Most of my readers, (all 3 of you) know we’re adopting. But just in case, a welcome random reads this here blog, let me fill you in…
The road to adoption began for us many years ago. For most of my life I have been very drawn to the idea of adoption. Even as a child I imagined myself mothering adopted children, rarely biological. So naturally, when I met Sean I was curious about his feelings regarding adoption, and was happy to hear that he shared the same desire! As we discussed marriage and our ideas of a future family, we both agreed that we wanted a lot of children, with a large portion, (perhaps more than half) of them adopted. Seven years, six years of marriage, two houses, 3 degrees, two dogs, one cat (RIP Bam) and two careers later our plans haven’t changed. So last year, we decided to begin our journey towards a family… with adoption first. We hope to add biological kiddos to the brood later down the road.
We are now 6 months into the adoption process, having been on an official “waiting list” for 3 months. The wait is a bit brutal. Okay, not a bit brutal… very brutal. One aspect of adoption that most people don’t consider is the emotional roller coaster it puts on waiting families. Even before you have a face, a name, an age or even a gender, you long for your child. Unlike a pregnancy (I’ve never been pregnant but I’m imagining) you can’t look down at your belly and know your child is being taken care of. You can’t sit with your child and know he’s with you. Instead, you are half-way across the world, wondering if he’s okay, wondering if he’s being well taken care of, and wondering what he’ll have to experience before you can get there. I’ve found this feeling to be particularly potent on holidays. You are celebrating with your family, but someone is missing… half way around the world… waiting on you to get there.
Many adoptive mothers have said the entire adoptive “labor” from the paperwork to the emotional ups and downs is equally strenuous and emotionally taxing as their biological pregnancies.
Luckily, we have a fantastic circle of friends and family who are eager to ask questions, share stories, and get excited with us. I know if I need to talk about anything, I have plenty of people to turn to. This is incredibly comforting and a massive blessing.
Before we were adopting I had heard stories of adoptive mothers experiencing similar signs and symptoms of biological pregnancy. At the time, I found that believable but crazy. Now I know what they mean. Last month, my hairdresser of 4 years took one look at me and said, “You’re Pregnant!!” My fine, stick straight hair has become 10 times thicker and wavy. The change is so drastic that she had another stylist in the salon come look at my head. I’ve also spoken with other adoptive moms who have experienced more intense “symptoms” including morning sickness, skipped periods, and even hemroids during the last week. Unbelievable. I find this incredibly fascinating. Our hearts are longing for a child so badly that our bodies follow suit, doing the best it knows how to prepare for this child. Unbelievable.