I'll preface this by saying that I know it's a bummer of a post, but it's my blog & I'll post what I want to! So there.
The adoption has been on my mind a lot lately, ever since our friends received their referral (on my birthday no less – how cool is that!). There were 3 referrals (that we know of) earlier this month, and nothing (again – that we know of) since then. We’re halfway down the list now, and every referral gets us closer to our girl, but I can’t help feeling really bummed out about the lack of progress. This past weekend, someone close to me mentioned that they thought that couples without children should receive priority for referrals. Wow – that really spoke to me, and I can’t deny that it’s something I’ve thought about a lot. On one hand, I totally understand the current policy, which is essentially first come, first served (or, the family who has the oldest DTE – dossier to Ethiopia date- who is the best match for the child gets the referral). It’s the fairest, least objectionable method. But on the other hand, as a person (and part of a couple) hurtling toward the age of 40, I can’t deny that I cry a little every time someone who already has kids (bio or adopted) gets a referral, or passes court, or travels to pick up their child. Or rants on the adoptive families message board about how everything is so slow & where are the referrals so “she” can get her referral, when “she” already has 2 kids. “She” already knows the joy of children in her life, why can’t those of us who don’t have kids experience the joys of parenthood before those who already have kids add to their family? I fully acknowledge that this is a petty way to think & feel, that these families have been playing the waiting game longer than we have, and are every bit as deserving of a referral as those of us with no children. But I can’t deny that it’s the way I feel, sometimes. And I can’t deny that the fact that the list has at least 50 other families ahead of us waiting on a similar child placement stretches before me like a road that seems to be never-ending. And on that road you’ll sometimes see a mirage, something that makes you think, wow, we’re getting so close to our dream, so close to the end of the road. And then there’s another turn, another detour, another 100 kms to go. And you think, “I’m never going to get there”. And then traffic starts to move again & you think, “hey, we’re almost there” but no, there’s more delays. You lose sight of the destination. You lose hope. And everywhere are reminders of what it’s like when you get there. Big pregnant bellies, tiny babies snuggled in their mother’s arms, baby showers for pregnant co-workers. And still, your arms are empty. And you’re afraid to hope, afraid to start making a place in your home for a child that may never arrive.
And then you realize – CRAP! I forgot to ask my sister-in-law what she wants for her fast-approaching birthday. And – oh man – where are we going to get the money to allow us to take the “40th birthday Hawaii cruise extravaganza!” that will make it possible to see your best friend again, who you haven’t seen in over 3 years, who has a child now that you’ve never met. Where’s Oprah when you need her? And you’re loving your new vacuum, which is Dyson-esque at a much more affordable price, and cleans the floors so well that the colour of the carpet changes back to its “factory setting” (if you will). Darn cats & their shedding…. And you’re looking forward to going out to dinner on Wednesday, because it means you’ll be seeing your friends for the first time since their referral, and you can’t wait to see if they look different, or act different or something, because that’s a major life experience, and it has to change you somehow.
And you think, “you know what? My life’s not that bad, but it’d be so much better if I were a parent”.