I’ve seen the movie many times before, but it’s been a while. This time I saw it through a whole new lens. There were parts that I never thought were realistic that I now realize actually are. Who finds a family to adopt their baby in the “Penny Saver?” Well, come to find out, advertising is a huge part of adopting, and ads can pop up everywhere from facebook and craigslist to church bulletin boards and, yes, the Penny Saver. Other parts I now see as a bit over the top. (I better never come home to find my husband had just hit on our birthmom!) The “traditional closed adoption” that they so quickly arrive at hadn’t bothered me previously, but now I found myself wondering why the lawyer didn’t take a little more time to impress upon Juno the ramifications of that decision, and why the adoptive parents weren’t at least a little concerned for the long term affects that may have on the child.
However I’ll admit I didn’t expect the end to effect me as much as it did. When the nurse asked the adoptive mom if she’s ready to see her son I began to cry uncontrollably. One day, that will be me! I’ve heard stories of other adoptions, and seen friends raising adopted children. But to see that moment happen right in front of me, even in a fictional movie, it left me with such a calm confidence that we will get there too. One day, that will be me!
When we handed in our outreach material to the agency they warned us. “You won’t hear much from us for a while. But feel free to check in around 3 months from now to see how things are going.” Well last week was 2 and 1/2 months. That’s close enough to 3, right? So I reached out.
Now 2 and 1/2 months is a long time to go with no information. We had no idea if anyone had seen any of the outreach material, the fliers and the websites, that we’d worked so hard to create. But with one phone call I found out that in the first 6 weeks that we were “live” our flier was shown to 3 perspective birthmoms, 117 people have viewed our webpage with the agency, and those visitors have stayed on our site for an average of 3 minutes. The numbers don’t mean much without a basis of comparison, but from what I’ve gathered they’re on the higher end of normal.
Knowing is only half the battle, right? It’s what you do with that knowledge that’s important. How does it change things to know that people are looking at our materials? On the one hand, we should be reassured. Folks are interested in what we’re putting out there. Prospective birthparents are intrigued to learn more about us. However I can’t fight the nagging thought. Why are they reading our materials, but not picking us?
So in the end, does it actually help to know the numbers? Or does it only serve to drive me further into a frenzy of obsession? The more evidence you give me, the further I analyze, and the more twisted my logic becomes. All I know is that, unhealthy as it may be, I cannot turn away. I check the stats on our individually created website daily, looking for hidden reassurance between the numbers. Regardless of their value my mind may find peace, or at other times sadness. And then tomorrow I’ll do it all again.