I've always had a tendency to dwell on the future. No matter how hard I try to live in the moment, to be thankful for the blessings I have today, I always find myself wondering and worrying about the future. I spent most of my high school years worrying about and preparing for college. Due to that, I missed out on making countless memories with my nearest and dearest friends. Once in college, all I could think about was graduating and starting my teaching career. I can't even begin to imagine all of the things I missed out on during those four years. When Shane and I got engaged, my focus partially shifted to our wedding and our life together. Just six months after we were married, instead of relishing in our newlywed status, I was already focused on trying to start a family.
All along the way, I took if for granted that everything would go according to my plans. For the most part, everything did up until we began to try to have a baby. I had known early on in our relationship that we might have difficulty due to health issues on both sides. I naively assumed that somehow our plans would come to fruition despite any obstacles we might face. Enter Murphy's Law in a BIG way. Our plan was to have a baby by the time we were 25. Ha! As if!! My mother-in-law frequently says, "If you want to give God a good laugh, tell him your plans." I'm sure Shane and I had him rolling on the floor laughing for years. We faced many obstacles and much heartache before we finally became parents. Looking back now, I can say without a doubt it was all worth it. We know how blessed we are to have Mason in our lives and we try very hard not to take him for granted.
I wish I could say after everything we went through that we learned our lesson as far as making plans, but apparently we still had a few tests ahead of us. We were naive enough to think that we had paid our dues with our first pregnancy and the loss of Madelynn and that once we were ready to give Mason a sibling, everything would fall into place. Once again, Murphy's Law set us straight. Nothing went according to our carefully orchestrated plans. God had a different plan for us to expand our family.
We have felt for quite some time that God was leading us to adoption but we were just too stubborn. We wanted to follow our own path. Once we finally came around to his plan, we were certain that the biggest obstacle that we faced was the home study. We thought if we could get through that, adoption would be attainable. You would think we would know better by now, but what can I say, we're suckers for punishment. We've been waiting now for almost a year and all we've encountered is near misses. Some days I can't help but feel anger and bitterness. So many others are able to conceive without difficulty and have uneventful pregnancies and deliveries. They don't take the time to realize how blessed they are but instead take those miracles and their children for granted.
Many don't realize and couldn't even begin to fathom what's it's like for those of us on the other side. Infertility is a roller coaster ride from Hell. From where I'm sitting, adoption isn't much better. The only difference is instead of constantly being physically poked and prodded, you are constantly mentally and emotionally poked and prodded. Not only is your privacy invaded with the home study process but you are faced with a huge amount of uncertainty and financial strain.
Adoption is NOT cheap and while I understand that there is a service being provided which incurs costs, some of the fees are astronomical. Just to give those of you who are unfamiliar with adoption expenses an idea of the cost involved, I'll give you an example of a situation I came across last night. The baby is due in about 3 weeks. The agency fee is $23,000, the legal fees are $8500 and the birth mother expenses are $10,000. This is not atypical either. Most adoptions cost upwards of $35-40,000. I don't know anyone who has that kind of cash laying around, and we certainly don't. The most we can afford is maybe half of that. Don't get me wrong, being able to give Mason a sibling would be worth EVERY penny but there is just no way we can afford that. We still need to keep a roof over our head and food on the table and be able to save for college for both children. If we could get a loan, that would be awesome, but it's not like banks are willing to take such a huge risk. There's no collateral involved. Financial concerns aside, we are taking a huge emotional risk. There is no guarantee that the birth mother won't change her mind once the baby is born. If she does decide to parent, which is totally within her rights, we would be out all those fees and most likely couldn't afford to try again. I don't want to even contemplate the emotional devastation we would experience. It's a risk we have to take though in order to grow our family.
Sometimes I look back and I am amazed at all that we took for granted as far as the future was concerned. I can honestly say that we have finally learned our lesson. We don't take much of anything for granted anymore. I still wonder and worry about the future but I no longer make plans. I know in my heart and soul that we are meant to adopt and that Mason is meant to have a sibling, but I know that the when and where are not in my control. I just need to try to be patient and hope and pray constantly that when we are finally matched with an expectant mother, Murphy's Law doesn't try to rear it's ugly head again.