Saturday, February 16, 2013

Anxious... already

I recently joined AdoptiveFamiliesCircle.com, trying to find others who can relate to how I'm feeling about our adoption - the good, the bad and the ugly.  I've found some great posts and groups, and I'm happy I found the site.  I think I'll be able to find answers to my questions and support for every stage of this process.

Earlier this week I found a post by someone who is looking for support in the waiting stage of their own adoption.  She expressed anxiety about the newness of her experience, adopting for the first time, and about the changes that are coming after they are matched.  She questions if she's made the right decisions along the way, and says she feels crazy half the time.  Even though she has been waiting much longer than Nate and I have, I can totally relate to how she's feeling.  I decided to reply to her post, and wanted to share it here as well:

I have also been trying to find some sort of support for prospective adoptive parents in the waiting stage.  Anxious doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about everything.  I’m definitely a ‘type A’ personality - I’m not good at having no control over getting something that I want so badly.  It’s tough because friends and family are either getting pregnant with ‘surprise’ children or I know they started ‘trying’ after us and they now have their own children.  It’s hard not to think ‘why not me?’  But, I honestly believe everything happens for a reason – even if I don’t like the reason or the wait.
I too am second-guessing everything.  My husband and I tried to conceive naturally for a little over a year with no luck.  We visited the doctor over this past summer and learned that we have less than a 40% chance to conceive, even with the most aggressive form of infertility treatment.  Between the cost of treatment (which would deplete our adoption savings), our low chances and the fact that I’ve watched someone very close to me struggle with unsuccessful treatment attempts, we decided not to pursue treatment.  I definitely go back to this decision constantly and wonder if it’s the right choice – especially now that I feel like we’re in ‘limbo’ and making no progress.  And what if we changed our minds and decided to try treatment?  How would we tell our friends and family, who already know we’re waiting to adopt?
I was so excited when we started the adoption process in October.  We did everything we could to complete our training, paperwork, look books, birth mother letters and home study quickly.  Looking back, I think I was happy during this stage mostly because I had control over the progress we were making.  I was relieved to receive the letter from our agency stating that our home study was complete, and I rushed to the agency to make our next payment so that they could start searching for our match.  I so wanted to be done with paperwork, inspections and interviews, and have nothing to do but wait.  Well, we haven’t been waiting that long yet and I already wish I had something else to do or work on.

On top of my natural anxious tendency, I also feel like we’ve already received miscommunication from our agency.  I was told that our profile would quickly go live on their website and the search would begin once our payment was made.  A week and a half after I dropped off the check, our profile still wasn’t up so I sent an e-mail to check our status.  The response I received was that our home study was in the final stages of approval and that nothing could be done until approval was complete.  Confused and a little upset I had my husband (who stays much calmer than I do) call our agency.  Why would we receive a letter stating that our home study was complete and approved if it wasn’t?  This phone call seemed to make a little progress – our profile is now live on our agency’s website, but I’m still paranoid that nothing else is happening.  How can you tell if your agency is actually doing any work on your case?
Now I worry about the photos and words we chose for our look books and birth mother letters.  Will anyone like us?  Maybe we’re too young; maybe we’re too old, too fat, too ugly.  Maybe they don’t like our house, my hair, his shirt… Ohio?  Maybe they won’t like our cats.  Maybe we have enough children in our family (nieces, nephews and cousins) already.  Did we provide enough information?  Too much?  Will we be able to raise enough money for placement once we’re matched?  Will we have enough time (and money) to buy everything we need to bring the baby home?  Will I be able to stay home after our baby is home, like I so desperately hope to do?  Maybe we’re just not meant to have any children… and on, and on, and on…
Long story short, you’re not alone in your worries about adoption.  I can’t really offer any advice, as I’m obviously struggling with this too – but I can share what’s helped me so far.  Personally, I always go back to trusting that the Lord has a plan and I look forward to the day when this part of the plan is complete.  My husband and I attended a seminar that our agency put on, called “First Hand Views of Adoption.”  One of the adoptive families shared that they too had their share of struggle and worries but as soon as they held their baby for the first time, everything else melted away.  I can’t wait for that day!  I have started to focus on my health – eating healthier and attending an exercise class I thoroughly enjoy (sometimes I think Jazzercise saves my sanity!).  We’re trying to save our vacation days at work, just in case, but we’ve decided that if nothing happens with our adoption we’ll take a vacation at the end of the year.  This way we have something to look forward to either way.
I know that my husband and I are only in the beginning of our adoption process, and I hope I’m not ridiculed for expressing my worries.  I know there are others who have had a much longer (and more difficult) journey than we have.  I don’t think it matters how long you’ve been trying or waiting – it’s all hard.  I wanted to share this with you (and whoever else reads it) because reading other people’s stories has helped me.  Maybe some part of this will help you…
I wish you luck, and if you want to keep in touch (I’d love to hear about your progress) feel free to send me a message.

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