Pregnant for 21 Months…and Counting

Pregnant for 21 Months… and Counting 

{This was first published at Becky and Hollee’s blog back in June 2010.}

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Today we are pleased to welcome a California mom-to-be who shares how she’s coping with the a very long journey to motherhood.–Hollee

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Can you imagine being pregnant for 21 months and counting? Welcome to the world of international adoption!

During the fall semester of 2008 (we’re both public school teachers), we began our very long journey toward becoming parents. Every second that fall was filled with adoption paperwork. We answered essay questions about why we wanted to adopt and it all came down to this:

There are children in the world who need families and we want to raise a child.

We both believe families are made, not born.

Tami and her husband

 

Autobiographies were written. Fingerprints were cleared by all possible agencies. We wrote a child care plan, divulged tax information, ran financial reports, found guardians for our future child and talked about discipline. Home studies were completed, doctors were consulted and notaries notarized every single scrap of paper.

Through this process I have learned a lot about my husband. I admire his ability to stay hyper-focused and organized, strengths I don’t share. His desire to become a parent has deepened my feelings for him in ways I never expected. Maybe this is what people talk about when they say they fall in love again after their children are born.

In large part, our application was completed in record time because of his determination to make this happen. We turned it all in to our agency and patted ourselves on the back.

Then there was nothing to do — except wait.

Did you hear anything yet?
Why does it take so long?
Did you hear anything yet?
Are you sure this is all legit?
Did you hear anything yet?
I’m sure you’ll get pregnant, now that your paperwork is finished.
Did you hear anything yet?

No, we haven’t heard anything yet. We’re hoping (fingers crossed) that it will be next summer when we travel. For now, we simply have to wait our turn and figure out how to fill our time while we wait.

As you can imagine, it’s not always easy to just wait. As a culture, we are fairly accustomed to immediate gratification.

So how are we spending our paper-pregnancy time?

We’re reading adoption books (Adoption is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know is a favorite), general parenting books (we’re always looking for recommendations) and cultivating relationships with other waiting/adoptive families. There is nothing like the support of people who have gone through or are currently going through the same experience.

We’re taking classes to make sure we’re at the highest salary possible when our child arrives, making some much-needed home improvements, and now re-doing lots of paperwork because it needs to be renewed annually.

But mostly, we’re just waiting.

Our friends and family are all trying to be patient and supportive, only occasionally raising the when question. This experience is new to them, too, and they want to stay involved and help us in our wait. Love is all around.

Sometimes though, they admit that they forget that we’re expecting. They apologize and ask about the timeline and procedures. But truth be told, sometimes I forget too. There is no baby bump or physical change, no big nesting urge or due date. At this point, we don’t even have a referral, so there isn’t even a picture of our waiting child.

Right now, our pregnancy is still a completely paper one.

Through this process, I’m learning a lot about myself. For starters, I am slowly developing the ability to not need to know what is going to happen next and to not feel defensive because I don’t have all of the answers. My faith in what is to be has been repeatedly tested and I haven’t come completely undone.

My heart is opening in unexpected ways: I’ve been able to accept the support of friends and family, and to look inside for acceptance of who I am without judgment. I know I’ll need these skills once I become a parent.

Yoga is actually helping the most. By practicing living in this moment, not trying to anticipate what will happen, the waiting becomes much more bearable. I’m trying to cultivate the feeling that life unfolds and to remember that forcing or pressing adds to the suffering.

Building your family through adoption is a long process that requires a lot of love, compassion, support and patience. I’m happy to know I’m not on this journey alone.

Tami Hackbarth is a full-time public school teacher in Northern California. When she’s not bossing kids around, she also teaches yoga to people who think it’s not for them. She is pursuing an advanced degree in resting, storytelling and social media. She can be found on Twitter and at her blog: Teacher Goes Back to School.

5 thoughts on “Pregnant for 21 Months…and Counting

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