From Two to Three

It’s just the two of you. It could have been that way for months, for years. You and your significant other, partner, spouse, dog, whatever it may be–you have your story together. You face what is thrown at you, you support each other, and you enjoy each other to the fullest. At the end of the day, that is your family. Your life is fairly free as you can make all decisions a little more selfishly than some. You only have one other person (or being, as it may be) to consider. Life is fairly simple, very easy-going, and probably quite “routine”.
One day, you start to think about children. You consider everything from education to medical plans. You factor in family time versus “play time”. You even may have discussions about turning the home office into a bedroom, family vacations and get-togethers. School plays and Friday movie nights are sweet and exciting at the same time. At some point, it hits home. You start to realize that THIS is what you’ve been missing. This was the missing piece. You realize that your life is about to change significantly, but you still to go for it.
It may be that your family comes together the “old-fashioned” way: child birth. It could be that you have family members with children that need some help in raising their children and you take them into your home. It could be that your family is created by adoption. Whatever way it comes together, it’s a life-changing event. Having a child is well worth any sacrifices you are making—you will have a little one to share your life with, to watch them grow and see who they will become, right? 
Yet still, there are moments of anxiety. Your life is about to go completely topsy-turvy. You will have another person to consider now. It may not even be huge life-altering moments that make you realize this. It could be something as minute as a midnight trip to the grocery store for the makings of root beer floats—you will have moments when you realize, “Wow…this is going to really change things”. Guilt may set in occasionally because how can you be thinking like this about your future child and the change he/she will have on your life? This, my friends, is also completely natural. 
You may think you are all alone in these feelings, but the truth is that almost all “soon to be parents”feel this way from time to time. Actually, most “already parents” feel this way in regards to an additional child in the home. Anything that is this drastic of a change is going to be scary. Yet at the same time, it’s incredibly exciting and you cannot wait to see that little one arrive. You imagine yourself sitting at those school plays, tying those little shoes, and snuggling on the sofa with the newest little love in your life. These things help to calm the jitters and make everything seem like it’s going to be okay.
I’m sure that if you are pregnant and carrying your child for 9-10 months, you can settle into the idea a little more smoothly. The waves may come and go, but you are able to prepare and the biological sense of things falls into place. As your child grows within you (or your significant other), the timeline is obvious. You count down the weeks. You see the ultrasounds and you experience each step week by week, month by month. It’s all right there in front of you. Moments of anxiety still happen, but the process is more gradual.
With adoption; however, it’s a little different. Adoption is a wonderful, amazing thing, but it doesn’t go without its fair share of snags (to say it lightly). In most cases, you do not know for sure that this is happening until a month a week days before your infant arrives. And of course, it’s never a “for sure” thing until those papers are signed and / or the revocation period has ended. There is a bit more “shock” involved with adoption. It seems that all adoptive parents have that moment when it hits them smack in the face. 

“We are doing this. This is real. We’re going to be someone’s mom and dad.”

BAM! It can really take you by surprise. You thought you were ready. You thought you were prepared. But at some point, somewhere…reality hits you dead in the face. IT IS REALLY HAPPENING THIS TIME.

Adoption is typically very procedural. Each and every step is generally broadcasted in some form and the process is very “scheduled”. You go through the steps one by one. At times, it’s difficult to find the emotion that is involved. Quite frankly, I believe that in my situation, the emotion was suppressed for much of the process. I’m sure it was a safeguard for me, having been through three other failed adoption attempts, it did make parts of the process seem cold and took away from the excited expectation of our little one.

Of course it was worth it. Of course once he was in my arms I turned to mush. Corey and I both took a breath that day. We still had a ways to go before we could really call him ours, but we took the chance with our hearts.
We still had that defining moment. It may not have been at the first kick or the first sound of his heartbeat on a monitor, but it was still very real. We were sitting outside of the hospital waiting the scheduled time for his birth. We stepped out of the car and lugged our bags up the long sidewalk. I stopped in my tracks.
“This is the last time it’s going to be just us.” 
I did tear up a little upon saying it. It wasn’t really sadness that I felt. It was not regret. It was excited expectation of our lives as they were to become. It was also years of struggle finally coming to fruition. It was a little bittersweet as I was going to miss elements of our “old life”,yes. I wasn’t sad about losing those things, but it was a moment full of all sorts of emotions. Corey reached over and put his arm around me and said, “Here we go” as we walked through those hospital doors. Our son was born just an hour and a half later. 
A very good friend of mine is about to embark on this experience and this hit home for her last night as she was looking at her infants clothes packed in her suitcase. Reality check. Panic. Excitement. Meltingggg heart. Yes, in that order. It was heartwarming for me to be there with her as it was happening. I felt all of the emotions of the day my son was born come right back to me again. I love adoption so much—it does my heart good to see this with my friends.

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