I think it (might) be different if we were still waiting for the baby to be born; or if we were still waiting to make a connection with an expectant mother. I don't know if it would be easier, but it would certainly be different. When I think back on our before-waiting, it didn't seem this hard. It didn't seem so hard to wait for an email from the agency telling us "there is a mother who has selected you as a family and she's due on..." or even for the phone calling telling us "your baby was born this evening. You can pick her up in two days!"
But she's here! That Little Girl is here already, and all I want to do is hold her, all the time. I took the call from our agency worker on December 2nd and she told me "S had her baby, a little girl, who she named after you and Taylor. Everyone is healthy and doing well, and she would like to select you and Taylor as the family. But, Anne, there are a few complications..."
My heart was racing as she explained the situation and told me the baby would be put into foster care. All of a sudden, from a pleasant cruising altitude of "well, we'll see what comes along in time..." we were shot into a rocking roller coaster of WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITH THIS VERY SPECIFIC AND TIME-SENSITIVE SITUATION? How were we to fit this new, unexpected, complicated circumstance into our plan for bringing a child into our home? In one moment, our hope for a child became tangible to us. Someone was holding a child that might be ours someday.
We get to go see her once a week, and that has been a blessing. She's with a wonderful foster family, and that is also a blessing. But there is still so much uncertainty. A judge could rule that this baby is better off staying with her birth mother--which will be fine with us, if it's God's will, but that will be hard, too.
In the meantime, we still wait. We can prepare all we want for her to arrive after March 21, but the hard fact remains that we just don't know.
We are optimistic, though. I understand from the agency worker that the birth father has made no further contact with them, nor has his family. The birth mother, we hear, is happy with the (hopeful) adoption plan, confident that it will go through, and she is moving on and progressing well. She will be taking some classes soon with the help of the agency. This will present well to a judge.
But even with such optimistic prospects, I can't help but feel frustrated that we've had to wait so long. Granted--three and a half months is not a terribly long time to wait to bring a baby home. Most international adoptions take much longer, even if there is a connection with a birth mother before she delivers the baby. But This Girl is so close. We could have had her in the first days of her life, if only-- ...if only so many things that I'm not sure about.
I struggle with feelings of resentment toward the birth father, knowing (even very little of) what I do of his situation. I know it's uncharitable, but I struggle with anger toward him for "interfering" with our adoption process. Isn't that terrible? He's the baby's father, regardless of other choices he's made. He at least deserves a fair hearing of what he really feels. Perhaps he is resisting adoption to spite the baby's mother. Perhaps he just wants to cause trouble and be uncooperative.
But perhaps, a quite voice inside me says, perhaps he's just a man who's made a few bad choices and really wants to see his daughter and be a part of her life. Perhaps he doesn't know how adoption could facilitate that. Perhaps he's just scared.
This is the terrifying dilemma I've faced with our adoption journey. Deep inside my heart, I truly wish that every child could stay with his biological parents. I wish that every child born could be welcomed by a couple (and whole community!) who worked toward his presence in their lives, who could give him all the blessing and richness he needed, and, who anticipated the day they would meet him with love and joy and excitement from the first moment they knew of his existence. In an ideal world, I think this would be the case.
But, of course, we don't live in an ideal world. And in the world-as-it-is, adoption is a great blessing to couples who want children, for children who need families, and for birth parents who, for whatever reason, choose to give their child(ren) such blessings though adoption. It is, I think, one of the hardest, most courageous things to do to place one's baby for adoption. But it is, I firmly maintain, a tremendous blessing.
And it is also hard.
In 32 days we will know if we can take This Girl home with us. In just over 4 weeks, our lives will change dramatically, again. Either we will pick her up and never put her down; or we will say goodbye one last time and keep her in our hearts forever.
I am at peace knowing God's will will prevail. And I cling to that Peace while we wait...