A few things about these posts:
-I will be including excerpts from my personal journal. I hope that's not weird. I just want to give as clear a picture of the adoption experience as I can, crazy emotions and all. I want to do this for several reasons: 1. I hope it will help other adoptive couples to know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing and feeling, 2. I hope it will be encouraging to those adoptive couples to read our experience, knowing how it ends, and 3. I hope it will allow those of you who have not adopted to get a "taste" of what's it like, so you can better support the birth moms and adoptive couples in your life.
-Because my religion is so central to who I am, many of my journal entries will refer to specific aspects of my faith that may be unfamiliar to those who aren't Mormon. I am going to include hyperlinks for terms that may be unfamiliar, and if you ever have any questions, you can ask me. I won't be offended. I love discussing my religious beliefs with the people I care about.
And with no further ado, here is journal entry #1! :)
January 26, 2011 (One year after we'd started the adoption process, and six months after we'd been officially approved to adopt)
I cannot stop thinking about babies. I am not tormented or depressed (most of the time), but it is just something that weighs heavily on my mind and my heart all day every day. What does God want for our family? Does he want us to adopt a special needs baby through an agency called Spence Chapin? Are we up for the challenge? Does he want us to stick it out with LDS Family Services? Does he want us to try harder for biological children, putting my body through the more intense fertility treatments that I am dreading? Does He care which path we take? I feel these nagging questions all the time, even when I am working on something else. When I’m grading papers, when I’m running on a treadmill…even when I’m sleeping. I can’t help but dream different scenarios of how we will get our baby.
Yesterday, I asked Ryan if he ever thinks about the adoption. He said, “What’s there to think about?”
His response made me both amused and annoyed. I wish I had his ability to focus on the now and not waste time worrying about an undefined future; but at the same time, sometimes I feel like I am carrying the burden of this decision all by myself. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that perhaps this is always the role of a woman as she builds her family—I doubt many men think too much about babies while their wife is pregnant. Their major contribution is helping to create the child, and then they probably somewhat forget about it until the tyke has actually entered the world. The difference is that men whose wives are pregnant have a visual reminder of what is coming. They get to watch their wife's belly grow, and they get to feel the kicks and hiccups. Sometimes I desperately wish that Ryan had that daily reminder--a daily reason for him to be excited and share this journey with me. He is so supportive and loving, but I just don't think he feels the heaviness of all of this like I do.
I have never prayed so much in my life. I feel like prayers are inseparably woven into all of my thoughts these days. “What should we do? Please guide us Heavenly Father.” It’s like a refrain that plays in my mind all day long. And every morning and every night, I get on my knees and beg for guidance.
I'm trying not to be sad or discouraged. My patriarchal blessing makes it very clear that I will be a mother in this life. But what it does not specify is when or how that miracle will occur--the waiting and wondering is difficult.
Katie contacted us less than two weeks after this journal entry was written. :)