Sunday, May 18, 2014

What To Expect When You Are Expecting: Adoption Edition

People have asked me if being pregnant 9 months/birthing a baby is easier or harder than the adoption process has been.

I don't know. 

Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

Call me vain, but I am thrilled that this is the first time we've added to our family with out me gaining thirty-something pounds.

Then there is missing out on a year and a half of life and milestones of a dear little one... hard.  Or not having to recover from birth and sleepless night... fabulous. 

And not having a baby box me from the inside has been nice, but I also miss having a baby box me from the inside, knowing that they are in there, in a safe spot, until I can hold them.

Even though I don't have the usual physical reminders that a baby is joining our family, (huge belly, baby hiccups, heartburn, Braxton Hicks, etc) I am lucky enough to have visual reminders.  I have pictures of Jordan all over the place... in my wallet, on my nightstand, on my fridge, in frames, on the computer desktop... scattered all over my actual desk top.  I get to see his face every day while I wait to touch it.

Another thing to consider is that while growing a baby is exhausting, it isn't time consuming.  Adoption paperwork is enough work to be considered a part time job.  A part time job that, instead of getting paid for, you get to drain your savings for.  And with so much time being spent "at work", it's hard to keep up on other things.  I think it will take me months for me to catch up on everything that I've let slide while working on adoption paperwork. 

The one thing birthing a baby definitely has over adoption is that I always knew that come 9 months, the wait would be over.  Waiting, with no predictable time frame, is one of the hardest things I've had to do.  We are currently on day 54 of waiting for our LOA... Letter Of Approval.  I've seen people get their LOA after only waiting 35 days, and I know of people who are still waiting for their LOA after waiting 100+ days.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason for issuing LOAs.  They aren't processed in any sort of order.  We just cross our fingers and hope we don't have to wait 3 months longer than everyone else.  This makes it really hard to plan out the next few months of our lives.  The not knowing is kind of killing me... and there is no epidural for that.

I really can't say that adopting is easier or harder than pregnancy, but I can tell you that I feel the same love and longing for Jordan as I did with all of our other children.  I already love him every bit as much as our other children and I can't wait to get to know him... hear his little voice, hold his little hand, and tickle his little tweaky toes.  We're praying that all of that will be sooner rather than later.

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