The Problem with Waiting for Pregnancy or Adoption

Dawn Davenport


Waiting for Pregnancy or Adoption can be Very Difficult

Waiting for pregnancy or adoption can be very difficult.

Sometimes I want to strangle Ralph Waldo Emerson for uttering the words “life is a journey, not a destination”. Yeah Ralph, that may be true, but when the journey takes you far afield from the destination you want, it’s hard to peacefully settle into the journey.

The adoption and infertility world is chock full of waiting. At times it seems like that all you do is wait. Wait for the next cycle. Wait for an expectant woman to select you. Wait for test results. Wait for a referral from a foreign country or your adoption agency. Wait while you save money for the next cycle or adoption. Wait. Wait. Wait. The temptation, and heaven only knows that I know this temptation well, is to postponing living while we wait.

As much as I sometimes want to smack good ole Mr. Emerson, I’ll have to admit that he has a point. Easier said than done, but still a good point.

The problem with postponing life while we wait for a pregnancy or an adoption is that a whole lot of life might pass us by. At the beginning, we all think we’ll be the lucky one that has a short wait. Come on, why not us!?! We’ve heard stories of the woman who got pregnant naturally after her first visit to the infertility clinic. The family that was chosen by a pregnant woman the week after they finished their family profile. The couple who got pregnant with their first IUI or IVF. Surely, we think, that could be us.  But unfortunately, just as surely it might not be, and there is little we can do to control whether it is or isn’t.

If we aren’t careful, we’ll find ourselves living a half-life while we wait for our real life to begin—going through the motions, while our mind and energy are always elsewhere. Perhaps the worst is that we postpone joy while we wait. My friends, all of us have too little joy in our lives to be able to let some pass us by for any reason. This much I know for sure—life is too short to not grab all the joy we can, wherever we can, however we can.


Image credit: raspberry dolly

21/09/2012 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 28 Comments

28 Responses to The Problem with Waiting for Pregnancy or Adoption

  1. I completely agree with the fact that the waiting process is so frustrating and infact where I live it can also be detrimental to the health and well being of some children.Here is Bulgaria some children have died due to the waiting process, orphanages here are very poorly funded and apart from the many mainly British run charities there is nowhere near the amount of money coming in for these poor soles.

  2. Melanie Kristine Joy Seier Melanie Kristine Joy Seier says:

    I hear you, Lyn Wiltse Jameyson! I just put a measly little $2K on a credit card when I had my tonsils taken out, and it was like the end of the world…lol…now we are scrimping around to pay that back before the interest is due, and every Christmas, birthday, etc when someone asks what we need we say, “MONEY!” lol….but it’s true…all we want is to grow our family…there is not one material possession that could bring us the joy that a sibling could for our son…but he doesn’t understand why other kids get the huge birthday parties, weekends at the movies, etc, while he doesn’t…sigh…at least he’s not entitled ;).

  3. Sue Taylor Sue Taylor says:

    I think the waiting for a child is extra hard – because a child joining your family (through infertility treatments, adoption, etc.) inevitably changes almost everything – so career choices, travel, living space, etc. is all often unsettled while waiting for the event that could come soon, or years from now. Totally frustrating for a planner by nature. I did find it hard to live in the now during all of that process, because the unknown did influence many choices that needed to be made in everyday life. Even after I was parenting, I found it was hard to get out of that mentality and really focus on living for the day. But, toddlers have a good way of helping that process along I think. 🙂

  4. Melanie Kristine Joy Seier Melanie Kristine Joy Seier says:

    I try to focus on the other kids in my life…my daycare kids, my nephews, my neighbors…and all the joy they bring me…but it is bittersweet b/c while I know I am adding to their lives, and they to mine, ultimately, I am not their parent, and I have no “real say” in their lives…I try to remind myself to enjoy the quiet now b/c one day I will not have time to just sit and read a book or watch a movie…but I think the hardest thing for me right now is feeling like I can’t spend any money…never go out to eat, never take a vacation, not even go visit my family in other parts of the country b/c I need every penny I can save to pay for this adoption…people take for granted how easy it is to buy coffee at Starbucks everyday and buy lunch out when they work, but I have to scrimp and save so that I can grow my family. I’m not living in poverty, by any means, and I’m grateful for that! I’m not complaining…it’s just a daily reality that I wouldn’t have if I could have a child naturally.

  5. Natalia Morales Wiedmaier Natalia Morales Wiedmaier says:

    Yes, I agree with you Dawn! The problem for me is not waiting, but not knowing what’s going on…I email my social worker any time I feel I can’t wait anymore, and I need an update. That makes me feel better always.

  6. Christi Tipton Christi Tipton says:

    I used to say I felt like I was waiting to live life – putting things on hold, not enjoying some aspects of life, etc. It was a conscious effort to give myself permission to enjoy daily life without feeling guilty (about miscarriages) or miserable (about infertility).

