On the cusp of something is still outside it

I love the adoption agency I’m working with. I truly do. They are a bunch of big-hearted social workers who have been placing children for about one million years. They all have car seats and bibs and have offered the shelter of their very own homes and hearts when they couldn’t find others who could. They are my people, and I am so glad to have chosen this path.

Each month there is a support group for anyone in the adoption constellation who wants to come: birth mothers, successful adoptive parents on their second or third go-round, adult adoptees, social workers, the people who run the local home for pregnant women who need a spot to stay until after they give bith and pull their lives togehter. Then there are those of us who are waiting. Waiting for our own story to tell.

I’ve completed my training with the agency for my infant adoption, and am almost through with the fost-adopt series in case an older child comes my way. In the time I’ve been going to the workshops, I’ve made connections with people who are going the same way. One couple and I are on the same track, the same timeline. They have no children yet either, and are waiting for their first call.

The other people in the group shared their stories of meetings with birth moms going horribly wrong or spectacularly right. Two birth grandmothers who came spoke words of truth and wisdom and wishing. One adoptee read poems her birth mother wrote about her, before the suicide. A young, beautiful birth mother told of her Christmas lonliness with nothing but her big belly, carton of milk and box of cereal.

The couple and I just sat back and listened. We had no story, no words of wisdom or encouragement for these people experiencing such amazing emotional and psychohistorical trajectories. We are on the cusp of our own stories, which can begin in tomorrow’s wee hours with a phone call to get to the hospital to pick up the baby, quick — or after a series of dates and deliberations with birthmothers over a year or two. We don’t know, and there is no way to plan.

As we hugged goodbye and made plans for lunch this weekend, I realized that sometimes if you are on the outside togehter, you have your own circle.

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Vanessa McGradyOn the cusp of something is still outside it

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