The Match Period is challenging. When you initiate the adoption process, there is always something going on. PRIDE classes, medical appointments, fingerprinting appointments, paperwork, more paperwork and home study visits. The first taste of “waiting” I got was the month long period between when I delivered my application packet and the beginning of my home study. It is during this time that I waited for the fingerprints to come back. It seemed like forever. Little did I know that was what I now call “lowbrow waiting.” It doesn’t even count anymore.
After the home study is completed and filed, then the matching process starts. This is the period when the adoption agency searches for children’s profiles that meet your search criteria. I was told that this process typically takes about 8 months before a match is made. I would get a monthly update of all the inquiries made on my behalf. I was also told it was a quiet time in the process, and that I should just get on with life while I wait.
Oh, right, because getting on with life while you’re expecting such a major change to happen at any time is really going to happen. The truth is I’m addicted to any shred of information that comes into my email from the agency. My program coordinator, Alex, could send me an email that just said, “Hi, hope you’re having a good week” and I will stare at it multiple times for the next 72 hours trying to decipher some kind of hidden message about Hope Kid buried between the lines.
If only I had a decoder ring…
I received the first email about Hope Kid 27 days ago. To date, 46 emails have been exchanged about Hope Kid. I have read these 46 emails approximately 3500 times, give or take 1000 views. Three conference calls have been hosted specifically about Hope Kid, but only one has been fruitful because other important people didn’t show up for 2 of the 3 calls.
The intermittent silence is deafening, it’s like being in a quiet desert with no sight of an oasis in the distance anywhere. So, I work on my dissertation and day job stuff. I pray a lot. I pray for Hope Kid. I pray HK is getting along with everyone and everything ok. I wonder if and when HK finds out about me, will he/she be as obsessive about information about me as I am about him/her. I pray for HK’s foster family and the team of people designated to put me under a microscope to determine whether or not I’m the right fit for this kid. I pray they know what they’re doing. I pray I know what I’m doing.
I am desperate for any information about this kid. I loathe going anywhere without my cell phone, and get spastic when the battery runs down. I am disappointed when the email notification is for a funny forward joke or a text message from a friend because it is not some precious piece of information about Hope Kid. I wake up in the middle of the night to check email because, despite all reason (and the fact that this is a domestic adoption), I think perhaps that dinging notification holds the key to my future family.
And then a powerful email comes that just is like the arrival of a monsoon. Thirst quenching, but almost too much to bear all at once. It contains so much information and so many plans for one week that I have to sit down. I might even hyperventilate for a minute or two. Things are moving again, and I rush to try to respond to confirm everything by phone, because I don’t want a minute to go by where there might be a question about whether I can accommodate all the new plans and discussions. No one is there to answer my call, and I can barely hold back tears. It’s all overwhelming after hearing nothing for days and days. The truth is there is nothing I could’ve done to prepare for this email, so I just have to roll with it.
- Oh wow, a conference call with the therapist? Sure. Holy crap, I haven’t prepared a list of questions for a therapist yet. Why the heck haven’t I created such a list? See me furiously typing a list of questions for the therapist.
- A conference call with the full support team? Sure. I can move my meeting; I will be there!! I’m now desperately waiting for an email from the agency outlining what to expect from this meeting which is now about 22.5 hours away.
- What? A weekend conference call with the foster family? SURE! I actually have that list of questions. Oh, not this weekend because of the holiday? Um, ok. Sigh.
YES!! Yes to everything. Any conference call, any skype session, anything that will give me more information about Hope Kid. I’m almost delirious with all the new information and all the meetings that are scheduled. I’m also exhausted after receiving that email last Friday and can barely muster the energy to tell anyone about the updates or to just pass the time chatting about life in general.
The thirst quenching, nearly drowning rain of activity is over. And I’m back to looking at my phone, willing it to ring or beep or do something…anything.
And so quickly, I’m back to being thirsty. Until the next email or phone call…