I thought about addressing all the questions that adoption invariably brings up, since there are a lot, but the more I got to thinking, the more convicted I felt that (not) quitting seemed the right topic for Q.
Obviously, the whole purpose for starting the adoption process in the first place was to expand our family. There are several reasons that pushed us in that direction – we had always leaned toward adoption, we didn’t conceive a second child, my pregnancy with our first child was physically hard on me, we did not intend to pursue fertility treatments – but the primary purpose was to expand our family. Getting started the first time was hard for me…my husband remarked on more than one occasion that he felt he was the one pushing us (me) to get the paperwork filled out and submitted. He felt he was pulling me along, not because I didn’t want to do it, but because it was personally taxing, and I didn’t have much forward momentum. So he sort of provided the forward momentum for both of us at the beginning, and we (finally) powered through and got finished.
The second time around, he told me straight up that he couldn’t be the one dragging me (his words). I had to take the lead this time. Even though he know I wanted to do this, my taking the lead was the behavioral indicator he needed to know that I was ready. I was…and I did…and the paperwork got done quickly. It wasn’t as emotionally & personally taxing this time, perhaps because I had been through all of the hard answers once before and knew what to expect. Probably.
The important point is to say, during both of the application processes, and the waiting, we never considered quitting. It was never an option in my mind. Once we were in, we were all in, and I know I couldn’t have approached it any other way. For me, it was like committing to marriage…once we were committed to it, we were completely committed. We would stay the course, and we would not make the decision to walk away.
Unlike marriage, though, home studies have an expiration date. When we had our disruption, our social worker suggested we talk it over and decide if we wished to continue and try for another match. For us it was a no brainer…of course we were not quitting. We still wanted a child…we were not giving up…and (not insignificantly) we still had several thousand dollars invested that would not be refunded to us. However, we did agree that once our home study expired, if we had not had a successful match, we would need to seriously consider if moving forward (again) was prudent for our family. Fortunately, that was not a decision that we ever had to make, and for that we are profoundly grateful.
If I could say anything to those in the waiting stage, it is this: Don’t quit. It doesn’t always happen fast. It didn’t for us, but it will eventually happen. There are so many children who are in desperate need of you. Stay the course. Carry on. Trust that God has your child securely under His wing. just waiting for you to get there.