Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Plan and my messy ball of emotions

Yesterday afternoon was very exciting: when we arrived home from work I found that the Ergo I'd ordered (this one, although I didn't order it from this site) had been delivered! This resulted in an immediate and awkward photo shoot, wherein I proved beyond all shadow of a doubt that I can neither wear properly nor pose un-strangely with the Ergo. Oh well. I've got time to figure it out.

I think it'll look a lot better with a baby in it, personally. Also- it came with a NOVEL. For real. The instruction manual is like 90 pages long!! I have a lot of learning to do, it seems.

The Ergo is a great illustration of how we're kinda failing at sticking to The Plan.

The Plan:  Don't buy (or let other people buy) baby stuff until the 10-day post-placement 'wait period' is over. The only exception to this moratorium is diapers/formula, since those can't be easily borrowed.

It's a good plan. Everyone agrees. The sucky thing about adoption is that it ain't over til it's over. We're elated that we've been chosen. We are so hopeful that we'll be bringing home a baby from the hospital. We try to have faith that we'll get to KEEP the baby. But the thing is- nothing is for certain. Right now we have none of the power and we get to make zero of the choices regarding Baby Girl. And that's fine, because you know what? She isn't our baby yet. She is her mother's baby. And right now her mother is wanting and planning for us to take and raise her baby. And we are so so so so excited about that. But the mother is free to change her mind, too. Up until 10 days after the birth...even if the baby has been with us, in our home for those 10 days...she can change her mind. And so that is a really, really scary thing to think about. Obviously we hope and pray that it won't happen. We look for signs that 'this is really gonna happen' and for the things that make us feel like our situation is 'better' or 'more certain' than the dozens of situations we know about that haven't resulted in a happily-ever-after for the adoptive family. But the truth is that we can't know. We won't know til 10 days after birth. THEN...then...THEN if Baby Girl is still with us, she's ours. Then we know for certain. The adoption won't be finalized, but having her taken from us will be much, much harder than a simple change of mind. 

So in light of the uncertainty ahead of us, we're trying not to fill our house with stuff we'd have to make hard choices about later. We've had a nearly-empty nursery for the four years we've lived in this house. It's a little depressing, but essentially it's a blank room. But if we were to purchase and be given tons of baby stuff and fill up the room with cuteness and plans for our happy family and THEN something goes wrong? It would be awful. Miserable. Would I have to look at the room forever and ever, all that stuff and no baby to use it? Would I try to return the stuff? Return gifts? Oh my gosh. I feel sick thinking about it.

Enter The Plan. We buy nothing now. We borrow everything we need to get us through the wait period. When ten days is over-- GO WILD! We plan our showers. We buy our own carseat, our own clothes...whatever we need. But not now. Now we borrow. Because if something bad happens, borrowed things can be quickly returned. I can go to the movies and when I get back it can all be gone. My heart will be no less broken, but at least I won't have to deal with constant visual reminders. With packing boxes and making decisions. 

The Plan is good. It's solid. Everyone agrees.

We're all failing at follow-through.

The Ergo was half price! That never happens!! I MUST have an Ergo! So I order it. I tell myself that if 'the bad' happens...the Ergo is small and easily packed away. It's one thing. I'll shove it in the closet. Plus, it's not like it's going to expire...(I'm looking at your, expire-able carseats...) I will definitely need and use it someday. So I can justify buying it now. Better half price now than full price later, right?

Our moms see cute baby girl clothes. They can't help it. They need to buy them.

We get a gift. We open it up and hang it in the closet.

Now I find the stroller I really want and it's temporarily $100 off!!! Holy cow!! I need it!! I want it!! But...The Plan. (Also: Even at $100 off, it's still way freakin expensive. Champagne taste, beer budget...story of my life.) This would be a major Plan infraction. Ugh.

We're going to one of the huge (twice-annual) consignment sales after work today. Why? I don't know. We're not supposed to be buying anything. But there isn't going to BE one of these sales going on once we're 'safe.' Buy full-price stuff later, once we know we get to keep it, or buy steeply discounted stuff now and risk being stuck with it (and without a baby) if things go badly? 


