I mentioned in my last post that the beginning of February marked the eighth anniversary of the day Gregg and I found out biological kids wouldn’t be in the cards for us. I remember being horribly depressed at the news, but that wasn’t something that lasted a long time. Right from the start, we believed that we would meet our child through adoption. We felt that biology might have been nice, but it certainly wasn’t necessary. While I had always felt the desire to be a mother, I really can’t say that I had a need to be pregnant.
As it has turned out, adoption has not been an easy road for us – not in any way, shape, or form. There has been the closure of Vietnam. Potential independent adoptions that went up in smoke. Losing Pooh and Tigger. And more. So there are people who feel, when I avoid going to baby showers and other such gatherings, that I can’t tolerate being around pregnant women and hearing about babies because I can’t get pregnant. Not really. In reality, I have trouble with these situations because still, even almost two years into the wait, I have a deeply-rooted fear that we will be passed over and I will never have a child. Last summer Gregg and I went to a friend’s baby-naming party with my parents, and I actually left in tears when it seemed like every couple I saw had at least one young child with them. I felt that everyone could have a child but us. (Not a baby. Not a pregnancy. A child.)
It’s not a good feeling, feeling that you’re not good enough to be a parent. I will say with 100% certainty that being forced through this emotional wringer over the last eight years has made me much more acutely sensitive to my future child’s emotional needs. There is pain in knowing that who I am so severely limits my possibilities for adoption. There is pain in knowing that because of a diagnosis, we were not good enough to be Pooh and Tigger’s parents.
There is also pain in knowing that some people outside of the adoption community judge the formation of our family as “second best.” Before I started working from home, I managed a hair salon for almost five years. My last year was agonizing. Everyone who worked at the salon who was in a committed relationship became pregnant within a few months of each other. Every. Single. Person. Clients and staff joked that it was in the water. They wanted to know why I wasn’t drinking the water so I could get pregnant.
Then along came Pooh and Tigger, and the announcement that we were expecting – two. “OH! Twins? How lovely!” was the common theme. “No, not twins, a four-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother.” I cannot begin to tell you how many people changed their tune – from total excitement at the thought that I might be pregnant to completely changing the topic, or telling me that it was bad news to be adopting “older children who surely have problems.” Again, it would have been good enough if I was pregnant, but not good enough to be adopting.
Gregg told me not too long ago that sometimes I talk about the adoption too much. It’s hard not to. We are adopting a child who will be at least the age of three. That means that our child has already been born and is somewhere – I don’t know where; being taken care of – I don’t know how and I don’t know by whom. I think of our child every day and wonder and pray and hope we hear something soon so that I will know. I want to tell our child that s/he is amazing and wonderful and has been waited for for eight long years. I want to tell our child that no matter what anyone has ever said, s/he is better than good enough – s/he was created by God to be just right.