adoption

What To Do When You’re Waiting For News About An Adoptive Placement

You’ve gotten an e-mail letting you know that a birth mother will be viewing your adoption album and considering you as a prospective adoptive parent for her child.

This is exciting. You’re excited.

You’re also panicked. Not really about the possible arrival of a baby on your doorstep, but more about the mental strain you will experience waiting to hear the news about whether or not you’ve been selected. You’re not awesome at dealing with uncertainty – you like to know what’s going to happen ahead of time, which works out super-well in all areas of your life.

You came up with an action plan to help you deal with this period of uncertainty. and it’s definitely going to work.

  1. Check your phone a lot. As much as you physically can.
  2. Check your email whenever you see the little red 1 notifying you that you have a new e-mail. Get super pissed if it’s a promotional email. Or the stupid New Yorker sending the daily political news that you never read anyway.
  3. Don’t listen to your spouse when she advises you to turn off the notifications so you never see the little red 1.
  4. Have little heart palpitations whenever you get a call from an unknown Maryland number.
  5. IF THE UNKNOWN NUMBER IS THE SUBARU DEALERSHIP, CALLING YOU FOR THE TENTH TIME WITH A SERVICE REMINDER – forget it. Calm down. They’re not worth it.
  6. Daydream about names for little boys. Make mental to do lists involving cribs and toddler beds.
  7. Consider e-mailing someone from HR to ask about FMLA, and then decide against it so as not to incite any questions you don’t want to answer. You don’t like people to know when you’re waiting to hear. You don’t want anyone to be disappointed. Other than you and your wife.
  8. Check your phone again.  Doesn’t matter if you’re driving.
  9. Notice that you have a call from an unknown local number.  Make sure your heart rate picks up.  Google the number and discover that it’s your pharmacy calling; your prescription is probably ready. Make sure your heart rate slows down again.
  10. Write and share a blog post. Then check your phone a lot to see if anyone’s viewed it or shared it. Because that will be a different reason to check your phone and variety is the spice of life.
  11. It’s been six days.
  12. Repeat steps 1 through 10.
  13. Over and over again.
  14. Get an e-mail. Baby or no baby?
  15. No baby, this time.
  16. Feel heartbreakingly disappointed and relieved at the same time. You’re so sad that this was not your baby, but the waiting is over, and sometimes the knowing is better even when the knowing means pain and hurt.
  17. Wait for the next e-mail.

You’re done with the waiting, this time around. Go back to your wonderful everyday life, and enjoy it. Ignore the little bubble of uncertainty that is always there, reminding you that at any moment a tiny baby may be placed in your arms for you to love forever. No need to worry about that bubble.

But maybe check your e-mail one more time. You never know.

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