We’ve had a busy few months adoption-wise, which I’ll explain below.
In early fall we learned about referral agencies. These are companies that work with adoption agencies (they do NOT work directly with expectant parents). Adoption agencies send the referral agency situations that they want more adoptive couples’ profiles for, and the referral agency in turn shares these situations with their clients. If a client is picked, that hopeful adoptive couple then works with that adoption agency.
So, after a lot of consideration, in October we signed with a referral agency. [side note: many people don’t realize it, but you can work with multiple organizations at once, whether those are agencies, referral agencies, lawyers, facilitators, nonprofits, or a combination thereof.] Within days we were asked to send our profile to an agency, and were selected by the expectant mother who was due in January. It was amazing! My mother happened to be in town, so we were able to share the news with her in person. We spoke with the expectant mother. We told the boys. We (ok, *I*) shopped. And shopped some more.
Baby girls are awfully fun to shop for!
We were up front with the boys that there was no guarantee they’d be getting a sister in January, but we felt that with all the time to prepare we couldn’t hide the news from them, either. They took to calling her their “maybe baby.” The four of us bounced names off each other. J oohed and ahhed over clothes in the store, asking at least twice per visit to Target “can I buy THIS for my maybe baby sister?” The items in question were usually size 5T and character-themed.
Menininho helped me decide on the nursery bedding (purple and green). I forced Mark to sand down our old changing table/dresser so that I could paint the whole thing black to match the crib, because I’d always wished that we had a nursery with matching furniture so by gosh this baby girl would have that! I painted the blue stripe on the wall lavender, and found a shade of green to paint the photo frames to match the green in the bedding.
The diaper bag was packed 6 weeks in advance (you never know!), save for a few last minute additions the week she was due when I realized baby didn’t have enough pants. Oh and then again on her due date, when I couldn’t pass up a kitten hat and some mittens, because heaven knows I have no idea what happened to the mittens of 4 years ago.
Adoption grief is a funny thing. I mean, once you’re matched you have to plan as though this child is yours. You get supplies, you think of a name (though I refused to settle on one, because if the match failed I figured the baby would be a little less real without a name)…maybe you tell some friends and family, or maybe not. But at the same time, you’re acutely aware that this child isn’t yours and may well not be. When an adoption match falls through, you’re grieving something that was never yours in the first place.
We’re taking it a bit at a time. The boys are doing ok. For me, it comes in waves. But, we’re not giving up. We’ve asked for our profile to start being shown again. If you know someone making an adoption plan, please think of us. Hopefully we’ll have a new little one to introduce to all of you soon.