As my husband and I near the expiration of our home study, there has been tidal wave of emotions smashing against the shore of our minds. Most of the emotion comes out of my eyeballs in the form of tears (Who is cutting onions in here? I’m not crying, you’re crying!) It’s a tumultuous time for anyone who has been waiting for a child to enter their lives. After the adoption of our son, I was sure that my husband and I would be content with him and only him. However, as our son has grown, so have our hearts, and we soon realized that we wanted another child. It’s kind of crazy, because this basically means that we are putting our hearts (and sanity) on chopping blocks, and there our hearts have waited . . . and waited . . . and waited.

Here are a few things that have been on our minds as we’ve stewed about renewing our home study and deciding if we were done waiting.

2. Should you renew your home study?

Okay, this is the obvious one. The sheer amount of paperwork alone makes me quick to say, “Not on your life.” Then again, what’s a few (and by a few I mean a stack as tall as a Ben & Jerry’s pint of ice cream–don’t ask me how I know that) pieces of paperwork? I think it has, at least for us, come down to if we are ready to put forth the effort and work it takes to complete a home study. This isn’t saying that if we choose not to renew that we are lazy. It just means we aren’t ready, or feel the time has come to stop, putting our energy into adoption and focus it into something else.

2. Are you ready to continue waiting?

I think about this every single day, and my reaction changes every single day. There are moments when I swear on my Kindle Bible that I cannot wait anymore. That my emotions are already at “hot mess” status, and let’s be honest, I don’t want to know if there is something beyond that. It’s just plain hard to wait. The longer we wait, the rawer the emotions seem to get. The more ready we are to cry in the fruit snack aisle of Target and the more likely we are to ban fruit snacks from our house because we’ve associated negative emotions with fruit snacks. I know this feels like an impossible decision to make. The weight of it all is astronomical.  However, this is something we need to answer honestly.

3. Have you and your signification other/partner/spouse come to a mutual decision?

When it comes to matters so closely tied to the heart and to our futures, it is crucial that we talk to our significant other/partner/spouse about feelings regarding adoption. If you both are not on the same page, it can negatively impact your relationship and cause resentment. Life is hard enough as it is, and the same goes for adoption. The communication lines must be clear. It is also important to hear each other out on why you feel you should/should not renew your home study. Then, think about what you’ve said to each other and talk it out until you both feel you are on the same page about your future with adoption.

4. How are you feeling about your infertility/sterility?

I’ve come to terms that I’ll never really come to terms with my sterility. I know it exists. I know it won’t change.  Regardless of this, I have difficult days where I just want to punch infertility right in the junk and say, “YOU KNOW WHY!” Bad days are going to happen, and that’s OK. My husband and I had to come to terms with the fact that we will not have biological children before we ever could think about adoption. We had to grieve and work through the emotions that come with this specific life trial. We didn’t feel like we could move forward with adoption until we had those feelings out of the way. Even now I find myself revisiting some grief and I know that’s OK. It’s all about finding balance and coming to a place where you feel you can move forward without these feelings holding you back.

5. How is your heart?

I ask myself (and my husband) this question almost daily. I know it sounds cliché, but sometimes you just have to follow your heart. Too often my mind comes up with reasons I should make a decision one way or another when my heart has known what it wants the entire time. It’s all about taking things at a pace that is comfortable for you, down a path you want to be on. It’s listening to your heart in the quite moments of peace and silence. It’s about what you know is right for your family.

There is no right or wrong way to make such a heavy choice, but it is one you don’t have to make alone.