Thursday, August 10, 2006

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting...

Blah, blah, blah. That's how I feel after being in the process of adopting what will be my husband's and my first and maybe only child from China.

We've been at it for almost two years and it seems like forever. I'm continually bombarded by questions. Do you still want the baby? I take offense. The way I look at is - if you were nine months pregnant would anyone dare to ask you if you still wanted the baby? I'm in the process - this is it. It's harder and takes a lot longer and more effort than getting pregnant, regardless of how you've done that because, yes, in fact I've tried that too. I feel furious that my motherly desires are doubted because the process takes a long time. It's crazy that someone would ask that.

Crazier, and funnier, is as I'm telling the story of telling the story someone asks me what about Craig's List? They seem to have everything else, did you ever check it out? Maybe they have cute babies available? Hilarious. Only in New York, only in the land of plenty.

Obviously many Americans and most New Yorkers don't know the meaning of waiting. When you're adopting a baby you learn about waiting, slowly at first and more quickly as time goes on. Then, inevitably, daily, someone asks why is it taking so long? Why did Meg Ryan get her baby so fast? The implication is that I'm not in the know enough, not powerful enough, or not connected enough to get a baby efficiently. People ask: can't you call someone? No, it's not like that - I plead my case. I explain and I try to be patient. This is the process, there is no other way. It's like explaining why the sky is blue. We know why but who can remember all of the details and who really knows why even those details make it so? None of us know why, not the agency, not the Chinese. No one really has any specific answers, it's just this way, right now. Then, of course, people like to tell their stories about someone they knew who adopted and it DIDN'T take this long. That makes me scream inside but I end up saying, politely, it's just not that way right now. PERIOD. We just wait. We trust. We dream. We hope that our baby is on her way, that she's happy wherever she is, that she trusts we're coming to get her, that
she's well taken care of, and that she's healthy.

Meanwhile, friends get pregnant, have babies, these babies are turning one, then two, others are pregnant,they give birth, and I'm still waiting. The baby showers at my office come and go. I'm still waiting. When everyone asks, when? I'm not sure I say. The implications are varied, either I'm an idiot because I don't know why or when or I'm withholding because I don't want to share the why's and when's or I'm standoffish because I'm jealous of their abundance of children or some other random reason. Whatever.

Each day is a new day and one day closer. I tell myself, each person asks because that's what people do. In my 20's it was about boyfriends, then it became about husbands to be, then it became about getting pregnant, now it is about my mysterious little baby from China. I tell myself it's okay, once she's here, I'm never going to let her go. Sometimes, I wonder if people think I'm lying like one of those mothers who has Munchausen's disease.

Am I really getting a baby, ever? OR am I just telling a fib to get attention. Lately, I try not to mention it at all. I can't take the questions about when. So I hold my breath. The other day, I wandered into a children's clothing store and I felt subversive, obsessive, like a stalker. I didn't buy a thing but I told myself this time next year maybe I would. Then I caught myself, they tell me she's coming soon, but secretly I wonder when, and if ever? Yes. Breathe. It's okay. I'm in line and the line is moving. I will get there. The line is somewhere between the length of time it takes to get to the front of the line at the DMV when it's a hundred degrees and eternity, but I'm waiting. I have no choice because our daughter is waiting somewhere too. I can't wait to meet her, but I will and I am. The waiting isn't dramatic but it is unlike anything I've ever imagined. It's odd. It's exciting. It's scary. It's boring. It is what it is: waiting. I can't wait but I am!


Anonymous said...

thank you for that wonderful, explosive delivery of every single emotion that I am feeling. I hope and pray that we will get our babies soon! And how wonderful for all of us that we all want it so, so badly.

You are not alone.

Becky said...

Thank you for sharing this - I can so relate and it is nice to find our group of families and share these feelings.