In the past couple of days a couple of folks have commented on the optimism in my posts about the adoption process. David seems particularly committed to making sure I have a realistic handle on the potential timeline before we are matched with a birthmother. I have to concede David’s point, especially since he will be the one that has to deal with any potential emotional meltdowns if the waiting drags on longer than I think I can bear.
However, I would like to think that I can hold both an optimistic and realistic view in my mind simultaneously. I do recognize that the timeline is completely out of my control. But at the same time, I like to take comfort in the idea that my future daughter is already in utero somewhere. This dual mindset is not new to me. Let me pull an example from the completely opposite end of the life cycle. I don’t really believe in an afterlife. But at the same time I take comfort in the idea that the people (and cats) I love are enjoying themselves wherever they are.
It makes me happy to imagine Phyllis and Marvin reunited somewhere. I particularly like to picture her greeting him with open arms. And I love the idea that Didi (my first cat) has been reunited with his 3 siblings and his first human, Gwenda. In the image in my mind, she is wandering freely and no longer tethered to her oxygen tank. When I am feeling mischievous*, I like to imagine Didi wandering off to find my father and sit on his lap while my father reads the paper. Because if there is one thing I am sure of, it is that given his druthers, my father would spend eternity with a New York Times open in front of him.
Coming back to the present reality, I am fully aware that I am walking a fine line between unrealistic expectations and optimism. But in this situation I think context really matters. Until recently I had reconciled myself to never being a parent. And I was ok with that. In fact, I enjoyed the freedom of being childless. Never mind that I used a not insignificant amount of that freedom to go east and dote on my niecelettes. I had the luxury being an aunt and not dealing with any of the challenges of parenting two smart, energetic girls.
But for reasons that I will not discuss publicly, my life has recently taken a 180. And even though the shift has me going in a new direction that I am beyond thrilled to be heading in, I am still dealing with the whiplash of that change. So I think I deserve to be cut some slack because no matter how long the adoption process takes, it will end with me as a parent. A role that I thought I would never take on. And as eager as I am for the waiting process to be as short as possible, even if it takes a year or more, it will still happen sooner than I would have thought even 6 months ago.
*My father always swore that he disliked my cats. However, despite his protestations, my father could often be found reading the paper absentmindedly petting Didi.