Oh good golly, it's been a week. I don't even know yet what adjective to put in front of week to describe it... amazing, unexpected, overwhelming, higgity-jiggity, all of the above kind of week.
Okay- first things first because if we did second things first it would all get very confusing and ain't no one got time to sort that out. We finished our freakin book!! Yeah, you heard me right. THE book. You know, the book all about our family we give our adoption agency to present to bio parents?? Yeah, that's the one! We finished it! Finito. (and I can totally credit the momentum on getting this done to the amazing Eliza Bolen for capturing such sweet family pics for us. Thank you, a million times, thank you.)
It took us much longer to complete than anticipated but we are truly proud of every single aspect of it-- the word choices, picture selections, aesthetic, originality, the balance of input by both myself and Mike, and overall the ability to create an artifact that represents our family's values and love.
Once we received our books, we just needed to zip them off to our agency along with a fatty check (okay, not really a check because it's 2018 but the authorization to debit our account) and then we would be on the waitlist. So, we did this and it wasn't the beautiful, exciting moment I had worked up in my head at all. I envisioned something under the lines of the three of us going together and seeing our counselor. Crepe paper streamers with a banner greeting us and party poppers going off once we handed the book over. Cue the fanfare!! But none of that happened. (Before you get all judgy- judgy on me, I didn't aaaactually think that was how it was going to go down. I just thought it would have a similar feeling of excitement). Here's how it actually went down....
Mike took off work on Friday, October 19th so we could all go as a fam. We totally forgot until last minute, didn't feel like hauling our toddler along for the car ride since she isn't a fan of the carseat (so Mike went alone), our counselor wasn't there, and the front desk clerk didn't seem to understand the significance of Mike handing over our profiles to her. Then we received an email congratulating us on being on the waitlist. No next steps. Just wait. Anticlamatic, amiright? Noooo confetti whatsoever.
With all that said, Mike and I acknowledge the anticlamaticness of it all (and yes, that's a word, just ask me and I'll confirm that it's a word) and made sure to recognize the significance of this for our family. My heart was warmed when he showed me a picture of our profile book at the agency in front of pics of "Cradle babies" (babes that were adopted through the Cradle). So thoughtful, this one.
Well, let's move on, shall we? Because I said its "been a week" and so far I have only told you about one day. Alright, alright. Where to, next?
Monday. Well, it's official. The wait begins! Then comes Wednesday and the Cradle calls Mike because our bank wouldn't let them debit the amount we authorized. I can't blame them. We don't typically spend that much at once. And by typically I mean never. So after some back and forth it finally gets straightened out and they successfully debit the account. (I just had to scrounge around in our couch cushions looking for extra change first).
Okay, here we go. Now things are feeling more official! I get the confirmation from the Cradle that they debited our account in my email at 3:21pm and I excitedly forwarded to Mike because I was feeling good. A monetary transaction was made! I am feeling official! We are ON the waitlist for an adoption!
Hold up a sec. What does this mean to be on the waitlist exactly? I often get the question, "So now you just wait for the call, right?" And kind of but not really at all. We wait for a RFP (Request For Profile), then a match, then a baby. I will try and explain what waiting actually looks like as succinctly as possible:
1) Expectant Mom (& sometimes father) come to the Cradle (at some point in pregnancy)
2) Cradle works with them to counsel them through ALL their options (parenting their own child being one of them but also obviously adoption being an option as well)
3) Mom (& dad) choose an Adoption plan for their unborn (or sometimes born) child
4) When the expectant mother's third trimester approaches, the Cradle looks at expectant parent's preferences and adoptive parents preferences and contacts multiple adoptive families that match with a RFP to review to see if they want their profile book to be shown to expectant parents.
5) Now, if several families match, the ones that have waited the longest receive the RFP first. So we may match quickly but won't get notified since we are at the bottom of the waitlist (our agency stated that the first 6-9 months can be a bit slow in terms of getting RFP's and some families won't see one for an entire year).
6) The expectant parent(s) choose a profile that they feel is the right fit.
7) The expectant parent(s) and the adoptive parents meet, face to face, for a match meeting to finalize the match, discuss details, and plan for the little one.
Back to Wednesday (remember, I got the confirmation of payment at 3:21pm)
Fast forward a whopping 27 minutes to 3:48pm and I get another email, this time from our adoption counselor. Ah crap, was our payment declined again? She starts her email...
"Hello Mike and Stacy, Ok, take a breath, and I hope you're sitting down because I have your first RFP for you family to review!" Internal monologue "What the?? Is this some sick joke?? I thought you were our friend!" I read on... "Please note that this is EXCEPTIONALLY EARLY in the process to see a RFP after being added to the waiting list." Yeah, no shit. I immediately called Mike without reading on. Mike picks up and I say "HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR EMAIL??" No, he hadn't. He was working. I'm not sure if my internal or external dialogue was going OMG, OMG, OMG but I remember Mike calming me and saying "Okay. I'll take a look and come on home so we can process."
We looked the RFP over and over. How did this RFP make its way to the BOTTOM of the waitlist? Our counselor tells us it's because of the dad's health history (I don't want to give too many identifying details here out of respect to the privacy of this couple so I am choosing to keep the specific disorder in the health history unnamed) but I can say that it didn't even phase Mike or myself when reading over the RFP. It is something we are NOT worried about. I'll tell you from my research that less than 2 in 100 people develop it at some point in their life and having one parent with it increases the risk to less than 5 in 100. Even if this child did inherit this trait, it's not a big deal to us. "Big Whoop," we said to each other. In unison. It was hilarious. Okay, we didn't say it in unison, but we both had the same thought.
We were given until Monday (10/29) at 11am to decide whether or not we wanted our profile to be presented to the expectant parents. We emailed our counselor this morning and said we would be thrilled to have this little one join our family and to please show the expectant parents our profile. Ah! just AH!
Somewhere around 4 families get presented to the expectant mom and she chooses one family. We do know that the profiles are being delivered to the expectant mom TODAY, but we do not know the timeline that was given to her.
I am anxious. Point blank. But I calm by reminding myself that this isn't about me. This isn't about being picked. This is about a mother, a father, and an unborn baby. What I want is for the expectant parents to feel good about the decisions they are making and that very well may mean they choose another family or change their mind and decide to parent their child themselves. But nonetheless, I'm anxious and a ball of emotions.
Oh yeah, did I mention that baby is due in LESS THAN 2 MONTHS?! I didn't? Well, I'll say it again then. Baby is due in LESS.THAN.TWO (dos, due, deux, zwei) MONTHS.
And should we be lucky enough to parent this child, we are ready. And full of expectant love, while also cautiously aware of all of the other possible outcomes.
I'll be sure to post an update. But yeah, when I say "it's been a week", I mean, it's been A WEEK.