An egg to ponder

You would think that when we have a possibility of a conversation with a birth mom that it would have made the blog before today.  Afterall, I found out about this possibility this past Saturday...five days ago.  However, if there is one thing we've learned through this process, it's that everything has to go through the PROCESS.  There are i's to dot and t's to cross and we find ourselves being almost too careful at times: not sharing details, wanting to be vague, and waiting, even when we may not need to.  On Saturday, I received a message from an acquaintance telling me that she knows of a birth mom in another state who is interested in talking with us.  Even typing it right now makes it feel more tangible.  Up to this point, we have had trouble thinking of these babies as "real."  We can't see them, touch them, hold them, introduce them to our families, allow life to change the way it would if they were home...  Even though I'm considered "paper pregnant" and could technically have a baby in the house in less time than a pregnancy, it doesn't feel like we're expecting.  We haven't had a baby shower because we don't want it to be too soon, so all of the baby items we have are tucked away in the nursery with the door closed and the vent closed off to save money on heating.  Life is going on as normal (whatever that is) until a day like last Saturday.  

I came home from lunch with a friend, Justin was at the computer store lending his expertise (he likes to work there on Saturdays sometimes), I opened Facebook, and there was the message.  It was describing a situation that I can't share here on this public blog, but suffice to say that I found out we are known to a birth mom, she is interested in speaking with us, and away we go...  I called Justin and told him what I knew and don't think I even called my mom right away.  It just gets too hard when we are finding out details in small doses and can't stop to explain it over and over again.  We also know from each experience, that it does no good to get any hopes up.  But as my pastor said to Justin not long ago, "you don't want to count your chickens before they hatch, but it's nice to have an egg to ponder at."  So, we ended Saturday, after several more e-mails with my acquaintance, with what we called cautious optimism.  There are so many questions with pursuing an out-of-state adoption on our own: money questions, birth plan, how long would we have to stay in the other state, do we need to communicate through her social worker, or do we choose to call the birth mom now and make contact, effectively breaking any semblence of privacy for both of us...?  If we were working here through Bethany and a birth mom had chosen us, our social worker would be filling us in on all of the answers to these questions and more, but we have to do a lot of the leg work ourselves in order to pursue this possibility.  

But the bottom line for us remains:  We will not say no to going through a door toward adoption, as long as the door stays open.  So the waiting continues.  Tonight, we made the decision, after talking to social workers in both states, to call this birth mom.  We prayed beforehand and left a voicemail on her cell phone.  

Some of the thoughts (random and selfish) that have passed through our conversations over the past few days: we are not sure how comfortable we are with open adoption and who defines open adoption anyway?  We are having trouble with the idea of Justin, me, and the birth parent(s) deciding what the visitation/picture/update schedule will be before the baby is even born, not giving him or her a choice as to how involved they want their biological family to be in their life.  It's kind of like our baptism United Methodists, we believe in infant baptism, but my personal Christianity tells me that my child should not have baptism performed on him/her when they will not even remember it.  It's a symbolic ritual that basically is for the fulfillment of the parent's and congregation's desires for the child.  But what about their desires?  I hope that my child chooses to follow Christ and will one day do so in Christian baptism, but I think it will mean so much more to me and to Justin on the day our child comes to us and says "I want to be baptized."  We can experience the joy of that moment as a family, knowing that it was an intentional decision by our child for something that they want.  It may be different after we meet a birth mom.  I realize that.  But today, this blog is an outlet for me to post my thoughts and emotions, even if they are subject to change.  I want this child to have a say in his/her future relationship with the woman who gives them life.  I don't want to make the whole plan from the beginning if that relationship may not be the best thing for him/her.  Adoption isn't co-parenting, it isn't joint custody, it's completely different from any other parental relationship.  There are pros and cons to an open adoption and tonight, we are praying for clarity as we walk through the door.



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