My arms feel the weight of his body. I can feel his warmth as he nestles close to me. The scent of his skin and hair is so sweet. The ache for my next baby is real. Every once in a while, I get a wave of longing for my next baby. I feel the anticipation of being a mother once again very keenly. And in all this, I must wait. This is where we’re at in the adoption process. This is the stage where I have to keep my dreams fresh, keep my hope alive, and practice patience.
It’s been 6 months since we were approved to adopt (and so much longer since we started the process and first dreamed of adopting). In that time we’ve had one opportunity to be shown to a birth mom, another one ‘in the works’ and a time or two when a friend has mentioned a potential adoptable baby and the ‘Would we be interested if it all worked out?’ question. Unfortunately, none of these have worked out so far, yet I still keep my hope alive and remind myself that God has a plan for our family and the next precious addition.
This month we took the next step of contacting an adoption attorney to find out what she offers for prospective adoptive parents as they wait for an adoption match. She was very kind and full of information gained through years, even decades of experience. We found out that our state does not allow attorneys to ‘match’ expectant mothers with prospective adoptive parents. However, she can show our adoption profile book to interested expectant mothers and she can answer questions for us and help us to ascertain whether a possible adoption match is real vs. unreal (or likely vs. unlikely to bring adoption through to finalization).
One thing she mentioned was that she doesn’t consider adoptive parents to be really and truly in the full-swing of the adoption process until they’ve done three things: 1) contacted an attorney, 2) contacted an agency, and 3) started personal networking. This was really interesting to hear. I guess we’re on the right track since we’ve got two out of three done! Step three is the networking piece. And this is just to put a little bug in your ear, but would you keep us in mind if you hear of anyone who needs to make an adoption plan? We’re not asking you to ‘find our next child’ but rather to keep in the back of your mind that we’re looking to adopt.
So, we are trying our very best to only take next steps as we feel led by God. We feel like we’re being led to take steps that appear to be quite slow in the adoption world. Often people smatter their adoption portfolio onto every available online matching site, list with multiple agencies, and really ‘work’ to find an adoption match. But, that’s not the way we’ve felt God tell us to do it for now. So, we started with a small local agency. Then we let people know we were adopting and waited. After some time it became clear that our next step was to contact an attorney and from that conversation, we knew it was time to get more bold in our networking.
In some ways, moving through this process a little more slowly has been good for me, personally. (I’m not making a statement that every person should do things exactly as we are doing, only sharing the journey that God’s taking me on.) It’s given me a lot of time to think about the changes that are coming. It’s given me time to research and pray and ponder and discuss so many different facets of adoption. It’s helped me to slow down and enjoy the dream of my next child instead of taking constant action and being on the wheel of go-go-go, that in my case, often takes my mind off of the emotional and reflective side of things.
But I must admit… I’m getting weary of only having reflection and emotion in this time. I’m ready for some action! I’m sure many of you can relate. We’ve all waited for something at some point in our lives. 🙂 The longing that’s been hitting me recently is also a push to talk about it with everyone who’s following along. Many of you have asked us what’s going on with our adoption journey. Thank you for asking. It’s good for me to talk about it. With that prompting, I knew I was ready to write this post, even when I feel like I don’t have anything new to share. I know there’s still value in sharing the process as it continues on.
Because this is part of the process of adoption… The Wait. The Anticipation. The Dream. There is a part of me that wants to focus on the ‘the wait’ in a negative light. I want to complain and whine and say, ‘Why is this taking so long?’ I want to ask the question, ‘When will this happen for us?’ But there’s that other part of me that’s fighting for patience and HOPE! The other side focuses on the anticipation of what’s to come with positivity and JOY! The dream of my next child brings up feelings of warmth and excitement.
While I Wait…
The question I’ve had to wrestle with is, ‘Which side of the spectrum do I want to focus on? The annoying waiting or the anticipation of a dream actualized?’ I’m not sure the answer is to focus solely on either of these. As I think about it, I don’t want to stop dreaming, but I also don’t want to miss the ‘now.’ In the meantime, in the waiting, I still have a life to live now. God is still doing something with me now! He’s not waiting for this new family addition before He sets my purpose into motion. No, there are many things that God is growing in me, teaching me, moving my heart on, and using me to be a change in my sphere of influence.
Ironically, I don’t have to wait. I don’t have to wait to be the person right now today that God so wonderfully purposed me to be. I don’t have to wait for the next big step in my life to come to fruition before I step out, speak out, live out what God has for me. I want to be a person of the PRESENT, not one living in the past or the future only.
Thank you, God, for the dreams you’ve put in my heart. They are truly wonderful! I ask that you help me to live in the present moment… while I wait.