I recently posted on Facebook that I needed a blog topic. My friend Terri said, "Why not a post on waiting?" I responded, "That wouldn't be a very long post. It's like staring at a wall." She wrote back, "Exactly!"
There's really no other way to put it - waiting sucks. It's been officially been 8 months since we were cleared for open adoption. It feels like forever, so much longer than 8 months. The process to get to the point where we were cleared for adoption took about 8 months on it's own. (Home studies, Dr's appointments, a mountain of paperwork...)
But now, we just wait. And it sucks. I'm sorry that the word sucks is going to be in this blog a lot, but there is really no other word for it. I try to make light of the waiting - "God's teaching us patience!" I laugh, while inside my heart thumps a dull gray. That's what waiting is like...it's like being a petrified tree. Our adoption counselor (who we love) told us that she thought we would be picked quickly. I'm not sure what she meant by that. I assumed three months. Perhaps I should have assumed nine. After all, the waiting period is, on average, 9 to 18 months. The fact that we are STILL below the minimum wait time just kills me. It feels like forever.
Ryan and I resolved that we would not be that couple that waits by the phone. No, we were going to live life and when it happened, it happened. And we have. And we did. And I didn't seem to notice the waiting. Until the holidays hit.
Christmas, with all it's joys and meaning, felt a little still this year, a silent night. I think because I assumed that we would have a baby by Christmas, I really noticed the lack of one this year. On Christmas morning I thought, "Next year we will for sure have a baby." I remember thinking that for the last two Christmas's too. All that talk in church of "Waiting for the child" took on new meaning, a painful reminder that while my Savior has arrived, our child has not.
It's hard, waiting for a baby. You can't make long term travel plans because you might have to drop them on a moment's notice. We got a call in the early Fall that we were going to be shown to a birthmother who had already had her baby - a hospital call, something we are open to. This threw us into a panic. We did not have a SINGLE THING ready. The guest room was still a lovely guest room, we did not have a car seat, a diaper, ANYTHING. I have no doubt that all these things could be rustled up in a day or two between us, our parents and the generosity of friends and the church, but it was still scary. We felt like we were caught with our pants down. Then, we didn't get picked, which always leads to a mountain of self-doubt. Why weren't we picked? Is there something wrong with us? Is our book dumb? Are we ugly?
That situation led us to start working on the nursery, determined to not have that happen to us again. So.... the nursery is pretty much ready. It's cute and perfect, and I totally love it. And I will not show pictures of it until we are matched with a birthmother or have a baby in our arms. It's too weird. It's weird having it in the house, this room all ready to go. But I know that when we do get our child, I will be so thankful that I put the time in to make it really special, instead of a thrown together nursery that we did last minute because we didn't want an empty nursery in the house. It's owl theme, and it's very cute and soft.
At least the nursery is still being used as the dog's sleeping area. Keeps the air fresh.
I think the waiting is compounded because we are also waiting for so many other things. My book to be sold. My new book to be finished. Wedding season. Waiting on top of waiting. We were so glad to see 2011 go. It wasn't a terrible year, it was just the year of waiting. Nothing really exciting happened. There were no devastating lows, but there were no high's either. You know that scene in New Moon where Bella's all moody and the camera swirls around her chair and you see the seasons change outside her window as she stares blankly outside? It's a fantastic scene, and that's what our year was like, only at the end of everything I didn't end up saving a sparkly vampire with awesome hair, I am still sitting in front of the window while Lykke Li wails about possibility. November. December. January.
But I'm not Bella. I promise not to throw myself off a cliff in angsty agony.
I know this all sounds very melancholy, and at times it is. That's not to say that I don't have good times, great nights, exciting things. I have a very blessed life, even within the waiting. I have a husband that I love and that loves me (who is doing the dishes right now, because I got the flu and am currently working on swallowing just ONE saltine - a perfectly crappy day to write this perfectly crappy post), an amazing support system of family and friends, a cute house, two dogs that I find endlessly amusing, and I'm writing a book that invigorates me.
But the truth is that waiting sucks. Because the waiting sucks so much, Ryan and I made the decision that we have to have something on a horizon to look forward to. We can't just stay in this limbo of never doing anything. So, if we (God forbid) do not have a child by the end of this summer, we are starting to talk about going to London. I've never been, and we know some friends of Cindy's that own a fabulous B&B over there. This has made me excited again - we are talking plans, hooray! It's not a baby, but it's a pretty awesome possibility. I need that possibility.
Waiting sucks, but life doesn't have to. At least, not all the time. And I'm comforted by the fact that someday (soon?) I will get to pick up my baby, look into their eyes and say "You were worth the wait."
I just hope it's sooner rather than later.