First you wait for your home study. You wait for background checks. You wait for your profile book. You wait to become match-eligible.
Then you wait for opportunities to present your profile to expectant parents.
Every time we present our profile to an expectant parent/s, we wait.
When we’re waiting with an expectant parent, we wait in tension of wanting to be patient as the parents make a difficult decision while also knowing that we’re likely missing the opportunity to present our profile to other parents. The parents can take a few days or a couple of weeks to select their adoptive family.
When a baby has already been born and hasn’t matched with adoptive parents yet, we wait for less time, but with more anxiety. The birth mom is faced with a difficult decision and limited time to decide, but if we’re chosen, we wait knowing we’re missing out on these precious early moments!
We try to wait well, but it’s hard.
We try to take moments of anxious energy as a moment to pray for the expectant parent/s, waiting families, and wee little babies. We waiver in feeling like “maybe this is our baby” to “there’s absolutely no way we’re getting this baby.” It’s difficult to know how to manage your expectations while waiting.
Occasionally we have some rational moments where we can trust that our baby will come when it comes, but really that doesn’t make the waiting any easier.
We wait knowing that even once an expectant mom chooses us, we’re not done waiting.
We’ll wait for the last trimester, alongside the mom, anticipating labor. Once the baby is born, we’ll wait for the birth parent/s to be able to surrender their parental rights (typically 72 hours after birth). We’ll wait knowing that just because a baby is in our arms doesn’t make the baby ours. Even once papers are signed, some states have a grace period, and so we’ll wait. We’ll wait knowing the birth parents could change their mind, and that they have every right to raise their child if they decide to do so. Once we’ve been discharged from the hospital, we’ll wait for the legal processes that will allow us to leave the state and return home (about 10 business days). Once we’re home, we’ll wait the coming months to legally finalize the adoption.
We’re early on in our waiting, and already we grow impatient. We’re waiting for a match, for a parent or parents to say, “YES. These are the people I want to raise my baby.” We’re waiting to walk alongside the expectant parents to the degree that they desire. We’re waiting to hold their baby. We’re waiting to call a baby ours – forever ours.
We’ve gotten to call children ours through foster care, knowing they were only ours for a time. We go into adoption knowing that, even once we’re matched and holding their baby, it may only be ours for a time. We’re living in the tension of anticipating our forever baby and cherishing the special relationship that the expectant parent/s have and can choose to keep with their child.
We’re grateful for the friends and families walking alongside us and waiting with us. We see you choosing to hold this tension with us, eagerly desiring a child for us, and feeling the same sadness when we learn that we’re still waiting for our kiddo.
And so we wait. We wait knowing that it is worth the wait, that the expectant parents ability to choose is worth the wait, that our future baby is worth the wait. We wait knowing that we’re not waiting alone, and that we are loved and supported during the waiting period. We wait knowing this is a special time, a necessary time; an important season.
We wait knowing this is part of the story.
We wait for the page to turn.
We wait for the next chapter to begin.