The adoption agency I am working with (IAC/Independent Adoption Center) has monthly support groups. I braved the rush hour traffic tonight to go to this month’s meeting which was focused on the hospital visit. I am not feeling anywhere near the point of heading to the hospital to meet my baby and his birthmom (though, as they say, you never know when fate will intervene), but I decided to go to the meeting because I’ve been feeling a little down about being in this “waiting” limbo state and I thought it might help to connect with other families. It was a smaller more intimate meeting than others I have been to but really helpful. There were two families who brought their recently adopted newborns.Both were such cuties and about Otto’s age so of course I missed Otto. There were three other people prospective adoptive parents (a couple and a half of a couple), all of whom are, like me, in waiting limbo. Most have been waiting a lot longer than I have so I felt a bit bad to be feeling restless. Some had suffered through some really difficult situations on their adoption journey and their willingness to share even these most difficult stories and feelings was touching. For all of us throwing our lots into the open adoption lottery—adoptive and wanna-be parents and birthparents alike—this is such a giant leap of faith. There are so many unknowns and no guarantees. The whole process is for the sake of this baby and the fated “match”, but we are as much committing to each other, enjoining our lives (whether to lesser or greater degree), our families, our hopes and dreams for this child. I’ll be honest and say that at times, this all feels very weighty and I’ll admit as well that this was probably more than I expected to take on when I started this process. But at the same time, despite the complexities, the unknowns, the angst and yes, even the waiting, I feel fully committed to this path and confident that it will work out . The adoption counselor kept telling us “in the end, it will all be worth it.” I believe her, even if its hard to feel that now.
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”
Today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 87 today. My Dad would have loved being an Opa. He was unfailingly proud of his kids, but I think always a little disappointed at not having grandkids. My Dad didn’t have an easy life but he also knew he had a very lucky life in many ways. He was born just before WWII and spent the first half of his life in Germany, during a difficult period of history, his family and home destroyed by war and the aftermath. He moved our family to the US when I was five, drawn by a better life in a country he has always admired, and started over again in his early forties. He always said his family, and especially we three kids, were the most important thing he ever did. My Dad believed strongly in social justice, fairness, helping others and lived by a strong moral compass. He instilled that same sense of right and wrong in his kids and I know I owe my own sense of fairness and justice to him. My persistence and stubborn streak I get from him as well. He was headstrong and believed strongly in what he believed in, even in the face of seeming to a little “out there” at times. He was a computer nerd before computer nerds were cool. He was not shy to write letters to the editor protesting whatever the latest world or local injustice might be and what teenage daughter in a small town wants that type of attention. He was not definitely not your typical Dad in many ways, but I couldn’t imagine a better father and I miss him very much. Happy birthday, Daddy. I love you very much!