Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Open Adoption Roundtable #4: They Don't Call the Wait a Rollercoaster for Nothin'!

This week’s prompt over at ProductionNotReproduction is to write about a small moment that open adoption made possible. It might be about something that happened during an interaction or conversation if you have face-to-face contact. Or a moment centered on a letter or picture, if you don't. Just a single, small moment that could not have happened if the adoption were not open.”

The assignment has elicited many lovely responses from adoptive parents describing their first moments with their new children, birthparents relating especially meaningful interactions with the children they’ve place, and such. As a whole, these entries are powerfully beautiful and encouraging, and they reinforce our decision to pursue open adoption to build our family.

…which is why I feel a little awkward submitting my contribution. First of all, we’re not in an open adoption yet. We’re just waiting – and waiting – for a match. Second of all, the scenario I’ve elected to describe is kind of “woe-is-me” and a downer. But, it’s where I’m at right now. And I think it is a genuine, revealing slice of a brief period on our path to parenthood, one that exists because we hope to have a strong relationship with our child's birthfamily.

Friday, 5:30 p.m.
We receive an email from our adoption coordinator that another counselor is working with an expectant mother (“S”) who has expressed interest in us (UP!),

but that subsequently she hasn’t returned phone calls. (DOWN)

Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
I happen to turn on my cell phone and retrieve a message from the counselor telling us a little more about the situation (UP) but it is from last Wednesday, despite the fact that I’ve asked the agency to remove my cell number from the database, because I never use the phone. (DOWN)

Monday, 11:30 a.m.
The counselor returns my call from earlier in the morning, in which I reported that I’d just received her message and inquired about the situation at this point. She says that she did receive a call from S over the weekend, so she is back on the radar. (UP)

The counselor tells me more about the situation and it sounds encouraging. I ask her to let S know we’d be excited to speak with her. (UP, UP)

Monday, 12 noon.
The counselor calls me back and lets me know she’s talked with S again and she’s very interested in us. In fact, she tried to call us this morning. Counselor advised her to call after 5 p.m. our time, when we’d be off work. (UP!)

Monday afternoon
Unable to accomplish any real work, (DOWN) I spend all kinds of nervous time rehearsing our first conversation in my mind and Goog*ling S’s home town, even researching extended stay hotels…(JUST SILLY)

Monday, 5:10 p.m.
I race home and hope to find M on the phone already. He isn’t. (DOWN) He says he’s been listening for a call and is trying not to get too excited. (UP)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.
I flop on the bed, feeling a bit nauseous. (DOWN)

Monday, 5:50 p.m.
Still flopping, and trying not to let the sting beneath my eyes escape. (DOWN)

Monday, 6:15 p.m.
I decide to go for a run. (UP and DOWN)

Tuesday, 6:00 p.m.
No further developments. (DEFINITELY DOWN)


Ginger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ginger said...

I bet that's quite a rollarcoaster for you. But it is definetly an open adoption moment.

Sally Bacchetta said...

I'm glad you decided to share this. Even the "downs" are steps toward your child, just as you will help your child(ren) learn and grow from the "downs" they will have in their own lives. Thinking of you.

Thanksgivingmom said...

I know how you feel - from the other side.

One of my real "down" OA moments was after a recent earthquake when I emailed my daughters Mom to see if they were okay. That was over 2 months ago and I still haven't heard back.

It happens - and can happen on both ends.

I don't know if you've heard from her yet, but maybe she had plans Monday night. Maybe she had an unexpected guest. Maybe she just wasn't up to it.

I didn't "match" before Cupcake was born, so I can't necessarily speak to what a woman that's considering placing her child goes through at that time, but I can only imagine how stressful it is. I do hope that you are able to have some great, open communication with this expectant Mom, or with whomever you are matched! I think it's wonderful that you consider your open adoption experience as started already and I think it will strengthen the relationship that you do begin to build. Good luck!

Kristin said...

Thanks for your comments, all. I do appreciate them.

And I do understand that however hard not receiving a phone call is for me, it must be much, much harder for an expectant mom to place it.

Jess said...

Yeah, it's about like that. This is such a genuine and honest post!

People have no idea what adoption really is, really, till they are going through it in some manner.

It's hard for all sides, I'm sure. I hope you have a match soon!!

Stacy said...

i actually found your blog by googling "open adoption wait". i just needed to hear that we aren't alone.

we are waiting, too. it's such a constant combination of emotions, that it's hard to put into words sometimes.

while it's never nice to know someone is having the DOWNS, it is nice to see a blog post from someone who i know can relate in some way to how i feel.


stacy (http://blacksheeprambles.blogspot.com/)