January 29th marks two years on the domestic adoption waitlist. Our agency says the average wait time is 3 to 4 years currently. It was estimated as 2 to 3 years when we started this process. I celebrate that women have more access to choices in how to approach an unplanned pregnancy and I accept that those choices mean our wait is long. As we sit at around 60 or so on the waitlist (much lower considering families on hold), with an average of 40 placements per year, it is very possible that 2017 will be THE year.
This most recent lost opportunity with the twins (who essentially vanished off the face of the earth), contributed to a nagging feeling in my gut and some long conversations with my husband about this process and whether our hearts are still in it.
The longer we experience infertility, the more set in our current DINK lifestyle we become. We agree that our trip to Africa was a catalyst for creating gratitude and acceptance for our current life. In 2016, I focused so much on seizing opportunity only afforded to those without small children that I actually started to really appreciate being child free. Maybe we could accept it just being the two of us for the rest of our lives…
This drawn out wait to adopt makes you evaluate often how committed you are to having your heart regularly tested and hurt. It challenges your will to become parents. It makes you consider how deeply you truly want it and what you are willing to sacrifice to make it happen.
For a few weeks this past month, after yet another painful disappointment, I started to question how badly I really wanted a child. Whether it was truly worth it. I focused on the anxiety, grief, sacrifice, and loss of control one must live in when parenting.
Despite the risk, I continue to believe that the reward is immeasurable. Anyone who has children tells us that the love you feel is beyond anything you ever know. I feel we are good people who have so much we want to share with a child. I also know that being a parent will open up so many parts of myself that I am not even aware of and that I will be better for it. And in reflection, I would truly regret not pursuing the opportunity to be a mother. Maybe it will work out for us, maybe it will not. But I am not ready to give up.
Heartbreak creates dissonance. It talks you out of risk. It pushes you towards acceptance. But as my heart heals once again, my commitment to our goal of being a family of three is reaffirmed.