Adoption is beautiful. It really is. AFTER it's finalized. From here, it's a messy ball of emotions and uncertainty. I am so excited most of the time. But underneath it all is the knowledge that it could be snatched away anytime. I kinda wouldn't wish this on anyone.

We're so thankful that we're not alone. Like, literally. (PS. That word is so over- and mis-used now, I question whether I use it correctly anymore. Annoying.)

Friends of ours from church found out that they were matched with a birthmom THE SAME WEEK WE DID. It is unbelievable. They've been waiting (using an agency) for THREE YEARS. And we get matched in the same week. It is so freaking awesome I can't even comprehend it. Their baby will be coming maybe a month or so after ours. Our babies will probably be best friends, don't you think?

Last night during our small group we had a celebration. We celebrated our God that brings redemption, who has a plan for our good, who loves His children. We cried and cheered as both of us shared our stories, our prayers, and our dreams. We prayed together for our babies, for the babies' moms, for our hearts. I am so thankful for this community. I am so thankful for friends that know exactly the strange combination of fear and excitement we're living in right now. I have no idea what lies ahead-- I hope and hope that it's a smooth road with no bumps that ends with both of us bringing our forever babies home. It's time, right? It has to be. I just wish I could know.

In the meantime, we'll be more or less sticking to The Plan. Maybe.


  1. that sounds like a hard plan to stick to! it's totally smart but man, i'd be out shopping every day! i hope you have fun at the consignment shop, for some reason i doubt you will be coming home empryhanded. :P

  2. Gosh that does sound like a hard plan to stick to but a good one overall! I really really hope once the 10 days are up you will be able to go NUTS with buying baby stuff!!! Will be keeping you in my thoughts these next few weeks friend!!!

  3. I can't possibly feel what you are going through but it sounds like you have a good plan. I don't know if I could stick to it though :( I would imagine you would be so excited and would want to totally enjoy this moment and to some degree I think you should. Maybe not buying everything of course but you should allow youself a little room. Just enjoy the moment Erika, God has put this wonderful blessing upon you.

  4. That picture with your friends and the "Hooray" cake brought tears to my eyes. Now I'm just as excited for your friends' adoption, too! I hope and pray that both of you finally get your happily ever after.

  5. Praying every day that the day will be here SOON (but not too soon for her health, of course) when she is officially yours and none of this other stuff will have to be factored in to all your decisions!!

  6. Geez. I have to stop reading these posts at work... tears again.

    I HATE the plan, hate that you can't "GO WILD" right now. Even my friends, who have never met you, love you, are for you, and are crazy excited about this baby. Even THEY want to go shop for baby... right now. I can't imagine how badly you want to go buy everything in sight.

    With that said, I think the plan is wise. I'm not being a downer... I'm on my knees asking that THIS, this child, would be the answer to prayers, but we have no guarantees. We serve a mysterious God. Protect your heart, my friend. Maybe let your moms go crazy, but tell them not to share yet. Or maybe go out tonight and limit to five things, or ten things rather than 800 adorable onesies.

    I literally (haha) cannot wait until you get to go WILD over this baby! Day ten of life is going to be a BIG DEAL!

  7. I hear what you're saying and I am praying (and getting everyone I know to pray -- my good friends, my Bible Study group) that the birth mom feels confident in her decision to give her baby to you and that she will have peace of mind as she prepares to give her baby to you.

    Like you said in your original post telling us you had been chosen, you want to be realistic and yet celebrate the anticipation that you are tangibly waiting for your daughter.

    I am so glad you have friends who are walking this same path with you who can relate to the roller coaster of emotions surrounding these next few months.

  8. Tears again, they just can't be helped. So excited for you! And I love hearing about your experiences and support from your church family. What a wonderful blessing to be a part of God's family!

