Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finding Balance on the Adoption Roller Coaster

Disclaimer: I originally wrote this for my personal blog, but decided to also use it for my weekly post on  So, if it looks familiar to you, that's why.  (Either that, or you're just as obsessive about adoption as I am and get just as stuck.)

Last week we were contacted by two birth moms.  I don't think I can aptly describe the feeling of talking on the phone with each of these girls.  Heart pounding, hands shaking, wondering if what I'm saying makes any sense, wondering what she's thinking, how she feels, why she chose to contact us.  And then wondering why she didn't call back.  (Out of respect for these girls who are faced with so many tough decisions, I won't go into details here.)

(On a side note: We've had so many problems with our phones that I worry we've missed calls or discouraged callers.  We seem to have the home phone problem fixed.  My stupid cell phone is another issue.  It drops calls, and often won't hold a signal long enough for me to be able to answer or talk for long.  Still working on this.)

I could easily go crazy!  I know I will get better at knowing what to say/ask and hopefully will get better at reading people over the phone.  But, I don't think it will get any easier.  It's such a different experience than we had last time.  

"We have a baby for you.  Can you come get it?"  Um, yes, thank you.  Knowing what I know now, I kind of feel like we cheated.  We got so lucky with Olivia and Alyssa.  Well, it probably wasn't luck.  It was meant to be.  Olivia was meant to be ours and Alyssa was meant to be part of our family.  I love how things have worked out.  I love Alyssa.  And I love our sweet Olivia.

And I love the idea of adopting again and having another wonderful relationship with our birth mom.  But I'm scared that it won't be the same.  I know it won't be the same, and I guess I don't want it to be exactly the same, but I still worry.  I worry about what the process will do to me.  Will I have any nerves or sanity left by the time we are blessed with another baby?  I'm trying to focus on getting from here to there and not getting stuck in the moment.

For me, "stuck in the moment" is checking our profile stats obsessively to see how many people have looked at our profile, how many have looked at our contact page.  (I know exactly where the mouse needs to be on each page of the log in process before I get to it.)  It's not wanting to go anywhere I can't use my cell phone (which, these days, happens to include my home and neighborhood), or where I would have to turn it off.  It's unhealthy and downright dangerous.  Would I pass up an opportunity to attend the temple because a potential birth mom might call during that time block?  Fortunately, I haven't gotten that bad.  Yet.  So, I am trying to find other things to do that are both productive and engrossing so I'm not always thinking about adoption.  Yesterday that included cleaning the house and cleaning up vomit.  (Oh wait, that last was just gross.)  I'm looking for service opportunities, I'm trying to spend more quality time with my family and with friends.  I'm looking for new adventures.  I'm coloring my hair today because it sounds like fun and because I've never done it.

"Stuck in the moment," for me, also includes focusing so much on adoption that I appear, and quite frankly, am, a little unbalanced in my interactions with others.  Someone may ask me, "How are things going?"  And I answer with an adoption roller coaster update.  And what they probably really meant was something like: "How is Brigham enjoying the new school year?  How many students does he have?  Has he moved into the new building yet?" or "Is Olivia still taking swimming and dance lessons?  Is she loving preschool as much this year as she did last year?" or "Have you done your visiting teaching yet?  What are you guys planning to be for Halloween?  Is your dog still walking on only three legs?"  Or any number of other things that are going on in my life.  It isn't all about adoption.  I'm not saying that others aren't interested in our journey.  Everyone is supportive, but it's probably rather tiresome for me to come across as having a one-track mind.

I'm working on it, but this process is absorbing.  I feel like it could suck the life right out of me if I don't find a way to balance the adoption portion of my life with the rest of it.

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