My husband and I have been waiting to adopt for more than a year. We went into this whole thing with pretty idyllic visions of how quickly we would be able to adopt and how much control we’d have over the process.
Turns out, would-be adoptive parents have very little control over what goes on while trying to secure a successful adoption. In a lot of ways, the emotional highs and lows are similar to the process of trying to get pregnant. Sometimes you think things are working out great only to be slapped in the face with reality over and over again.
Since November was National Adoption Month, families have been posting prolifically on blogs and news sites about their adoption stories. I love looking at these smiling, happy families who have come out the other end of this ordeal with the child they were meant to have in their arms. They give me hope that my story will have a happy ending, too.
But I have to admit that even as I try to stay hopeful, there are days when I doubt. I doubt the process. I doubt myself as a mother. I doubt that another child will find his or her way into our family through adoption.
Let’s face it: Growing a family is an uphill climb for some of us. While it seems like some people get pregnant at the drop of a hat, some of us struggle to get pregnant, to stay pregnant or to find our children through adoption or fertility treatments.
So as I’ve been trying to stay positive about adoption, I have also been thinking about all the other women and men out there who want nothing more than to be parents. And they know -- like I do -- that when you want to be a parent, you think about it all the time. You think about it when you see the dad at the park with his son. You think about it when you try to make plans for the future and harbor the hope that you won’t be able to make that family trip because you’ll have a newborn by then. You think about it when you see that negative on the pregnancy strip or don’t get chosen by a birth mother.
Yes, life goes on, but the hope and the doubts are always there, dueling it out in your heart.
So to all the parents out there hoping for a child, I just want to say: Hold on a little longer. Keep your hope glimmering even if it’s just a tiny, smoldering spark at this point.
If you need to have a pity party now and again, have one. But then, pick yourself up and remember there is a spirit out there counting on you to see this thing through. You may not know yet how they will come to you, but they will come. And when they do, every heart-wrenching moment will be worth it because those are the moments that led you to the son or daughter you were meant to raise.
Have any of you gone through infertility or adoption? How did you stay positive?
(Erin Stewart is a regular blogger. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, she discusses it all while her 7-year-old and 3-year-old daughters dive-bomb off the couch behind her.)