Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ups and downs.

What a day this has been…what a week. Highs and lows are normal in any adoption journey, but I didn’t expect them to come so soon, or so close together.

It all started early in the week when an opportunity came up for a domestic adoption. It was a friend of a friend kinda thing. She’s due late this summer and was looking for adoptive parents for the newborn. The second I heard about it, I just felt this huge pull like I had to talk to her. She had several families she was considering but was very interested in us. The rest of the week went by in a flurry of e-mails back and forth with the birth mom and dreams and hopes. We had given up the idea of ever having a tiny baby again. I thought I was past that longing and had moved on to be a peace with our adoption decision., but I moved from Ethiopia to domestic in abut 10 seconds!

I felt guilty for even considering changing programs. After all the time I’ve put into learning about Ethiopia and interracial adoption, it felt like a betrayal to be considering adopting a caucasian domestic newborn; like a cop out. But I’m not adopting a child to prove a point, make a political statement, or save anyone. I’m adopting because I want another child to raise; to watch grow and learn and discover. I love the joy my children bring into my life and how they make me truly happy. I have been riding the waves of my feelings and emotions, trying to picture what our future will look like and what course we would take.

The birth mom said she would have a decision by the end of the weekend. I’ve spent the last two days alternating between checking my e-mail obsessively and trying to keep busy and let the time pass while not checking it. This evening she had her answer. Although she really liked our family and was drawn to the many things we had in common, she felt it was better to place her baby with a local family who was more paper ready. I completely understand and support her decision, and yet…I’m so sad. I didn’t count on her placing the baby with us, but I did dream of it, wish for it, and hope.

Z-man and I have done a lot of talking in the last week. Adoptions from Ethiopia are changing. The wait times are lengthening, court dates are taking longer and everything is up in the air. We don’t want to adopt domestically. This experience has only strengthened our feelings about that. If only having a birth mother not choose us is this hard, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a baby after being chosen.

So, there you go. I don’t know what our future plans are. Tonight I’m ready to forget about adoption and having more children and simply spend time with the ones we have… I guess I’ll have to see how I’m feeling tomorrow.


Margaret said...

Oh, Mandy. I'm sorry. While I've never had that particular experience, I know how hard it is to lift your hopes and then have to deal with it when they fall down. We're all here for you if you need us!

Elle said...

Big hugs to you!

Anne said...

Mandy -- what a roller coaster! I hope things have settled down some and your feelings are a little clearer. That must have been so hard and heart-wrenching. You all are in my thoughts.

jeneflower said...

This adoption thing can really take you for a ride. I hope you can feel good about whatever you decide to do. It is hard to know the right path when there are so many options and so many variables- and most disconcerting- you can't know the future. It is truly a leap of faith. My prayers are with you.

Rhonda said...

What a crazy experience. There are some things about domestic adoption that are so difficult. We also considered it, but decided ultimately that international adoption was for us.

Your ups/downs and unsure feelings are SO normal. Brian and I have had them all along. We debated for a long time whether we even wanted to adopt. Then we went back and forth...and back and forth.

I'm definitely thinking of you right now. So sorry that you had to go through it right now.