  7. Natalia Morales Wiedmaier Natalia Morales Wiedmaier says:

    Yes, I know…It seems that life is on hold…

  8. Natalia Morales Wiedmaier Natalia Morales Wiedmaier says:

    So every time I feel bad, and negative, I remember that, and I try to not pay myself so much attention at those times…I hope that helps! 🙂

  9. Natalia Morales Wiedmaier Natalia Morales Wiedmaier says:

    Yeap, doing something else physical will help. Also, my husband told me, don’t dwell on your thoughts when you’re so negative. This state will pass…Don’t make any desicions in that mood.

  10. Natalia Morales Wiedmaier Natalia Morales Wiedmaier says:

    Well, I meditate everyday, so that’s a big one!! I practice yoga too, so that helps. Also, when I feel really overwhelm to change that energy, I just go for a walk, and that helps too. Another thing that helps me is to talk to my husband, or somebody that is going through the same. And knowing that even though we’re having such a difficult time getting our own family, we still have a wonderful marriage, friends, family…And just being lucky we’re healthy and sound! How about others? What do you do to cope with the anxiety?

  11. Natalia Morales Wiedmaier Natalia Morales Wiedmaier says:

    I totally agree!! Specially now that waiting is SO hard…But life still is full of joys!! Let’s not forget that and enjoy it!! 🙂

  12. Avatar kelly says:

    one of my favorite songs to listen to is the motions by matthew west…talks about not wanting to just go through the motions of living but living the life god intended for me to live..even if that involves pain and waiting..been waiting for a match for a year now..totally understand..check out the song on youtube.

  13. You’re so right about the effect on our sons! Hubby & I feel guilty constantly because it seems like we’re making him miss out on things that he would be getting if we didn’t have to pay for an adoption. We finally decided this summer to take him to a baseball game (local minor league team) and it was only $50 total or so, but it felt like a step backward in our adoption efforts! But we just decided that we couldn’t in good conscience make him miss out on everything! We cannot wait for the day that we get to take BOTH of our kids on a REAL vacation!!

  14. Avatar Aspgriswold says:

    This is such a great post. Thanks for sharing. It reminds me to continue living y life while I wait for our family to grow. Stopping by from ICLW!

    ICLW #3

  15. Avatar anon wp says:

    Yeah, waiting stinks. We found some peace by recognizing that there is a point when we’ll need to step away. We have a sense of when that is, and it’s both saddening and freeing. There will be a point when we’ll be done with the emotional roller coaster. We want to be parents, no doubt about that, but eventually we may need to say goodbye to that dream so we can focus on other life goals and obligations without worrying about the next piece of paperwork, the next phone call, the next book revision, the next home study update…anyway, it has kind of made it easier to deal with the stress once we admitted to ourselves that we have a limit. And that’s really ok.

  16. Avatar Rhonda says:

    What an accurate post. It is so easy to get caught up in constant “future thinking” and forget to live in the present.

    Here from ICLW 🙂

  17. Avatar Hope says:

    I just wrote a post on a similar topic, about how much relief I felt when we decided to take a break from all family building efforts. I had definitely put my life on hold. I hope that if/when we ever get back to family building I’ll be able to keep the focus on the present.

    I heard something recently that really resonated with my and I hope to take into any future family building efforts: it’s okay to plan, but not to plan the outcome. Meaning we are only in control of what we do, today, not on how anyone or anything else responds to our actions.

  18. Sara, not being able to plan my life was also the hardest for me. Even as I type the words “plan my life” I realize how silly that is and how futile, since none of us is really ever able to plan our life. But I am a planner and like the illusion of control that it gives me.

  19. Avatar anon says:

    For me, it wasn’t so much the waiting as the not knowing. It’s so much easier to wait knowing that you’ll eventually get there – not necessarily the case with pregnancy or adoption. The wait did give me an opportunity to connect with others on the same path (international adoption), and I’m very grateful for that.

  20. Avatar Vi says:

    I agree and disagree. I did start taking vacations and trips during my wait (I was saving all my vacation time for treatments and later for a referral) and that did help. But. And it’s big BUT – there is only so much you can do to escape the overwhelming presence of: “Will it be today? why can’t it be today? Why wasnt’ it today? Will it ever be today or any other day?”
    I hope some day I leave this world of IF. Right now it seems endless.

  21. I don’t meditate, but I do practice yoga. Not sure that helps or not, but I feel better doing it. I pray. I talk. I run.

  22. Natalia, do you have any tricks for putting the worry and anxiety on the back burner to allow room for life and joy?

  23. Avatar cindy says:

    Hi from ICLW…the waiting is the worst!!!

  24. Melanie: I just now read your comment about how frustrating it is not to be able to spend money on any “extras.” I’m so glad to hear someone else say that! I do try not to have very many pity parties for myself :-), but it is so depressing sometimes to hear friends talk about their vacations or taking their kids to Disney on Ice or whatever. The worst for me is when I hear people say, “I don’t have any money!” but it’s because they have come to expect their lavish vacations and eating out in restaurants and big birthday/Christmas gifts. They really have no idea what it’s like to have to save every dang little penny in order to even try to bring a child into your family! (Not to mention $18,000 in medical bills from my hubby’s kidney stone episode, but that’s another whole subject!)

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