All I’ve ever wanted is to be a mom. I remember when I was in high school, taking a break from a hike with a friend of mine near a beautiful waterfall, discussing our futures when she asked me, “What makes you the most jealous?” I wasn’t sure where she was going with this, so I asked her to explain further. She told me she believed that’s how you could tell what you wanted more than anything else. The answer to that question was, in her mind, essentially what you should be doing with your life. I remember answering her question with what I thought she would want to hear instead of my real answer, which was “I’m jealous of people in committed relationships with families and (what I perceived to be) beautiful lives.” Even at 17 years old, I knew I wanted to have a family and be a mom. But sometimes that journey can have some despair.
When I got to a place where I was comfortable starting a family—married, owned a house, steady career, etc.—I got a rude awakening to the tune of infertility. My road to becoming a mother just got a whole lot harder.
Waiting while you are in the adoption process seems a lot like unproductive waiting because there’s not much you can do except waiting. I remember obsessively checking my email multiple times a day just knowing that today would be the day we got a potential matching opportunity. I wanted to go to our agency every day just to check in and say hello, make sure everyone knew we still really wanted to adopt. Something about the thought of being there made it seem like I was doing something productive—even though if I had done that it would have been insane! Still, your brain is not always in the best place during the adoption wait. Knowing you just have to wait, and knowing there’s nothing you can do about it is an incredibly helpless feeling.
It’s hard to focus on your job, your spouse, yourself, your life, etc. because you are so preoccupied with the idea that you might never become a mom. Understand that these feelings are normal.
Sometimes it felt like we were never going to be parents. During the wait, every day that passes without getting an email, or worse, getting an email saying you weren’t chosen by a birth parent, causes despair and depression to creep into your daily life. You see your friends getting pregnant and giving birth to beautiful babies. You are hypersensitive to every mother/child advertisement you see. It’s hard to focus on your job, your spouse, yourself, your life, etc. because you are so preoccupied with the idea that you might never become a mom. Understand that these feelings are normal. Many adoptive parents feel this way before they become parents. I wish I had the answers or a magic wand to wave to tell you it’s going to be better, but, unfortunately, it’s going to be hard. Quite possibly one of the hardest things you will ever have to do.
The positive spin is eventually, you WILL be a mom. When your baby comes along it will be right and (here comes the dreaded cliché) meant to be. How do I know this? Because I lived it.
If you have any tips or tricks to getting through the adoption wait, please comment below. I know myself, and our readers would love to hear from you!
Are you and your partner ready to start the adoption process? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to begin your adoption journey. We have 130+ years of adoption experience and would love to help you.