. He knew that all was working together for my good, for my entire family's good, but I'm sure He mourned with me. I think He wished that I not torture myself so much.

Keep an eternal perspective, turn to those things that bring you comfort and joy. Seek out scriptures that are about hope, joy, blessings. Reach out to people who love you and let them buoy you up. You will become a forever Mom, wait upon the Lord and He will bless you in many ways!

LeMira said...

This is exactly where I am right now -- the waiting place. Sometimes the waiting place is a barren desert, and sometimes it's full of hope and friendship, and sometimes it's just pain. I completely understand.

Leslie said...

You don't know me but I found your blog through a few other blogs that I read. Just wanted to send you a cyber hug and to tell you that you aren't alone. We waited 3 years to be chosen by another birth mom. We were extremely productive and had literally done it all. It's been the hardest 3 years and has drug me to my knees more than I can count on all fingers and toes. I get the waiting, the pain, the anger, the hurt, the endless hope, etc. If you need a friend, feel free to contact me!