Controlling the Other Shoe

Adoption is unpredictable and uncertain.  From where we stand as waiting adoptive parents we have placed our emotions, our future, our faith, in the hands of a woman who just a few months ago was a stranger.  Until she signs the final papers she holds ALL the cards, and all we hold is hope.  At any moment it could all come crashing down, and we could be right back at the beginning.

I find myself struggling with a balance between planning and protection.  A huge part of me wants to plan everything I can, to compensate for everything I can not.  I have worked through every possible scenario for our upcoming travel to M’s state in my head, thought through all the details, so we can be ready when the time comes.  I’ve organized and arranged, cleaned and coordinated.  I have books to read and lists written.

However there is always that ever-present thought in the back of my brain.  “What if this fails?” With every thing I do, every plan I make, I inevitably thing of how it can be undone.  A few nights ago we found ourselves at an orientation for a local pediatric clinic.   I sat there listening to the nurse answer people’s questions, painfully aware that I was the only woman without a bump.  And as I imagined sitting in that waiting room with our baby I also thought of the e-mail I might have to send if this due date comes and goes and we remain childless.

Sure, all the soon-to-be-parents in that room were nervous, unsure of what exactly the next few weeks or months will bring.  But for most, that is a very small part of what they’re feeling as their child’s arrival draws near.  For me, I find myself reflecting back on everything we’ve been through on this journey to parenthood.  What I can’t get past right now is all the failures, because up until this point, nothing has worked.  So I wait for, in fact I expect, this to fail too.  I read too much into every moment, and freak out at the slightest plot twist, thinking the other shoe has dropped.

We’ve come down to the final few weeks.  By the end of this month we will either be parents or be broken.  With no control at all over how this will end, we continue to take one step at a time and pray.

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