Sunday, July 14, 2013

Adventures of Adopting Sans Agency

The short version of this post is that we haven't matched yet.  The long version follows.

There have been A LOT of ups and downs.  Amazing-sounding birthmom emails--cue WE ARE GETTING A BABY running constantly through my brain.  Said amazing birthmom suddenly stops responding to emails, cue WE WILL NEVER HAVE A BABY.

When we posted our website, I'll be totally honest, I thought we would match within the first couple of months.  Totally wishful thinking, which I also employed liberally during infertility struggles.  It's the adoption equivalent of "next cycle will be The One."

I hadn't expected ever having to turn a birthmom down.  We have done this more than once and it's horribly guilt-inducing.  Heart-wrenching.  I have to keep telling myself that these babies will find loving homes, because they definitely will, but it feels horrible.  I instantly become attached to birthmoms and the idea of parenting their baby, and telling them we aren't a good match feels like a break-up with someone you really like but can't see a future with.  It hurts.  And when you don't use an agency, you have to be the one to tell them.  With an agency, you probably would not have shown your profile to the person.

I tend to feel my best—no surprise—when we're communicating steadily with someone and it appears to be heading somewhere.  We feel like we have been close to matching a couple of times but have been turned down along the way—birthmother decides to parent or she simply stops communicating with us, which could be for any number of reasons.

My sense for how this is different from using an agency is that the ups and downs are more frequent, but I could be wrong about that.  It just seems that in being in closer contact with birthmoms, we talk with them earlier in their adoption plans when they are more likely to change their minds.  I'm still fine with not using an agency because we will most likely save a lot of money, and we kinda like having more control over the process.  Our lawyer has been great about answering questions, which has been key.

There you have it, our story so far in a nutshell.  It is really hard.  But it feels very different than trying to conceive, which is a welcome change.  The sense of waiting is less intense.  I feel a little less like I'm hurtling to old age and death, that I will die before I have a baby (yes, that is morbid, but I'm not the only one that feels like old age is imminent, right?).  I know we become less attractive to birthparents as we age, but I'm convinced that we can do this, and hopefully twice, before we get out the walkers and canes.  At least, today I am convinced, and I will enjoy the optimism today because it's certainly not a frequent visitor.