Ugly confession time.
I can sometimes be pretty judgmental.
OK, very judgmental.
This judgmental-ness is not a quality of which I am particularly proud. In fact, it's something about myself that I don't like at all and I try desperately to squash when I become aware that I'm doing it (sadly, not always with much success and sadly I'm not always aware that I'm being judgmental.) I swear to God that it's genetic...the wonderful quality that I inherited from my maternal grandmother - the Queen of Judgmental...
And before all of this adoption stuff. Long before I ever even knew that I could and would someday want to become a parent, I am afraid that I was very judgmental of couples desperately trying to become parents. Couples who spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on unsuccessful infertility treatment after unsuccessful fertility treatment. Women who endure injections and hormones and all kinds of invasive tests and procedures over and over again in hopes of becoming a mom. Men and women who watch as their mates endure the injections and hormones and tests and procedures and disappointments. Couples who run through their life savings and take out second mortgages on their homes in desperate and often vain attempts to become parents.
"They're crazy!" I would say as I'd hear or read about these couples. "I mean who would spend their life savings like that? What kind of woman would put herself through all of that just to have a kid? What kind of spouse would sit by and watch his or her wife go through all of that pain and misery? That's just crazy."
See? A lot of judgment...
(Again - really, really, really not proud of this...)
But now I get it.
I really do.
The single-minded drive and willingness to do what you need to do to have the family that you thought was just going to happen for you in a relatively "normal" amount of time....Yeah, now I get it.
In the case of couples struggling with infertility, I'm sure they originally think, "OK, we stop our birth control and in a few months...Ta-dah! Pregnancy! Parenthood! Family!" and years later as they continue to spend and hope and endure the countless tests and procedures and disappointments, I'm sure they must be thinking, "OK, this time...This time we're finally going to become parents."
And in our case, where adoption is our path to parenthood and a family...we sign on board with an agency that informs us that the average wait time is 2-6 months.
Wow! 2-6 months? Holy buckets! Great! Ta-dah! Parenthood! Family!
We fill in form after form after form and endure the rather invasive homestudy process. We write check after check after check...thousands and thousands of dollars to cover the numerous and often outrageous fees. We clean and organize. And spend more money prepping our house. And inform our families and friends and jobs. We wait and hope and wonder.
And wait and hope and wonder.
And wait and wonder.
Months go by.
Possible adoption situations come and go and some just plain fall through.
More checks are written.
More months go by.
And here we are two years later... thousands and thousands of dollars later.... three situations that didn't amount to anything later.... and one heart-breaking disrupted placement later. We are no closer to parenthood than when we set out on this journey.
So now we are embarking on work with Agency #2 (our local agency - the one through which we got the social worker who does our homestudy and homestudy renewal) in addition to the agency across the country that we signed on with way back in the beginning. It's gotten to that point for us. Our local agency was not really doing much by way of domestic adoption when we started down the adoption path two years ago, but is now much more active with domestic adoptions and has called us repeatedly about potential situations.
So, we sign on.
Even though the money we've already spent with Agency #1 is non-refundable.
We sign on anyway.
Luckily, we don't have to take on a second mortgage, but signing on with yet another agency is certainly going to take a huge bite out of our savings. But, at this point, two years into our journey we're just ready to become parents and to have a family. We're ready to move forward so we're willing to do what it takes to get there. And if that means thousands and thousands more, well...
Now I get it.
Someone out there reading this blog or knowing our story is probably thinking, "They're crazy! Who spends their life savings like that?"
And I don't really blame them for expressing those sentiments.
It is kind of crazy.
But now I get it. The single-mindedness of knowing that you just want to have a family like everyone else and that you just want to be parents, but being disappointed over and over and over again is enough to drive you to do a crazy thing like this.
So, we've signed on. And we'll wait some more. But hopefully the wait will be much less this time. This time hopefully a new situation will come to us sooner rather than later and we'll have our family.
Now I get it.