Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment, but I want to hold on to this feeling, in case I forget someday.
As I explained in my previous post, there are a lot of stops along the way in this process where decisions have to be made, both by us and by a child’s team. Think of it like the Game of Life: stop here, even if you didn’t land here exactly, and make a decision on whether to get married, which house to buy, etc. Bad metaphors aside, if the answer given by us and the answer given by the child’s team match up, we move forward together, until the next time we stop and decide again.
Two and a half weeks ago we had a match meeting for a child. It was actually our very first match meeting, ever. Even though we felt excited about this child, we weren’t sure if we should move forward because…well, most people don’t marry the first person they date. What if we were just excited because this was our first meeting? How can anyone in this process separate logic from emotion?
Just over 24 hours later, this sentence was shared in the monthly parent support group hosted by our adoption agency: “If you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying no, then it’s best to say yes.” That sealed the deal for us. Even if we weren’t sure about saying yes, we knew for certain that saying no would mean missing out on a child we felt could be a very good fit. We passed along our decision and went back to (you guessed it) waiting.
Several weeks, a lot of anxiety, and approximately one thousand emails later, we got an email this morning from our worker saying the child’s team will be sharing their decision by the end of today. TO-DAY.
We have been focusing so well on taking things one day at a time, because that’s the only thing that’s useful to us. There’s no use stressing over what we said or forgot to say in the match meeting, wondering about how we compare to the other families they are meeting with, picturing our life with this child, navigating how we will move forward if we hear a no, or any of the other infinite past or future things we could worry about in regards to this process. There is just today, and the first-thing-in-the-morning question we ask each other: “Do you think today will be the day?”
Commence stressing about all those things I just said we had no use stressing about. Did we say enough? Did we say too much? Did they like us? Would they like us more if they met us a second time? Are we really ready for this? Have any other workers reached out about us? If they say yes, could this be our forever child? If they say no, have the last few weeks been a waste? What do I even want? What does this child want? What do they need? Are we it?
It feels like these workers have our lives in their hands (dramatic, I know). And yes, I know that comes off selfish, because really they have the child’s life in their hands, and they should take all the time they need to make such an important decision. Nate and I have discussed how if we do hear a know, our grief walks hand in hand with the joy we feel for this child, who will have been matched with the best family the team could find for them.
This process frays your nerves. It leaves you feeling exposed and powerless and highly sensitive. Each yes along the way, however exciting, signifies a no to some other child or children we haven’t learned more about yet. Each no along the way, however heartbreaking, signifies a yes to another child or children who could be the fit we are searching for. Most days, I don’t know how to feel or what answer to hope for.
But damn if my pride doesn’t want to hear yes