  9. Match + first 10 days of adoption = first trimester of pregnancy, or so it seems. Half price Ergo? I'd so have done that. If God forbid things don't work out, you could carry groceries in it. That's how I'd validate the choice. (But it totally will work out and the groceries won't fit in there once a baby is in it. Well, maybe a few cans of soup with a newborn. Try it and let me know.)

  10. I owe you an email related to this topic, but just had to speak up and say that plans are fine and necessary and good to keep us from going crazy; but, if motherhood has taught me one thing it is that plans MUST be adapted. You are doing it EXACTLY right. Allow yourself to enjoy this season too and be happy and celebrate. If plans fall through, you will mourn NO MATTER WHAT. But, you won't get to go back to these few weeks of celebration and (happy) anticipation.

    Just my two cents. (Not that you asked for it, or that I have any idea what I'm talking about.)

    Praying hard! Love you!!

  11. How awesome about your friends! Amazing how God provides above what we even ask or imagine. Prayers for you and Matt in this exciting season!

  12. The "Plan" is a good idea...BUT I think that you and Matt are doing exactly what SHOULD and NEEDS to be done! Follow your heart! Sending you all lots of prayers and well wishes.

  13. I can totally understand why you wouldn't want to buy anything until the adoption is finalized. That being said, I definitely wouldn't be able to stick with the plan either!!

    Sending you lots of good vibes for everything to go smoothly!

  14. I see the pros of the plan. I also know that if this placement fails, it will be painful to lose the baby. Whether or not you have a houseful of stuff. And even if it is your stuff, your famiky and friends can still cover over to pack it up and move it out while you are at the movie. And it will be ready when your forever baby comes. I am all about enjoying the moment right now. And this moment might call for a stroller and lots of half price baby gear!

  15. Wow that gives me the chills - how cool that y'all were matched the same week and get to be on this journey together!!! Praying for you and exciting for you to hold your sweet baby girl (as well as have those 10 days over, I had no idea)

  16. If it makes you feel better we did the same thing with Daphne (right down to buying an Ergo because we had a good coupon). Since we didn't expect her to live we didn't buy anything so (for the same reason) we wouldn't have a full nursery and no baby. We didn't even have a car seat when I went into labor and we drove to the hospital. So funny now. (Not like hilarious funny, just so different funny.) But then it was REALLY fun to go hog wild after she was born, and I discovered that it's super fun to shop for a specific baby whom you've already met and named. :) So while it's hard's totally worth it and lots of fun later. :)

  17. That Ergo looks amazing on you :) Also, how wonderful that you AND your friends were matched in the same week! Wow!

  18. I mean, I definitely think the plan is a good idea, but I can ALSO see why it's impossible to stick with. Ten days? That's ridiculous!

    I can't wait 'til your wait is officially over and you can go crazy buying ALL THE BABY THINGS.

  19. Car seats expire!
    Milk I understand but car seats.

    Hm. Live and learn.

    Like Melissa's comment on "super fun to shop for a specific baby whom you've already met"

  20. Interestingly enough, reading this post reminds me a lot of how I felt with the IVF process... so hopeful that we were finally going to end up with a baby but so terrified that it wouldn't work out! Obviously different situations, but still, similar fragile balancing act between being optimistic and not getting your hopes up too much!

    Anyway, continuing to pray for you, Matt, baby girl, and baby girl's birth mama!

  21. Smart plan, I can see why it'd be hard to not buy a ton of baby items. Continuing to pray God blesses you and your family with an ending, which is really a new beginning, growing your family by one permanently.

  22. It is a smart plan (even though I want to buy all the things for the baby too!) but you did say she was coming around Turkey Day, yes? You know what happens 10 day after t-giving? Crazy Christmas sales. Bright side :)

  23. Know that many that have gone before you in the adoption route have battled the exact same emotions, so what y'all are feeling/doing is totally normal. :) It is a hard balance for sure! But just think what a shopping spree you will get to indulge in after those 10 days!!! I mean you can go hog wild! :)


I love comments almost as much as I love Mexican food. Seriously.