Today, Nathan and I went to our first meeting about adoption. It was nerve-wracking, it was exciting, it was...depressing. We went to the Archdiocese of Chicago's offices to meet with Catholic Charities. We were one of a group of couple and we appeared to be some of the youngest in the room.
Right away, the focus seemed more on international adoption, which we are not considering at this moment. Call me crazy, but I want an infant, which appears to be a problem in its own right, but I'll get to that later. There was a lot of talk about international adoption and there seemed to be more information about it in our little packets.
As far as domestic adoptions, the material was not presented in the best light. Our presenter made it sound depressing and problematic. She said they only placed 10 babies last year and the whole process averages 2 years. TWO YEARS!! Two years from now I'll be almost 27. I realize that isn't old, but I always thought I'd have kids by that age.
But the worst part, the part that made me tear up on the way home was that after the arragements are made and the baby is born, even with the birth father known and consenting, the baby goes into a temporary care home. That is enough to make me not want to do agency adoption, full stop. What the hell kind of arrangement is that?
I want my baby home with me after it is born. I want to spend the first days of my baby's life getting to know her and playing with her tiny little fingers and waking up with her at two o'clock in the morning to give her a bottle. I don't want someone else doing that. What kind of mother would that make me?
If the birth father is known, this time period can be very brief, only a week or two. If the birth father is not known, this is the time period in which you have to exhaust all possible measures to find him. That takes a month. ONE MONTH!!!! The first month of my baby's life spent in someone else's home? I don't freaking think so!
Anyway, we got home and, since we are looking at moving into the Joliet Diocese very soon after all, I looked up their web site and the process by which they place babies. And they require that adoptive parents be married three years and have exhausted all infertility treatments possible.
To the best of my knowledge, Nathan and I do not have this problem. We do have other problems, however and hopefully these will work well enough. My biggest issue with the Joliet Diocese's requirements is the three year one.
For my whole life, even the parts of it that I didn't want to get married, I wanted to have children. I have no delusions that raising children will be easy or constantly fun, but it is something I feel in my soul that I am called to do. When Nathan and I got married he said he wanted at least two years of being married before we had children. This wasn't quite what I hoped, but I am so grateful that we had these two years to get to know each other as people and as husband and wife. We have talked about what we want for ourselves and for our children and what we think parenting will be like.
It took me nearly a year to get over the fact that I should not have my own children. But I am over it, I am ready to have a child through adoption. But I am so unbelievably sick of waiting around to being this process that I don't know how much more I can take. I waited the two years Nathan asked me to, I waited while I thought his work circumstances might change, I waited until now to go meet with Catholic Charities.
We will be married two years and six months by the time we are ready to begin the process in Joliet. Is it really necessary to wait the further six months?