Dear Expectant Mama

The pregnancy test confirmed a heart wrenching reality to you: positive.

There in your womb resides a precious, so cherished, tender life. You love the life growing inside of you, no matter how unexpected and unplanned he or she was. Just as any mama, you crave to your core the very best for your baby.

As the reality grips you that you are not in a situation that you would wish for your baby to enter, your heart begins to break. Your heart feels heavy, the gravity of reality weighing you down to your toes and then lower. What is a fierce-loving mama to do?

Your situation, far from ideal, grieves you. Maybe you have tried to better your circumstances with everything that you are. Maybe your position in life feels so hopeless, so helpless, so wrapped up in defenselessness that you feel you have no option but to make an adoption plan.

And so your wait begins: your too-long and yet too-short wait. The wait is heavy, as you embark on the months, weeks, or days long journey of placing your baby into another’s arms. It cannot get here quick enough and yet you cannot seem to hold your baby long enough. The pain is twisting and confusing, all-encompassing.

As you wait, gripped with a heaviness from what is to come, you sift through adoptive-family profile book after profile book, searching for the absolutely perfect family. Perfect to you, which could mean a variety of things.

As you wait, you imagine the intense moments to come. The birthing of your child with such selflessness and strength only to hand him or her over into another’s arms. The contracting for hours, the pushing, the painfully engorged breasts, the bleeding, the laboring to meet your little one and then the laboring of saying “I love you fiercely and am placing you in another’s arms because of my love.” The laboring of leaving the hospital empty-handed.

As you wait, the terrifying yet validated questions absorb you: Will my child hate me? Am I so selfish? Will he or she know I love them? Will I be able to do this? Will his or her family love me? Will they love my child as much as I do? Will they tell him/her about me?

Will I get to see him/her again?

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Dear Hopeful Adoptive Parents,

As you wait to be matched, then wait for the birth of your hoped-for baby, and then wait for his/her first mama to sign papers, you feel tired.

Tired because this is hard. Tired because this feels agonizing. Tired because you wonder if the wait will ever end as it grows weightier and weightier. You wonder what is wrong with your profile book, if the words and images you chose were wrong and unappealing. You wonder if your family and life are too imperfect for all of the expectant mamas searching for adoptive families.

You wonder if you were supposed to even embark on this journey, this beautiful love that transcends blood, that makes you a family.

As you wait, you feel the missing piece(s) of your family, knowing they are waiting for you just as you are waiting for them. Day by day, it is agonizing to know you have yet to meet your child and bring them home with you.

Dear friend, your wait is not in vain. Your baby’s first mama [and potentially first father] is simply taking extra care to find you. She wants to be so certain that her baby is placed into the right family. She will find you. Your child will find you.

As you wait, write letters to your baby. Write letters to his or her first mama. Write letters in a journal and save them for the precious humans that will enter your life in painfully beautiful ways.

As you wait, date your spouse a little extra. Take your kids out to the zoo. Spend time with the family you have in your presence now and cherish the moments as much as you’re able.

As you wait, educate yourself about cocooning, open communication, and how to love your child’s first mom from the moment you meet her and on.

As you wait, know that it’s okay that it’s hard. It’s okay to admit that it is frustrating. It’s okay to sit in the reality of the weight of the wait, acknowledging that it’s painful not knowing when the missing piece is going to join your family.

But also know that as you wait, so is your child’s first mama. She is waiting and pep talking herself, telling herself that you will love her child just as much as she does, telling herself that she can do this, she can hand her child into another’s arms. She is also feeling the weight of the wait. Together, you are waiting for the heavy moments that are to come.

As you wait, take heart. You are not alone.