I have been reading the beautiful posts by Grace in my Heart, Pray, Hope, Don't Worry, and All You Who Hope, among others, who have taken the time to asnwer a list of questions about adoption (questions compiled by GIMH) for others who may be discerning it for themselves. Their answers are all unique in some ways, and unified in others, and reading them had me remembering my own answers to questions like: "How did you know you were ready to adopt?" and "Did you feel like you were 'giving up' trying to conceive when you began the process?"
I can remember so vividly the series of events that lead me to finally begin the adoption process... my grandmother dying of cancer, telling me from her deathbed that she would be praying for me to become a mother in heaven... days later deciding to go to the March for Life (my 1st)... seeing the advertisement for my Infertility Support Group in the Diocesan newspaper for the first time while on the bus to the March... doing a double-take at the ad, and seeing right next to it an ad for a Christian adoption agency... coming home, and sending out an email requesting more information... receiving their introductory letter, which very boldly stated their pro-life position... sending in the pre-application... going to Eucharistic Adoration, praying for my grandmother's intercession, and for God to show me His will... coming home that SAME NIGHT to find our "acceptance letter" to move forward with the agency...
It all seemed so Providential, so right. I knew this was God's plan.
But then, how could we not see the same Providentialism in the timing that ensued? The fact that the Social Worker chosen for us was new to domestic adoption, and while our Home Study should have taken 3-4 months (since we did all of our paperwork quickly), it was in the 5th month that we were lining up the 3rd Home Study appointment (out of 4 total). And it was in the exact same week that our Social Worker decided to "check in" with one of our issues (after sitting on it for 5 months) that that same issue reported a huge problem to our Social Worker (which was a false allegation, but our Social Worker's hands were tied). Then, 6 months later when we re-assessed the situation, it is only a matter of weeks after meeting with the Director of our adoption agency's branch that DH was arrested for yet another issue beyond our control.
I am not saying that to sound bitter or facetious. I KNOW without a doubt that we were MEANT to pursue adoption with that agency, at that time. And I also know without a doubt that we were meant to encounter these roadblocks, and we were meant to suffer an unbearable cross far worse than infertility. The whys I'm still shaky on, but it is not for us to know all of the whys.
And so when I sit back and reflect on this all, it makes me wonder what the next step is - what God is calling us to do. I don't mean the next steps in pursuing parenthood, but rather, the spiritual next steps to becoming closer to God, to living out His will, and to accepting it.
Many, if not most adoptive mothers speak of mourning the loss of pregnancy or of birthing a child. I remember mulling this over when we were in the midst of our adoption education classes, and not knowing exactly how to do this, nor if I really wanted to. Now, it makes perfect sense why I was so resistant to making this step, and I thank God every day that He made me a stubborn Italian, unwilling to admit defeat when it came to my reproductive organs. Because now, my only hope for motherhood is through my own womb.
But I wonder... should I leap that hurdle in the opposite direction? Should I now mourn the loss of adoption?
From those who speak of adoption (and the agencies), mourning the loss of pregnancy can have several benefits, namely, a) it allows you to stop obsessing over the means by which your child will come to you, b) it opens your heart to bonding better with an adoptive child (without any lingering resentment about your own body's failures), and c) it puts adoption itself onto the pedestal it deserves to be on, as its OWN beautiful, specific calling for you and your spouse, not as the Plan B or consolation prize or mandated next step to infertility.
Looking at this through my very unique lens of inadoption, I could possibly gain something from mourning the loss of adoption, namely:
a) I would stop obsessing over the means by which my child will come to me
b) my heart would be opened to bonding better with a biological child (without any lingering resentment about our failures in adoption), and
c) it would put conception, gestation, and birth on the pedestal it deserves to be on, as its OWN beautiful, specific calling for me and my spouse, NOT as a Plan C or consolation prize or mandated next step to inadoption.
Perhaps I have been placing way too much emphasis on a path God may not have in mind for me right now or ever. And perhaps in doing so, my body and soul have not been fully open to receiving the gift of fertility, the gift of conception, the gifts of pregnancy and birth.
This may sound crazy to the majority of my readers. But I'm starting to think I'm onto something here.
Those who mourn the loss of pregnancy aren't "giving up" - they are accepting. Accepting whatever God has planned for them. If that plan includes biological children in the future, I doubt any of those adoptive parents would say, "No, thank you, I have already mourned the loss of my fertility."
Maybe my plan will include adoption in the future. Right now, I can't see how it would ever be possible, BUT, God can certainly see things we can't.
For now, I will be steering my heart in a different direction, by letting go of adoption. Yes, it would have been so much easier for God to build my family through adoption - no one is "pregnant on paper" forever, and we would have been so overjoyed to be a part of that beautiful calling - even to be blessed with just one child.
Now, we will let go of those resentments, let go of those hurtful thoughts and painful memories, to ready ourselves for the possible gift of conception.
A gift we hope and pray God will bless us with, in His time.