hurry up and wait

My posts over the last two weeks have all been about infertility, loss, and grief (and let’s not forget boobies). Come to think of it, aside from the books I’ve read on open adoption and ones we’ve begun collecting for our children, I don’t think I’ve given an update of where we are since our home study was completed in September. That’s because there’s not all that much to report, even though we’ve been so busy.

In August, we started on our outreach materials for our adoption profile. To be honest, we actually started on our letter a long, long time ago, back when we were considering the adoption option even before we pursued IVF. My thinking at the time was twofold. First, I heard how hard it can be to write the “dear expectant mother” letter, so I was thinking about what I wanted to say. Second, I had a lot of energy and late night time to preoccupy. Back then, I had just begun reading blogs more frequently but had not yet started my own. Anyway, it’s fair to say that what we wrote back then was a good exercise, but it has been substantially revised even though some of our core thoughts remain. We still believe we have to be open and honest about ourselves for the “right” match to come along.

Back to August. We were waiting for our home study to be completed, and I read all those books. We started working with a consultant and agreed to do our own outreach. We began drafting our actual materials and planning a website. It felt like there was forward motion. We even pondered a nursery. We continued to be busy throughout September, attending meetings and workshops, talking to people about their experience, trying to finalize our materials.

Yet here we are at the end of October, our text was ready over a month ago, and our letter still hasn’t gone to the printer, our website hasn’t been developed, and no one else knows we want to adopt other than who we’ve told ourselves. Insert big sigh here.

We chose to do our own outreach because our agency has way too many waiting families and we didn’t want to pay a huge fee to just sit in their book or on their site for two years with little interest. We felt empowered spending our limited funds on our own direct outreach, yet now we rely on others to advise and help us create our materials and website so they will be more effective than if we did it all on our own. For instance, what good is a letter if you don’t know where to send it (or if it’s ugly), and what’s the point of an awesome website if no one sees it?

But here’s the catch. Our outreach has in effect stalled because we are still waiting for others to do their jobs. Soon, our initial letter will go to the printer and we will mail it to select obs, midwives and others who may be able to help us. Then we can go back to designing our more detailed “profile” letter and creating our website. And then The Wait will begin. For real.

Right now, it just seems like a whole lot of hurry up and wait, but not the right kind of wait since the phone isn’t even ready to ring. Even though we have our own 800 number. Right now there’s just a lot of frenzied activity with not much to show for it. Yet.

In the meantime, M and I started a new personal blog for family and friends to update them on our progress. Some people have been asking what’s going on, some expect an update even if there’s no news, while others don’t even ask. I suggested doing this together as a way to open up our process to friends and loved ones. You might remember the last time we opened up had limited return. In part, the purpose was the opening itself, rather than the outcome. But as we all know, it’s always nice to get feedback and support. We sent out the link last week, wondering what if any response we would get. Lots of hits in the first few days with a few wonderful comments. But I think mostly our readers are lurkers. So we’ll see how that goes.

I also find myself wanting (and needing) to use the personal blog as a space to raise awareness about our process, with some general education about the complexities involved in open adoption. Yet I have to keep reminding myself to check my tone and ensure that I’m not pushing or preaching, but merely putting it out there and maybe some minds will be opened. I also have to remember that I have this space to vent, thankfully, which I intend to use…

There are a few important lessons for me here. First, letting go of control. There is so little within our control here, and soon there will be even less. If infertility and loss has taught me anything, it’s how little control we have in this vast universe. Throughout this whole process, we have had to let go of our preconceptions and expectations about how things are “supposed” to work. Second, and closely related to the first, is about just putting it out there into the universe without regard for what comes back. Without expectation. Soon we will be putting ourselves out there and we may not get any response for a while. Maybe too long. But what will be will be. Finally, living in the moment because it’s all we have. No use getting frustrated about how long it’s taking, or how long The Wait may be. For now, we do what we can, and that’s all there is.

~ by luna on October 26, 2008.

15 Responses to “hurry up and wait”

  1. The waiting and the lack of control are just awful. Awful. And you’re right, this process teaches us them both.

    I think your new blog sounds like a great idea, putting it out there is so necessary and I’m sure you’ll do a great job.

    Hope things speed up soon x

  2. Letting go of control and yet still guiding and moving things forward is a difficult balancing act — one I’m sure you’re more than qualified to manage. May the others who are so central to your success give you the support and help you need …

  3. Here’s hoping it will be a very short wait!! (((hugs)))

  4. I totally agree with that hurry up and wait aspect to getting things kicked off. You need to get to this point where the world (or at least potential birth families) know that you are interested in adoption, but once it’s all set – it’s a matter of waiting. At least with doing your own outreach, there is always something you can be doing, but yeah – hurry up and wait. Right there with ya girl.

  5. Your insights are so wise–and so hard to abide by! I admire, once again, your strength, clarity, and sincerity.

  6. Your strength is inspiring, but it doesn’t make it easy, I know.

  7. Equanimity – composure: steadiness of mind under stress;One of the seven limbs of enlightenment and one of the Four Limitless States of Mind

    Let’s wait together.

  8. That’s all there is. It’s all you can do, and you’re doing your best, and I’m waiting right here, too.

  9. It is that lack of control that still gets to me and the reason I pursued DE instead of adoption – it just felt like I had more control.

    Thanks for the update. I was wondering how it was going. I hope others get their stuff together soon.

  10. Great post Luna – you sound like you’re in a good place despite, well, everything. Big cheers and pats on the back for you. You will be terrific parents. I hope that shines through on your site/letters etc.

    love Barb

  11. The waiting is hard. For me it was very hard to have any hope. I actually preferred the part of the wait when we were preparing our profile, papers, etc…, becuase I KNEW that it couldn’t happen yet then and so at least every day wasn’t a disappointment, another day that we didn’t get the call. A strange logic, but it’s what it was. I am so thankful for what this process has taught me about control, letting go of it, and having blind faith. It’s certainly made me the parent that I am today. I really, really cannot wait to see you and M be parents. You will be amazing. You already are.

  12. Hi, the waiting is so hard, and so very few understand. Thank goodness you have bloggy friends who do; I wish I had when we were waiting.

    We adopted our daughter seven years ago after a relatively short wait (9 months – no irony there). I was on a high after we turned in our paperwork but that definitely wore off after a couple of months.

    I wish I had some brilliant suggestions about how to make the wait easier, but I don’t. Some enjoy preparing a nursery; I couldn’t bring myself to do anything until we had been chosen by a family and even then I did the minimum. Until she was in my arms I just couldn’t go there.

    Please keep posting! I’ll be back – and thinking of you.

  13. I really like your last paragraph. Because sometimes it seems like we’re all waiting for something.

  14. […] — preparing our adoption outreach. As I explained before, that has involved a whole lot of hurry up and wait. While we completed drafts of our letter and profile months ago, only now does it feel like […]

  15. […] year ago, we had not yet grown frustrated with the “hurry up and wait” inherent in adoption. We were excited and just beginning embrace the philosophy that we must trust […]

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