I’m not a particularly patient person. They say it’s a virtue, and it’s definitely one I lack. It’s not always a bad thing, it means I don’t tend to procrastinate. I always pay my bills as soon as they arrive, I unpack the moment I get back from a trip, and I was never the one starting a term paper the night before it was due. But it also means I get cranky standing in lines and don’t like shopping online if I can’t get the two-day shipping with Amazon prime. Infertility involves a lot of waiting. There was waiting for test results, waiting for treatments to work, and of course the dreaded two-week wait. But the hardest part for me was when my doctor told us we had to wait a month to start a new cycle. That wasn’t waiting for something to make progress, that was just standing still.
In the final months of our infertility journey it was that impatience that prompted me to start looking into adoption before we had exhausted all our medical options. Our doctor told us we had to stand still, so I made progress on another path. We attended info sessions at a couple of agencies, and educated ourselves on what the process entailed. It was when we came to the point of monetary investment that we decided we could only afford to focus on one road at a time.
As we began what we decided would be our final medical cycle I let my impatience take control again. I decided to get all our application materials in order. If things didn’t work out (and I was convinced they would not) we would be ready to change course. The first official step towards adoption is the application for a home study, required for all adoptions regardless of the type. For the agency we chose, the meat of this application is an autobiographical questionnaire, 39 short answer questions that delve into everything from your childhood to your marriage and beyond. My husband (whose level of procrastination rivals my impatience) agreed to appease me and write it before we knew if it was necessary.
It quickly became clear that this project had benefits beyond it’s intended purpose. We were reflecting back on ourselves, learning things about our partner, and discussing philosophies that would strengthen our marriage and benefit us as parents regardless of the source of our future child. One questions in particular stood out to me. “If you could change anything about your partner, what would you change?” As my husband and I exchanged answers we realized we owe it to our future child to work on these faults, to utilize the time before we become parents to improve ourselves. My husband will work to better communicate his thoughts and emotions. I will work on my patience.
Now that a week has passed since the application was turned into the agency, it has become clear that I will get a lot of opportunities to practice patience in this process. Now I’m waiting to be contacted by a social worker. Next I’ll be waiting for her to write our home study report. Then I’ll be waiting for a birth mother to choose us, and for the baby to be born. There will be a lot I will need to wait for, and most of it will be outside of my control. I will have no shortage of opportunities to remind myself to take a deep breath and relax.
Eventually things will move forward, when the time is right. Today I opened my front door to a package from the agency full of information on starting our outreach. A way I can make progress, something I can control! That’s enough patience for now, let’s charge ahead!