When I started this blog, I told myself that I would post regularly, that this space would help me find my writing voice again. And it has certainly done that, giving me a place to work through some of the complicated emotions that I’ve been experiencing since I began this adoption journey. Many women, after all, keep pregnancy blogs, documenting each new bodily sensation, the growing, tangible evidence that, in a specified amount of time, there will be a baby.
While waiting to adopt, though, there is nothing tangible: no growing belly, no swelling ankles, no blame-it-on-the-hormones bouts of moodiness. No timeline. In a normal pregnancy, there are nine months to plan and prepare, a date in the future that clearly delineates the before and after of baby’s arrival. In a normal adoption wait, there is… nothing. There is daily life as usual, and that life could last nine months, nine weeks, or even nine days, should one get a last-minute placement. I don’t know whether my child has already been conceived, whether their existence is visible to the world around them or whether their story hasn’t yet reached the page. I sometimes find myself struggling to come up with things to write, because there is nothing to document but the ceaseless hoping, which doesn’t change from day to day.
Sometimes, I feel as if I’m repeating myself here; while all I can think about is becoming a mother, the shape and scope of that does not change, and the ability to plan is limited by the unknowing. Do I fully prepare just in case, or do I settle in for the more-than-likely long-term wait that doesn’t require the immediate purchase and assembly of a crib, a glider, a changing table? What do I write about in the meantime? Unlike with pregnancy, nothing on the outside is changing; the jubilantly anxious tumult of my thoughts is not visible to the world. No one can look at me and see a mother-to-be, although every cell of my being desperately wishes to be acknowledged as such. There is nothing to make it tangible.
And yet, that’s not to say that I’m unhappy! I’ve been happier this past year than I’ve been in a very long while, feeling, for the first time in my life, that I’m finally moving in the direction I’ve always wanted to go. Of course, it is all too easy to pivot away from that, to let the “what ifs” cloud out the joyful thrum of excitement that drives each of my moments. Such is the fulcrum that is hope. And so, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I continue to make things to convince myself that, despite the invisible nature of my path toward motherhood, it is nevertheless there before me.
My most recent completion has been a calendar blanket, each block representing a month of the year. I hooked each stitch imagining the blanket as a source of playtime and learning, of warmth and comfort. I’m sometimes amused by the parallel to that line from Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.” If I surround myself with the things that would fill a baby’s days, if I make my home look as if it is prepared to receive a baby at any moment, then these things, like a magnet, will draw that baby to me. I have to keep thinking this way, because the alternative is too painful to contemplate.
To discuss this and other SMC topics, join SMC and take part in our discussions on our lively online 24/7 Forum and at local chapter meetings.