I know it's been forever! My life is seriously swamped right now. Seriously. My job is at the pinnacle of stress as I'm in charge of our commencement each semester (no small task) and this one has been unusually challenging and strangely cursed (I'm convinced), I have a 30 page Marketing research paper due next week - my last paper for my last class before I graduate!!! - I'm freaking out about taking my GMAT for Grad school (in the new year), Ben decided he wants to be a lawyer and is going to law school (we'll talk more about THAT later), there's only twelve more days before Christmas, and....oh yah, we're trying to adopt a baby! My heart has thankfully stopped racing out of control, but my time for anything enjoyable has been limiting, to say the least.
All that to say, I just wanted to check in and give you adoption updates....
I went to my first "waiting families" class, through our agency. They host them once a month, but I've never felt a strong urge to go before. This month's topic was "Birthmoms" and there were some specific questions I wanted to get some answers to, so I drug one of my best friends with me and we had a night out! I'm really glad I went. My caseworker was there and if felt good to re-connect, if only to yell, "Hello! I'm still waiting for my baby...don't forget!" I had been fluctuating about signing up with another agency (only because I found one that waived all application/start up fees for an AA adoption) and our case worker was able to give me some really sound advice. We've decided not to do anything right now (I'll tell you more about that decision in a different post). I walked away from the meeting feeling encouraged and discouraged at the same time. Discouraged because wait times are unusually long, even for AA adoptions. The culture of adoption has changed and more families are willing to be more open, which is wonderful for humanity - horrible for me. We were originally banking on the fact that the average AA adoption wait was about 6 months....now it's more like 12. The risk involved is insurmountable and I can't imagine having to wait 9 more months...and still not being guaranteed a child. The encouraging part was that economic hardship has punched holes in the waiting list and fewer families are signing up. My caseworker who was inundated with homestudys in the beginning of the year, now has hardly any. Obviously, the less waiting families, the faster we'll get placed. So, at least there's one upside to a sinking economy!
There was a birthmom telling her story at our meeting. To hear her pain was hard. It had been 8 years and she said she still wakes up and thinks about her daughter everyday. She also said that she's been in therapy the last few years trying to help her deal with the ache. Her words were really hard to take in and for the first time I realized how much I'll have in common with the birthmom that chooses us. She was talking about how difficult it is for her to be around women who are pregnant, going to baby showers,etc, and that she avoids them like the plague (don't we all!) On one hand it made me feel lousy, that my dreams will be the cause of her pain...but on the other hand it made me feel connected in a way that's hard to explain. For both of our sakes, I have to trust God that he is orchestrating a plan.
December has been a really good month for me in terms of coping. In part, I have been so dang busy it's hard to think beyond surviving the day! There have been small highlights along the way that help ease the pain. Several nights this month, before we go to bed, Ben and I have been flipping through Baby Name Books and the Bible looking for some stellar names. It has been a special way to connect with Ben and I look forward to it each night!
I had one other find, this month, that has had an unusual part in bringing healing to the pain. I was grocery shopping a few weeks ago at Meijer and walked by an end rack of jewelry. I never shop at Meijer for anything other than groceries and miscellaneous "staples." Their home goods, clothing, jewelry, and shoes don't hold my interest (mainly due to price - compared to what I can find elsewhere). Anyway, I walked by the rack and was immediately drawn to this simple silver necklace.
The funny thing is that I don't even wear silver. I'm too classic and like to stick to the golds. However, when I saw these two hearts I had to choke back the tears and fight my way through the store so that I could check out and quickly adorn myself with my new found gem. I love it. I feel like I'm wearing a secret. My little babyheart is out there; I know it. In some small way, I feel like this necklace has melded our hearts together as a constant reminder of the promise to come. Baby has been growing in my heart for a long time....but now I wear a symbol, next to my heart, to remind me that hope is on the way.