We were “rejected” this past November. Adam and I had started the required adoption classes, but had not yet completed our Homestudy when a friend called with a potential placement–we like to call it our quasi-referral. Among other things, I spoke with the birthmother on the phone. She subsequently chose a different family for her two month old son. It was a crazy week-long wild ride. When it was done, I could honestly say that I was so happy for the family that was chosen. I was also so sad for the birth mother who had to make the heart-wrenching decision to place her baby. It was an act of love on her part, and I will always honor that. She could have buried her head in the sand and done nothing. But she instead chose the high road.
But for me–it was as if I had miscarried again. It was terrible. I went through all the same emotions, the same rituals, the same grieving process. It is never pleasant around here for the few days following a fertility related loss. Surprisingly, though, that part of the loss passed fairly quickly. The more interesting part of the experience is how humbled I felt. Once again, I was placed in a situation where I had ZERO control. Not a fun place for a person like. I am used to being good at stuff. I am competent. I am responsible. And yet, I still cannot truly control how my family is created.
Infertility, in all its facets, has helped me develop more humility. Aside from compassion, it is the biggest strength that I have acquired. It has helped me to be a better mom to my kids, and a better daughter of God, in general. The other interesting, and significant finding was that Adam and I really truly do not need an infant to make our parenting experience more fulfilling. I thought I would find the opposite. I thought this referral and subsequent loss of a living breathing baby would focus our intentions on an infant more resolutely. But we oddly and surprisingly felt the opposite, and have ever since. Once we made the decision to pursue an infant, our quasi-referral, with all its key teaching points, was presented almost immediately. That is not to say that we will never adopt an infant, just that whatever child we bring home will be the right fit for us, whether it is an infant or a five year old. We learned that just because we might receive a referral for a baby, does not mean that it is automatically the right thing for our family.
It has taken me awhile to write about this because I needed time to put the experience into perspective. I did not want to write an emotional response. I was not ready for most of the world to know that we were back on the Adoption Train either! And speaking/dealing with a birthmom was a ‘new’ and raw experience for me. We intentionally went International to avoid having to be “picked” by a birth mom. But time heals and things change.
Right now–we are halfway through our Foster/Adoption classes. We have decided to become licensed through the state and see where that goes. I am not so sure I am ready to give myself over fully to fostering, but I am learning a lot about how the system works, and how we can adopt through our local department of family services. We are also still toying with completing our Homestudy at the private agency. And to be perfectly honest, I have been dreaming about three little ones in Colombia lately. The faces from the orphanage still haunt me, in a good way I guess. We continue to keep our net cast wide. I cannot wait to see what we catch!
And boy, do I have stories from our fostering classes! :)