The Waiting Game: Open Adoption One Year In

Stephen Podowitz

By Stephen & Adam Podowitz-Thomas

adoption-network-law-center

“So when are you getting the call?”  A well-intentioned question, given that I was in the process of explaining what it meant that we’re now on the Last Minute Hospital List with our adoption agency.  But how could I explain that even being on this list might still mean months if not years of waiting?

We're practicing our swaddling technique on our cat.

We’re practicing our swaddling technique on our cat.

Since we’ve recently hit the one-year waiting mark with our agency, we had the option of going on the aforementioned Last Minute Hospital List.  This list is made up of potential adoptive parents, all of whom have been waiting at least a year, whose letters can be presented to birthmothers who have already given birth and decided to place their child for adoption.  The call can come at any minute and could require us to drive several states away, dropping essentially everything to get there as quickly as possible.
Because the call can come at any hour, Stephen and I decided it was important to buy a car seat, since most hospitals won’t let you leave without one to protect the newborn.  As we’ll discuss in another entry, we’ve decided to avoid doing much “baby prep” (setting up a nursery, buying baby clothes, etc.) for fear of jinxing ourselves, as well as the potential emotions such preparation might stir up.  But boy did the emotions get stirred up purchasing the car seat.  In a way that hadn’t happened until now, I feel like I’m really truly on the path to fatherhood.  What was formerly paperwork and ideas is now boxes and installations.  What was theoretical is now real, even if we’re minus one infant right now.
The whole process is an emotionally complicated one.  We’re excited that our lives could change at a moment’s notice.  We’re nervous about whether we’ll be good dads.  We’re anxious about making sure that bringing the baby home is a smooth process.  We’re thrilled that our dreams of fatherhood are coming ever closer.  But of course, we’re also trying to keep our emotions in check – this list doesn’t mean we’re going to get a baby any minute and we could still match the more “traditional” way, which could mean months of getting to know our birthmom match.
And explaining this all to people, even the most well-intentioned, is difficult.  We’re lucky to be surrounded by people who are incredibly supportive of our adoption journey, but it’s a foreign world to many out there.  Preconceived notions and outdated stereotypes are pervasive and we’ve spent a lot of time over the past year explaining to others what open adoption means.  The Last Minute List just adds one more detail to our story.
Christmas Tree
In the end, as the year comes to a close, we’re excited and hopeful.  Excited to be continuing to make progress towards growing our family and hopeful that the New Year will bring in a new member of the Podowitz-Thomas household.
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The post The Waiting Game: Open Adoption One Year In appeared first on The Next Family.

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