Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Adoption = Pregnancy fallacy

I'm guilty.
I said it.
I maybe even blogged about it,
but I'm too lazy to go back and check now.
In adoption circles a lot of times
people compare stages of the adoption to pregnancy.
Finishing the homestudy = positive pregnancy test...
getting your referral = finding out the sex of your baby...

But it could not be more inaccurate.

I've been pregnant.

I've adopted.
(Almost) twice.

I know what it's like to go past your due date.
I know what it's like to be big and uncomfortable and
unable to sleep and have false labor and worry about taking an advil...

But here's the major difference:

During my pregnancies,
I never wondered where my baby was.
I never wondered if he/she was being fed.
I never wondered if he or she could have access to medical care if needed.
I knew they were safe with me.
I knew at the VERY MOST from my first positive pregnancy test
to the latest possible point for my child to be in my arms
was a maximum of 38 weeks (from test, not conception).

If you were pregnant and suddenly found out you had 5 more months 
when you thought you had 2 months to go...
it would be quite a shock.
In adoption... it's a given.

Timelines change.
Rugs get pulled out from under your feet.
Emails come that tell you to be patient.
Waiting is part of this process.
Sudden whiplash-inducing changes are part of the process.

Dare to complain about the wait...
get pounced upon by other moms in the process
or who have their kids home
who tell you all about Sovereign timing
and patience.

So, NO.
Adoption is NOT like pregnancy.

Adoption is like...
being in a taxi in a foreign country with no way to communicate with the driver and only
a vague sketch of the place you are trying to go.

Adoption is like...
trying to go up the down escalator
but no one will move so you can get by.

Adoption is like...
being in love with children
on the other side of the world
and not being able to bring them home
until some government employee at a desk
decides to approve your paperwork.

It's expensive and hard and
frustrating and infuriating and depressing...

but we signed up for this because
these kids - 
well, they are worth it all.

Every moment I spend praying,
every email I send begging for better news,
every government fee, 
airline ticket, legal charges,
every time I start to cry
thinking of how much I miss them...
it's still worth it all.
They are worth it.

But, no...
it's nothing like pregnancy.


  1. Love this! I couldn't agree more. Waiting is the absolute worst part ever! I will never tell someone to be patient, it is in God's time, etc because I think I might have murdered someone if one more person told me that. Praying for speedy approvals for your sweet, sweet little ones and I know those words - you're cleared - are the only ones you want to hear.

    The worst to me, an infertile momma, was adoption is nothing like pregnancy, you have no idea what pain and emotional/hormonal ups and downs are like.

  2. another great post!!!
    and maybe you were reading my mind...i was going to write to you last night because my husband and I are so frustrated and tired and craving our children from Ethiopia (we have been waiting for a referral for 19 months.) I have special people around me experiencing pregnancy...and as a 'joke' but really as just a reminder to everyone that we are expecting too, I say things like "this has been the longest pregnancy ever"...but that is only the mask to my feelings...honestly, this is nothing like pregnancy, honestly, nothing I have ever felt before!
    Thank you for your honesty. I pray for your family constantly and share you and your family to many, many people!

  3. I was trying to explain the exact same thing to someone yesterday! Well put. Even though we started our current adoption last summer, I could still get pregnant today and have that baby in my arms before my little guy half way around the world comes home and that is sad. During our last adoption I would go insane when I heard I needed to be patient and God's Timing! UGH! It is by far harder than I ever though it could be but in the end it was far more amazing and wonderful than I ever thought it would be! just wish it was so hard and you didn't have to pray ever single day that someone will just sign a simple paper! Good luck!

  4. Beautifully said!!! As a mother through birth and adoption I agree with you 100%!! Thank you for sharing this and enlightening others too:)

  5. Agreed and I ache with you. We were submitted to USE on 12/30, and we also live in Frankin incidentally. One mom in my agency fb group described this stage as emotional torture. Each day that goes by with no news, bad news or changed news has me understanding how accurate she was in saying so.

  6. Amen!! So right!! NOTHING like pregnancy!

    It's kind of funny.. okay, not so funny.. but we did infertility treatments for our youngest daughter, and I used to joke when we were spending SO MUCH MONEY for a "chance", that next time - we would just adopt, so that we were guaranteed to have a child come home in the end.

    Um.. yeah.. not so much.

  7. So um biggest difference with pregnancy and my adoption (which was turbulent and added those additional 5 months instead of 2) - it i got to have a good stiff drink when i needed to :) and go soak in a hot tub at my gym to help releae some stress....those are the vices that got me through the waiting- soemthign i wouldnt have been able to do with a real PG....

  8. I love this post! We are trying to adopt a sibiling group from the foster system. I had no idea the process would take this long. The angency had just narrowed their choice down to 2 families (us being one of them) when we got an email stating a family member has come foward for the children. : ( The ONLY thing that brings us comfort is that we KNOW that God has a plan for our family. He knows who will be the best fit and when will be the best time. In the meantime we will enjoy our 3 birth children and just wait on Him. <3 BTW your fundraising page was such an AWESOME thing to follow! It was so cool to see how God works. I can't wait to see how everything unfolds for you!! Take care! <3

  9. Such good points. I don't know what it's like to be pregnant...but OH MY GOODNESS these ups and downs! Taiwan, domestic, Florida, Taiwan, Twins, Taiwan...WHEW! At least when your pregnant you know when...and where from :)


  10. God's perfect timing... what a load of crap! Yes, GOD'S timing is perfect... but we're talking about a process full of imperfect HUMANS!!! And God allows free will, therefor those imperfect humans are free to do all kinds of imperfect things... Needless to say, I hate that saying.

  11. so true. 3 bio kids and 5 adoptions (one pending), i found myself questioning at times which one is worse, adoption or pregnancy?
    hyperemesis or the ulcer you developed during the adoption process? sitting,waiting and wondering where your child/children currently are in the country you adopt from, or horrendous back-pain in the last trimester?...sleepless nights you get on both ends..
    100 pound pregnancy weight and water gain or 20 pound weight loss due to adoption stresses? LOL
    the list could go put it very neatly into words what i have been thinking for a while.
    God bless....

  12. "Adoption is like...
    trying to go up the down escalator
    but no one will move so you can get by."

    I totally agree.

  13. I have not adopted but I after reading this I would definitely say it is nothing like pregnancy.


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