When we signed up for domestic adoption I was obsessed (literally obsessed) with the answering machine. I didn’t have a cell phone at the time and so every time I would come in the door I would look at the phone to see if the light was blinking. If it was, my heart beat a little faster, even though I knew it was probably the plumber confirming his appointment or my mom. I convinced myself that every day could be THE DAY that we got THE CALL that said, “I have a birth mom that picked you,” or maybe even, “We have a birth mom that just gave birth and she chose you, come down to the hospital now!”
I was literally ready to bring home a baby every day. That was fun and exciting for about three weeks and then it was more of a cruel punishment.
It wasn’t until after our adoptions did the thought occur to me that I should have had more realistic expectations. It would have made it easier on me. I compared it to when I was going to college. I really, really wanted to be a teacher. I knew that. I also knew it would take me 4 years to complete my schooling to get my degree. So I didn’t wake up every morning hoping the Dean of Students would call and say, “You get your degree today, you can now be a teacher!” I wish it were the same for adoption. They can give you windows of time (the agency we worked with said the average was 18-24 months) and that can help but it is still so difficult not knowing. Like college there wasn’t a 4-year plan with a degree at the end.
If you are in the waiting phase try to also make it the living phase. As in college everything I did prepared me for being a teacher. This time can be used as a time to prepare to parent (although I bet you are already ready!)
Imagine if we had no idea how long each pregnancy would be. Like animals that have different gestation lengths. At the playground women would exchange their birth stories, “Well my first one I carried for 16 months and she came out crawling, but my second one was full term after only 4 months.” That would be interesting. That’s kind of how it is in the adoption world.
For us it was 19 months before we got THE CALL, and seriously not one single bite before that! (Imagine me coming through my door for 19 months straight staring at the phone, that’s pretty much how it was!!) We brought our daughter home 2 months after that. So I guess it was a 21-month long pregnancy (worse than an elephant!)