A few months ago, I felt nudged to reach out to someone. Actually, the nudges had been going on for several weeks, after that same someone left a comment on one of my blog posts. The comment was to please let her know if she could look into international adoption options for us in Mexico and Latin America.
I, of course, ignored the nudges. Nothing in the family of adoption could possibly work out for us. Nothing even remotely close to being a distant and long-lost relative to adoption could jive with Mr and Mrs TCIE.
But still, the nudges continued.
And so, I went with it. Knowing full well this was going to be another painful journey, no matter how it ended. Mr TCIE was just as scared, if not moreso, because he feels personally responsible for our inadoption. But he, like I, took a leap of faith and decided to tread slowly and cautiously under the assumptions that we were prepared to wait until 2014 to pursue foster care, anyway. If something could somehow be done before then, well, so be it. But we definitely wouldn't be relying on much.
So, we contacted E from A Martha Trying to Be Mary. She, along with her friend B, agreed to "meet" with us for a video conference and review some of the logistics of how an international adoption under the Hague Convention may be a route we could take. We spoke for quite awhile that night, and learned quite a lot. Mr TCIE and I couldn't quite articulate why, but our hearts were already leaning towards Mexico. We learned during that video conference that quite often in these adoptions, the woman or the couple are asked to stay in Mexico for weeks to months during the adoption process. We also learned that the way in which the Hague Convention dictates that agencies evaluate the prospective adoptive parents might indeed be the safety net we had been searching for, for years. We learned that what could also boost our chances were the fact that we are extremely open to older children and sibling groups. Extremely is an understatement. If it were up to me, we'd adopt the entire Patridge Family.
And, inevitably, we began to feel hopeful about the prospect. But, as always, the fear multiplied the moment our hearts became involved. At this point, it has become a very necessary and very involuntary spontaneous reaction to any feeling of hope that our childlessness might come to an end.
In the midst of all of this, I was also preparing to have a NaPro Dr from Mexico shadow our ultrasound series. She was with us for a week, and one of those nights, she spent at my home and we had a very lengthy discussion about how God had worked in her life. It was astounding to hear her story, and I saw a lot of myself in her as she spoke. God gave her such clear signs, and yet throughout her journey, she continued to question if she was doing what God wanted. I had to laugh, because I have so often reacted in exactly the same way.
It may come as no surprise that this Dr was only with us in New Jersey because of the connection we both have to - you guessed it - A Martha Trying to Be Mary.
So, while the Dr was here, I told her briefly about how we were beginning to think about the possibility of a Mexico or Latin America adoption. She immediately offered her home to me and my husband should we ever need it!
The day after speaking to E and B, I did a ton of research on the Hague Convention, and all the necessary steps we would have to go through just in order to have a chance to pursue this. There were some things that looked very hopeful, and others that looked like death traps - for example, one thing I came across made it seem as though we would never be able to adopt in the future because of what had happened in the past. And still, I continued with the research, and printed out as much as I could.
We decided it would be best to meet first with an international adoption lawyer who was certified to deal with Hague Convention adoptions, before looking into any agencies. We went back and forth, and back and forth again on when and if to contact her. But finally, we bit the bullet, and did it. This was late September. We set a meeting for October 29th. I gave her the lowdown on why we had not been able to adopt in the past, and what we wanted to discuss with her, and she told us what to bring to the meeting, and seemed both willing and able to try to work with us. It was a start. We tried not to get our hopes too high.
On October 28th, I emailed the lawyer to verify location and time, and she responded that she would need to reschedule because Superstorm Sandy was coming through New Jersey on the 29th. Of course it was!! So, we set aside all of the paperwork we had compiled for the lawyer, and I responded with some other potential dates we could meet (not knowing how bad the storm would be).
To this day, I have yet to hear back from the lawyer.
Now, I don't tell you this as another "whoa is me" story, but rather as a factor for weighing in this situation.
Because, that is not the end of the story.
Since the meeting was delayed (and never rescheduled), the following has taken place:
My 2nd cousin, and his wife, whom I teach FertilityCare, emailed me to tell me that it was official - my cousin had been awarded a placement for ministry in Mexico in 2014. They went on tell me that they hoped I would take advantage of their placement and come and stay with them whenever I wished. Hm. Interesting.
There was a new hire at our office, and on her first day, I spent lunch break with her and asked her about herself. It turns out, she had suffered 9 years of infertility, went on to have two biological children, a 3rd trimester loss, and then years later, adopted their youngest. I was blown away! I asked her, "Do you mind if I ask, what kind of adoption did you do?" She said "We adopted our daughter from Mexico when she was older, 5. If I had to do it again, I would have adopted a sibling group. At the time, they discouraged us from doing that as new adoptive parents. But, it would have been nice."
Hmmm. Veeee-ry interesting.
And yet, we sit. Still.
We knew this was going to be painful. That we would be forced to re-open the scars of the past again, and potentially be met with new wounds. And this lack of follow-through from the lawyer actually gave us time to reflect on our lives and question whether we were happier not knowing. Or at least, more content. Less disrupted. Less pained. More at ease.
There are other changes taking place, and I am kept optimistic and hopeful in all of those. One of them will be within this blog - and hopefully will be revealed in time for the new liturgical year ;) Others will dramatically change my life for the better- and these changes are already underway.
I am just not sure now is the time to be rocking the boat... I am actually quite happy these days.
But is it coincidence that all of these signs are pointing towards Mexico?
And is it selfishness to avoid potential pain and be content to do nothing?
Are we ignoring God's signs, or are we being open to our current childless lives (lives we have never previously fully embraced)?
What would you do?