Monday, June 23, 2008

210 and counting

Today is the 210th day since we have been approved for adoption, and what have we heard? . . . crickets (it's so quite you can hear the crickets).   

In the adoption world you are not given a time frame or a "due date".  You are given unknowns and no guarantees.  So, instead of counting down, I get count up.   But that is not a bad thing, it is 210 days closer to our placement then we were a year ago when we were starting the paperwork.  Karst thinks this is crazy and I need to stop counting the days, but for some reason this helps me.

Karst's schooling for his CPA has hit a pothole, in the road.  (But he told me I can't tell you the details yet.)  Hopefully, we'll know all the details in the next few weeks, and I'll share them with you.  Anyway, right now that is where all his focus is going, so although I know he shares most if not all of these feeling about adoption and what we are experiencing, I am going to give you my perspective.  He is a man of little words, and I am a women of too many words, so really how could I speak for him and say all I need to say?

Adoption has pushed me out of my comfort zone and it is forcing me to deal with different parts of life and my personality I would have kept covered longer.  Things like grace, patients, being open to everyone, the unknown, the unplanned, putting trust in many I don't know to help us find our baby, not carrying guilt for something I can't control, and needing help and asking for it.

My friend Linda, told me that "We don't get to choose what happens to us in life, but should always handle life gracefully."   Well if you know me, you know how graceful I am.  So, that is one of many things I am trying to learn.  I made a list of things I want to accomplish before the placement to try and keep me focused on what I can control.  I love to plan everything out, I love to put things into a spreadsheet, create checklists and flow charts, color coordinate the projects and have it right there the whole time so I know I am in control.

Yeah, well with adoption the only thing I have control over is how many people I tell that we are adopting.  Which, isn't as bad as I initially thought.  But I can't just mention, "Yeah, we are trying to adopt."  In order for it to be effective I get to say. 

 "Hey guess what?  We get to adopt, and do you know what is so great about adoption these days?  The birthparents get to pick the families for their babies.  And they can decide to have an open adoption with that family.  So it might take 5 more week or 5 more years."  

The response is either
A) Nods with that smile and tells her kids to "Just keep walking past the crazy lady."  (Here is when I stop jumping up and down and waiving my hands franticly)
B) "Oh yeah, I know all about adoption because my neighbor, sisters, uncles, daughter gave her baby up for adoption and never got over it."  (At which point, I get to tell them, yeah now it is different now the girls "PLACE" their babies with the couple, they can have communication, pictures, letters or even visits with the family.  The adoption world is changing and they are working to make things better for everyone.)
C)  "Wow, can't have kids huh?  Bummer deal dude."  (At which point I fight the urge to trip them, and instead say.  "Well, it wasn't what we had planned but the more we have learned about it the more excited we are.  Plus guess what? If you adopt a kid they have like less then an 18% chance of looking like us, so it's probably best for everyone.)
D)  "Adoption huh?  So how much is that going to set you back?" (This is when I pull the mason jar with the hole cut in the lid, from my back pocket and say,  "A lot, we are currently accepting donations from insensitive people, got any spare change?")
E) "Adoption that is great. Where are you in the processes?  How can I help?"  (This is the golden opportunity we wait for.  "Right now we are approved, our profile is on line and listed with our agency in different areas, if you know someone who is pregnant and is considering adoption would you mind giving them our information?  Here is a card with our information on it.")  Then we hug and hug and know that somehow there is hope.

One of the hardest parts about "waiting" is, not having any new information.  All of our family and friends are really excited and they ask us all about it, and we try to tell them all the things we are doing to "find" our baby.  It is wonderful to know that there is that much support and love there for us, but at the same time I feel a disappointment that I don't have any news.  That it has been 210 days and nothing has happened.  That is something, I am trying to handle with grace and not take personal.  For the most part I try to encourage them to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities to help us.

Why do we need help?  Why isn't it that easy?  Why aren't they just falling over themselves to get to us? (this is the biggest mystery.)  Why do we need to let everyone we know, that we are adopting and to let all of the mothers of unexpected pregnancies know that adoption is an option?  Because in our agency in Utah alone, there are 1000 couples "waiting"  That is not a miss print, I said One-thousand couples!  There are lots of statistics as to exactly what the women in crisis pregnancy decide and only 1% of women who have an unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock, will place their babies into adoption and this number is shrinking every year.  I will get the full break down, of all the stats for you later.   (This is a picture of 1000, and if it were couples 10 of them will get a baby this year.)  

So this too is something I hate to do, and that is ask people for help, to admit that we can not do this on our own, we can't just take care of this.   Our adoptions will not happen with out many prayers from many people, and with out people talking to other people about our adoption.  Our adoption will not happen with out you being a part,  we don't want you track down all the girls in crises pregnancy within in a 20 mile radius and tell them what they should do, and drag them to the agency.  We are just asking that you be aware, if someone is in a situation, that you find a way to let her know that she has options, that adoption is one of the options and it is her choice what she does, if she chooses adoption she can choose the couple and choose the amount of communication and contact she has with the family.  That there is help out there for her with any decision she makes and she doesn't have to go through this alone.

Birth mothers are amazing, they are the example of unselfish and unconditional love.  It isn't just the girl that is effected by the decision it is her family and those who care about her, a lot of times it is also the birth father and his family that are also greatly effected.  Placing a child for adoption is not the easy way out, it isn't just one decision.   It is many decisions with lots of consequences, both positive and negative.  It is them giving up what they want for them selves for what they want for their child, is that not an example a true parent?   I have nothing but respect and honor for all the birth mothers that I have met.  I am always humbled when I meet them, I know I am among someone who has loved more, done more, been through more and felt more  then I can imagine.  

Our children, will always know the honor and respect we have for birth parents.  They will know these are people to be loved and accepted and never judged, these are people who will always have a special place in our hearts and in our home.

I honestly, can't wait for the opportunities we will have to raise a family.  I can't wait to discover and then share the adoption stories with our children.  I can't wait to meet our birth moms and to shower them with love and admiration.  I can't wait to share all of this with all of you who have loved, supported, helped and accepted us as we are.

Thanks for reading my long winded post, thanks for being there for us and thanks for being you and being a part of our lives!!

P.S.  We have cards with our adoption information on there if you want some let us know we would be more then happy to send them to you.


Ron & Jessica said...

Good Post Kim. I especially liked when you addressed the no news thing. I hate when somebody asks, "So how is your adoption going?" I especially hate it because it sounds like it should be a teaching moment but as soon as you start telling them how they can help, their eyes glaze over and they completely lose interest. It's like in their mind they're saying, "hey, I don't really care, I'm only asking so that it will look like I care."

Melissa said...

What a great post...thank you for your honesty.

In any given situation, there are always people who don't know what to say or sometimes don't even know if they are saying something inappropriate or rude. someone who is always sticking her foot in her mouth, I'll say that I think about you guys often and I hope that someone, soon, sees the beauty that IS Karsten and Kim and picks you to take their baby.

You two are amazing and will be unbelievable parents.

Amy said...

Beatuifully said! Last Saturday I saw the miracle of open adoption as my brother and his wife were sealed to their daughter. Both the parents of the birth mother and the birth father were at the sealing and it was awesome to witness the combined love they all had for my niece, my brother and my sister-in-law.

You are in my thoughts and prayers!

DenisonChangos said...

you guys are totally awesome. I love reading all about your life. I wish I could be more like Kim. Good luck on the adoption.