We find ourselves waiting, still waiting. I’m not sure how long to say we’ve been waiting. We’ve waited to conceive for 3 1/2 years, waited 20 months to adopt a son, waited 4 weeks to hear about baby T’s court date. I am weary of waiting. It makes me tired. It is so much harder not having any way to count down. When I was young, my mother usually had a countdown to Christmas calendar of some sort. I remember gluing cotton balls to spaces circled on a Christmas tree to mark each day from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day. Somehow, the counting helps pass the time, marks the days with a goal in sight. I have no markers now to measure the distance to the finish line. Guessing at it only leads to disappointment. I can quantify and track each day that passes without news, each month of my son’s life that passes without knowing him. It’s too defeating though. Rather, I try very hard to focus on my girl, my sweet Lulu. She has been with us for 8 months. Next month we will have known her for as much time as we missed of her little life. The following month she will have been with us for as long as she was without us. My girl is 18-months-old and growing and changing every day.
Most days I can keep my Maybe Baby at a safe distance, but every little while this waiting comes bubbling over and suddenly I have oatmeal burned all over my ceramic cook top, and I cannot be consoled. This week’s events have not helped. I have had three complete strangers ask me this week if I can have kids “of my own.” Usually I just smile and say, “not yet,” but what I want to say (quite rudely) is “SHE IS MY OWN!” What does it matter if she came from my uterus or not? One woman (who I’d met only moments before) offered to be my surrogate so I can have “my own child.” Truly, I know that she was trying to be helpful, but really, THINK! Just think a little bit before you say something ridiculous. I am irritated by all of this questioning. What these individuals don’t realize is that this line of questioning about biology invalidates my daughter, and it invalidates me as her mother. It implies that I cannot possibly love her as much as I would love a child with my DNA and that my life is endlessly lacking because I am missing out on having matching cells. I think these individuals assume that since we have no home-grown children we cannot possibly know whether we love our adopted children the same. They are not certain. I am absolutely certain that I love my Lulu just as I would love any other child raised in my home, from my womb or not. I love two little boys in Ethiopia as my own even though they are not my own. One of them will never be mine. The other I have never met, but I love them anyway, just like I love my Lulu.