My husband and I are in our first week of waiting for that call. You know, the one from our new adoption agency, telling us our baby is finally here. After adopting our daughter 19 months ago, we know the call could come at any minute. We also know that it could take a while. It's difficult to make it through this waiting game upbeat, while simultaneously managing your expectations every time the phone rings. In fact, there are struggles every woman waiting for an adoption call knows all too well. Now, if only knowing was the hard part.
After we adopted our daughter, we quickly started getting phone calls from our adoption agency. Every time I saw that number pop up — saved aptly in my phone contacts as "First Name Adoption" — my whole body started shaking. It was a pavlovian response to the realization that answering the phone could change my life and the life of my family. Or, you know, it could not. We had a lot of the "or not" variety, but we also had a handful of calls that started with the sentence, "We have a situation, there's a baby..." and those phone calls simply took my breath away. Unfortunately, those calls also didn't work out, and we've changed agencies to hopefully increase our odds of adopting again.
Every time the phone rings, my heart jumps to my throat and my hands start shaking. That's a pretty tough way to live, especially when I know our wait could be up to a year. At least. Then again, that wait could end tomorrow. See? That back-and-forth is the inner monologue I navigate every single day, and why I think every other woman going though this process can relate to the following struggles. At least I know that, when that call does come, it will all be worth it.
When Your Cell Service Sucks
If you can believe it, our house actually gets terrible cell service. When we're waiting for a call from our adoption agency, I leave my phone on a window sill in the one corner of the house that gets reliable cell service, then I turn the ringer up as high as it will go.
The upside is having to leave my phone in one spot, I guess, is that it makes me a better parent in the meantime. I'm definitely off Instragram and playing with my daughter, and not staring at my phone every two seconds, willing it to ring.
When You Dare To Go On Vacation
We get a little panicked planning vacations internationally when we're waiting for an adoption call. Imagine being out of the country when you could get a call that your son or daughter has arrived. Thank goodness for international calling plans and free texting. Oh, and travel insurance. Very, very good travel insurance.
When You're Desperately Searching For A Sign
An hour before I got the call that our daughter was waiting in the hospital, I felt this voice say to me as I was making the bed, "She's here." It was pretty weird to get the call an hour later with the news, and now that we're waiting again I'm constantly on the lookout for signs that the call might be coming soon.
When You Know It Could Happen At Any Moment...
It's kind of exciting to live in this totally hyped-up state of, "It could happen at any moment," but it's also totally exhausting to live in that condition for a significant period of time. I try my best not to think about it, because the second I think about it I'm like, "It could happen at any moment!"
Of course, trying to turn my brain off is much easier said than done.
...And You Know It Could Also Take Ages
The undeniable reality is this: my husband and I could be waiting for a while for this phone call. Or, we could get a phone call we think is "the one," only for the situation to fall through at the last minute. For lack of a better expression, waiting for an adoption call is a total mindf*ck.
When You Receive A Call From An Unknown Number
You never know who could be calling you. Most likely you'll know the number of your agency or caseworker, but you never know if the caseworker gets a new phone and is calling you from a new number. Basically every call from an unknown number will probably give you heart palpitations.
When Your Agency Calls For Another Reason
Like that time our agency called to ask us if we could speak at a training for new foster parents. Ugh. I saw the number, nearly had a heart attack, and probably lost five years off my life.
But yes, we spoke at the training.
When Your Phone Battery Is Low
Oh, man, a waiting adoptive mama does not et her phone battery dip below 50 percent at any given time, no matter what. Them's the rules!
And yes, there's a backup charger in my purse right now, thank you for asking