Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hello, is anyone there?

While we haven't been asked this exact question, we've been asked similar questions by a few people and it certainly is a fair question to ask. If you have been following us after we started our blog three years ago, you may have noticed that's it's been a long time since we last posted on this blog. In fact, our last post was dated a year ago today. We didn't mean to leave it so long, but that's how things have gone. If you've followed us online another way (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest) over the last four years, you've probably noticed that we're not completely silent there, but we're not saying much either.

So, why have we been so quiet? 

Sometimes it's hard to know what to say when things aren't going well and we just haven't known what to say. No one wants to be down, least of all us, but that's where we are when it comes to adoption. We think about it all the time, but it's hard and sometimes putting more out there online just makes it harder.

And, are we still hoping to adopt?

This is a good question and we have some answers but first, we would like to say thank you to everyone who has followed us and supported us these long four years. Even though we have been quiet, we still appreciate each and every person who follows us and particularly appreciate those who comment on our blog, like our Facebook posts, etc. when they do occasionally happen. As most of you know, this journey to adopt has been very tough for us and the support we have received has helped to carry us this far. Thank you so much for supporting us on this long journey. We'd like to say it's nearly over, but there's no way to tell.

We realize now that we're coming up on four years of waiting with Independent Adoption Center (IAC), that it is well past time to stop pretending that things are ok with our adoption plans. Things aren't ok. Don't get us wrong, in 2010 we made a conscious decision to work with IAC and part of us still hopes that it might somehow work out with them, though it seems increasingly unlikely. There were a lot of reasons we went with them, including the success that two couples we knew had with them when they adopted fairly quickly. And that does happen, not just for them, but for other hopeful adoptive parents too. However, there are many other people like us who have been waiting with IAC for over eighteen months. It's been two or three years for some and like us, there are others who have waited four years or even longer. 

Over the last few years we've realized that what we thought would be a relatively straightforward path to parenthood certainly hasn't been for us. And perhaps it shouldn't be for anyone since this type of adoption involves parents consciously choosing to place their child forever with adoptive parents. It is not an easy decision and one that is not to be taken lightly by anyone involved in the process - the parents who place their child, the parents who adopt, or those who work to help make it happen. In any case, our journey has been significantly longer, much more expensive, and far more complex and emotionally draining than we ever thought possible. We ran out of steam quite a while back as you can tell from our troubles posting on this blog and other places.

We've often thought that we should switch paths, but as with many things in life, it's not so simple. Adoption can be very expensive depending on the path you choose, and while we didn't pursue the most expensive path, we didn't choose the cheapest one either. So while many have suggested we switch agencies, work with a lawyer or facilitator, pursue international adoption, etc. the simple reality is that we don't have money for any of those options. Of course, we could try to borrow the money or raise it through one of those newfangled funding sites, but we don't want the newest member of our family to come home to a sea of debt, nor do we want to live with that kind of debt if it's just going to be the two of us. Asking others to pay for our adoption doesn't seem quite right either, especially when you consider the vast number of adoption options that claim they are "the solution", but are still largely a matter of luck.

And we've learned the hard way that luck is what a lot of adoption is about. We didn't realize how much luck factored into it when we began our journey and this knowledge might not have changed anything even if we had known. All we can say is that we're now at the point where hundreds of pregnant women considering adoption for their babies have received paper copies of our letter and they haven't chosen us. We don't know why, but it can't help that our letter usually goes out in a large packet of letters - composed of a couple dozen or even a hundred or more. (We often wonder how does anyone choose adoptive parents from a packet with a hundred or more letters? It seems like an overwhelming task, even under the best of circumstances.) Thousands of people have heard about us online through our network of followers and through other means including this blog and our various efforts. But unfortunately our luck has not been good and we are still childless after all this time. We realize some find comfort in embracing the idea that there is a baby out there for every family who wants to adopt. And we wish we could believe this, but we no longer can because we know it isn't always true. Some have their hearts broken more times than they can bear. Some people run out of resources. Some find the journey too long to continue without even a glimpse of the end in sight. We understand the last one because we often feel this way these days.

Just a pretty sunset we've seen while we're waiting.

So, back to the title question. We are here and this is what's been going on with us. We are still active with IAC and our profile is out there to be chosen if anyone wants us. While our hope to adopt is a faint glimmer of what it was when we started our journey, it is still there. We're not sure what's next for us, but we will try to include you as we figure it out.