Or... a lack of one, really. To be honest, we're not really sure what the heck is happening with our adoption plans.
When Crosby was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, we really had to take a step back and figure some things out. We're still not exactly sure what aortic stenosis is going to mean in our lives. For now, it's not a huge deal. But, when it comes time for surgery and recovery, we have no idea what we're in for. Both financially and emotionally. Our adopted daughter was also expected to have a physical special need. Either also a heart condition or a cleft lip/palate. Both would require surgery most likely. We just felt unsure of whether or not we could handle two children with medical needs.
That feels so horrible to say or even think. I feel tremendous guilt over these thoughts and struggle regularly with these realities. I so wish I felt like I had the strength to commit to another baby amidst learning of Crosby's condition. But, the truth is, I didn't. So, after some thought, we removed the option for cleft lip/palate from our medical checklist. We're now only open to receiving a child with a minor heart condition. We already have a team of specialists that we're working with and we assume we'll be pretty well versed on matters of the heart (we already know more than I ever thought I'd have to) so we'd be the perfect parents for a baby with a minor heart condition. For now, that's where our comfort lies. FOR NOW. That could all change. We might get to Crosby's first birthday (the first year with this condition is the most telling) and realize that his stenosis will most likely have very little impact on our lives and feel perfectly comfortable committing to a child with higher medical needs than his. We'll just have to wait and see.
The wait for a child with only a minor heart condition is much longer. We were supposed to be matched by now, or very soon. Now, we're likely to wait another year or longer even just to be matched. And, in that time, any number of things can happen. We may decide to add cleft lip/palate back on the checklist, we may decide we would like to wait even longer than 18 months and expand our wait even longer, or we may decide not to pursue adoption anymore at this time. We really just don't know how we're going to feel.
I'd be lying if I said there wasn't heartbreak involved in all of this. I feel some peace knowing that we could very well still adopt a sweet girl and that I could look back on this and know that this was just all a small part of her story. The story that brings us together. But, there's also the very real possibility that our family is complete and I'll never know her. Which also means I'll never experience raising a daughter. These potential losses feel very real to me. Yet, grieving feels wrong somehow.
I intend to write some about postpartum depression since I'm certain I'm experiencing that this time around. And I'm almost 100% certain my depression began after Crosby's diagnoses and our adoption plans changed. Such a hard thing to have your life course rapidly change after so much anticipation and preparation. But then, I feel so odd grieving something I never actually had. And, of course, I feel so grateful for my three boys and that (even given the stenosis!) they're healthy and thriving. Why grieve?
So, that's where we are. Limbo. Thanks for reading. Putting this out into the void helps some. We have tremendous support in our lives and I couldn't ask for a better partner in Ritchie. We'll figure this all out. Someday.