My finger hovers over the “SEND” button. The email just says, “Yes.” This decision doesn’t seem like one that I should be given the authority to make. Who am I to “choose” which baby I get? At the same time, the process to this point has felt so insultingly invasive, personally critical, and endlessly tedious, that I tend to feel like I have somehow earned some kind of right to manipulate the outcome. When I find myself thinking that way, I am disgusted. Our baby is not a trophy. She’s not a commodity.
I didn’t expect this part of the process to be so HARD. It’s unbelievable to me that we’ve managed to GET here at all. At this pinnacle of the process, where the work is finished, and we are only waiting to be presented with a baby.
We are sporadically receiving emails with information about birth mothers and the babies they are carrying. Their stories are tragic and scary, yet inspiring and full of courage and hope. These women have found themselves in a crisis and have made the decision to see it out for the good of someone else. What a sacrifice they are making. I am repeatedly amazed at their willingness to live out a pregnancy that they didn’t ask for.
Every story ignites feelings of compassion and then respect, but we must decide whether or not we want our family profile “presented” in each case. If we say “yes,” our profile is included in a stack of other profiles, and the birth mother is given time to look over them and choose the family that she feels would be the best match for her baby. In the meantime, we try not to get too attached to the baby we’ve committed to care for should we be chosen.
This is the most confusing time. We must only give a “yes” to a baby that we fully desire to adopt, because there is no going back if we are chosen. But at the same time, we must not allow ourselves to foster too much hope in each individual case because we are in competition with other prospective families. We were told that families say “yes” an average of 40 times before they are chosen. We have said “yes” twice, but because of reasons beyond our control, we weren’t able to actually present to either of those moms.
If we do present and are not chosen, our consultant will email us with the sad news. If we ARE chosen, we will receive a personal phone call. I have fantasized about this phone call, and I’ve made Jason promise to call me out of class if he gets the call while I’m at work.
Last week we found out we were chosen to receive a $3000 grant. We are still waiting on responses to three other applications. We have a couple of fundraisers coming up. I am confident that we will be able to raise the last of the funds.
I lost the longing for a baby for a while. The delay and the complications tainted it. But I can see the end now. The end of the fundraising, the end of the paperwork, and the end of the waiting. I dream of holding a sweet body, and I look through the baby things we’ve already collected with a sense of giddy suspense.
I’m ready. Where are you, baby?