Number 16

Number 16. That is the number that we currently are on the waiting list. It has been seven months since our initial paperwork submission, six months since we were placed on the waiting list, and five months since we completed our home study. To say that the waiting has gotten more difficult is an understatement.

In MY perfect scenario we would be off the waiting list right now, we would have been chosen and all of the money would be raised. We would be meeting a birth mom, we would be caring and loving her, and we would be preparing to potentially bring a baby home.

January was a month where we began to realize that in our human minds, we can plan and dream all we want, but the reality is that we don't have any control over what happens and when it does. In the middle of our waiting we were contacted by someone locally, telling us that she knew of a young woman who was pregnant and thinking of putting her baby up for adoption. Through the month we prayed, interceding on behalf of the mother, praying for the health of the baby. We prayed that if she didn't parent that he would come live with us. We prayed more boldly than we ever have. In the end she decided to parent. While we were so glad that he was in the care of his mother, it was also hard. While God had answered our prayer, it was not the way that we initially thought that it would be. We had allowed ourselves to dream and mentally prepare, talking of what the future might be like with a son.

While we were walking that road we prayed that we would not get off the waiting list with Quiver Full until we had closure with the potential adoption scenario we found ourselves in. Once we had that closure we thought, "Surely we should be getting off the waiting list really soon!" We had reached the average waiting list wait and had been checking our emails asking each other every day if we had heard anything from Quiver Full. When we did hear from them, we found that we are 16th. We were disappointed and frustrated, realizing as we had gone through January praying for that one sweet baby, that we are ready for another. We had prepared ourselves for the thought of a baby joining our home quickly, how we would surprise our parents, how we would tell Ellie, how we were prepared for sleepless nights again. To find ourselves feeling so close to adopting one minute and then so, so far away made that longing more difficult, but it also made the emotions that we were feeling more complicated.

We have begun to realize that adoption is incredibly complex. On one hand, we are excited to bring a baby into our home who needs to be in a stable, nurturing environment, provided for in ways that its birth mother might not have been able to, but at the same time, a baby is being given up by a woman who loves that child and has found herself in a situation that she may never have dreamed that she would be in. We get to receive the joy of having her child become our child, but that baby will have to grow up learning that my body was not its first home, that he or she came from a woman who had chosen not to raise him, even though she may have wanted to raise him and take care of him on her own. Adoption is this gray dichotomy; we are raising a life, giving a child opportunities that it wouldn't have had if it wasn't adopted, but also knowing that there will be grief and pain in the soul of a woman who gave him life but chose a path for her baby that took it away from her.

We find our hearts heavy. We don't want to be number 16, we want to be off the waiting list. We want to be bringing our son or daughter home NOW. But right now out there, there is a birth mother who is finding herself pregnant. There is a woman who needs help, needs love, needs validation, needs to be cared for. There is a woman out there right now who knows that adoption is the right thing for her baby, but that doesn't stop her heart from breaking every time she thinks about it.

It's that gray dichotomy.

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