The agony of waiting

3 years ago

Adoption is hard.  Period.  And I'm not even the one adopting.

I have family that has struggled for years to have a child together.  For years and years they have struggled, prayed, grieved, hoped, and despaired.  As a family we have all run through these emotions with them.  And it's been agony.

Now, let me state for the record that in no way do I presume to feel as much as my loved ones actually experiencing it first hand.  I do not hold that illusion.  It's the awareness that what they are feeling is so much MORE than what the rest of us are that makes watching them go through it so hard.  If we've grieved and hoped and despaired this much, how have they survived it?  We're a tight extended family.  I want their dreams to come true.

And we're almost there.  Again.

We've been here once before.  Less than a week to the due date of the birth mother.  In a few more days they could have all their dreams come true and hold their new son or daughter for the very first time.  How amazing is that?  How terrifying is that?  Less than a year ago we were here, excited, planning.  Only to lose that baby to a technicality.  On the day it was born instead of going home with them, it went home and fulfilled the dreams of another family eagerly hoping and praying, leaving my loved ones heart broken and grieving the loss of another child they had planned for.  It was absolutely brutal to watch and be able to do NOTHING to help them.  We listened, hugged, cried, but no words, no support could erase their pain. 

Now we are again at that precipice with a new birth mother, a new baby.  Their bags are packed and ready to go.  A date for inducement has been set.  The days are clicking down, down to the last endless few.  Their excitement is mounting, but so is their fear.  It's deja vu at this point.  No one knows better than they that there are no guarantees.  No one has to remind them.  They are emotional.  They cannot help but feel excitement.  They cannot help but feel fear.  They cannot help but feel pain for the birth parents making the ultimate sacrifice for a child they cannot provide a future for.  They are invested in their story, as much as they are their own. 

And all we can do is stand by and watch.  I want to make this easier for them.  I want to say the words that will make it feel better.  To reassure them.  But those words do not exist.  And as I try to support them, my mind flashes back to my own tears at the losses we've all shared with them.  The horrible phone call one morning that a baby had been lost.  The wretched phone call that an adoption had failed.  As a family we grieved with them, for them, and for ourselves.  This baby is not just fulfilling their dreams, but ours as a family as well.  An extended family.  A family that is waiting for them to complete it.  This will be the last child for the family, for this generation at least.  The one that we all know is missing.  The one that we all long to hold, to welcome, to love.

Will it be a girl?  The first and only girl to this generation?  The little princess to be spoiled, picked on and protected?  Will we get to buy the ridiculous girly outfits and have tea parties?  Will we see her on a soccer field following in her Daddy's footsteps kicking the boys' butts? 

Will it be a boy?  Another wonderful, active, dirty, loud and rambuctious boy to round out a generation as an exclusive "No Girls Allowed" club?  To join in the sports, the rough housing, the general insanity of boyness that surrounds us at all times?

I can't wait to find out.  I can't wait to be an Auntie one last time.  I can't wait to hold him or her in my arms, kiss that perfect soft head, and tell them we've waited a lifetime for them.  As a family.  Their parents need them.  Love them.  Want them.  No matter how they come into this family, they will belong to all of us. They will be loved and cherished by all of us.  They will be celebrated.

I foolishly thought the last days of pregnancy were hard.  The last days before adoption are infintesimally worse.  And long.  I pray for the birth parents and their pain.  I pray for a healthy birth, and a healthy baby.  I pray for our family circle to finally close.  Because we all know we are not complete, that God has one more planned for us.  Somewhere.  Sometime.

Please be soon...we're waiting.

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