waiting


Nine days until we fly down to California, and only sixteen days until the scheduled due date… I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious to get Thanksgiving over with, get my four-day weekend out of the way, and get back to work next Monday and Tuesday. (Of course, I’m excited for those days only so that I can get them out of the way too…)

Preparations around our house are going pretty well. Our list of “baby needs” looked pretty daunting when we first started, but over the past few months, it has been whittled down by small shopping trips, baby showers, gifts in mail from both people we know and friends we’ve yet to meet, and by gifts from a friend of ours who can’t stop herself from buying anything cute she sees (which is fine by us, because everything she’s given us so far is SO CUTE!). Based on that original list, we’re down to only one item that is still on our “must have at birth” list, so with some shopping this weekend, we’ll be prepared from a “material possessions” standpoint.

(As far as “material possessions” go, both Betsy and I tend to lean towards the viewpoint that all a baby needs is a breast, a blanket and love. I’ve been asked if our nursery is ready yet – I hold out my arms and tell them that my arms are the baby’s nursery, and they’ve been ready for a long time. That being said, if all we really had was a single blanket, it’d probably start to smell a little ripe pretty quickly, so it’s good to have the rest of the stuff we need as well – extra blankets, diapering options, lots of cute clothes, first aid equipment, etc.)

We practicing packing last weekend to try to get a sense of how much we can fit in our suitcases and if we’ll have to pay for extra baggage. We could be down there for a long time, and considering that we’ll need to bring our car seat as one piece of luggage, that doesn’t leave us with much else. I think we’ll be okay with the amount of luggage we’re allowed, but we may have to be doing laundry (or re-wearing clothes) a little more regularly than we are used to.

Mentally, we’re trying to do our best to get ready. There’s a lot we’re trying to read and re-read before the big day, figuring out everything from how to deal with colicky babies, to learning enough to make an informed vaccine decision, to making sure we’re prepared for medical emergencies, to figuring out diapers… I’m trying to remember that we’ll have plenty of people around us to help (and that little Eelfang will love us for our good intentions, even if some results are off), and that I don’t need to memorize all 900 pages of The Baby Book before the birth. It feels pretty overwhelming now, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out… (won’t we?)

We’ve had to get a early start on Christmas shopping this year, as we’ll probably be out of commission for most of December. (It sounds like my parents and my sister are already nearly finished – even when we try to do the shopping early, we’re the last to finish!) And we’re trying to figure out the logistics of being away from the house for up to a month (or even more) – can we get someone to house sit? How do we pay the bills that come in? Is there anything else we’ve forgotten?

For me, at least, the toughest two things have been trying to prepare emotionally for adding a new member to the family, and trying to find time to post to this blog. I’ll try to talk about the first while doing the latter in the next couple of days.

Ok, anyone ready to give the middle name a try? Because this is the second name, all of the clues will be in pairs of two…

1. The name is a shortened version of a U.S. state. Apply a ROT13 cipher to the name, and it becomes the shortened version of another U.S. state that borders the first one.

2. The name is the same as a person who is on our favorite radio station. Rearrange the letters, and it’s the name of another person on the same station.

3. The name is contained within the name of someone who reads this blog. It is also contained within the name of someone else who reads this blog. (In both cases, the name is complete and in order within the other name – for example, xxxTODDxxx, not xxTxxDxDxOxx.)

4. The name is the same as an endangered language spoken by less than 50 people. The name is also the same as a declining (may soon be endangered) species of animal, in a language studied by Betsy in college.

5. Rearrange the letters of the name to find the name of a popular form of Arabic R&B music. Rearrange another way, and find the name of the band that put out one of my all-time favorite music videos.

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I know we’ve only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days. The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days. And the fifth day you went to see your mother and that seemed just like a day, and then you came back and later on the sixth day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days. And the sixth day seemed like a week and a half. I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it.

I’ve written somewhere around 6 posts and 40,000,000 words, and we’re through the first 1.5 days. While I’ll admit that I have a proclivity for long-windedness at times, and that might be artificially inflating the word count, it really did feel longer than just a few days. Each day had it’s own set of obstacles and adventures and weird experiences, and there’s just a lot to talk about. But let’s see if I can get through a little more time in this post…

On Saturday night, Gale mentioned something about meeting our parents when they were in town. As soon as they left that evening to go back to their hotel, we called both sets of parents and made last-minute plans for an afternoon potluck dinner at Betsy’s parents house.

At this point, I should once again mention how grateful we are for the graciousness of our parents. Betsy’s parents had about 18 hours, most of which was overnight, to prepare for a party of 11 people (including two rambunctious young boys) descending on their house. My parents broke pre-existing Sunday plans without a moment’s hesitation, explaining that this was far and away the most important thing they could be doing that afternoon. That level of support and love is going to be really helpful in the hard work of raising a child.

The next morning, we picked up Aria and her family and took them to church with us. We had to get Ethan to the airport by noon (he couldn’t stay for the full week, as he had school the next Monday), so we sat in the back of the church. I could see a few of our friends who know about our adoption goals looking at us with curious looks – they didn’t want to presume anything or ask questions that might be inappropriate, but I could tell they couldn’t wait to get more information about the situation. The service itself was nice with a good sermon about hospitality, which seemed relevant to a weekend in which we were expanding our family and opening our home, and Ethan was pleasantly surprised about how similar our church is to his.

We rushed out of the church immediately after communion, and got Ethan down to the airport. After saying goodbye (and taking Carter and Skyler for some extra laps around the escalators), we headed up north for a lunch in the park. The particular park we chose ended up being not the nicest one in town, but it has a playground and tables for lunch, and that’s all we needed.

After lunch, we headed up to Betsy’s parents. Betsy rode with Aria’s family, and I added Skyler to my car. We spent nearly the entire 30-minute drive discussing the “race” we were having with the other vehicle, and worrying that Betsy might have secret extra-fast routes that she never told me about, and how we could trick her into revealing her secrets while I hid under a pile of blankets, eavesdropping on the coversation, and what the winners of the race would get if they won, and so forth.

When we finally got there (having been beaten in the race by a couple of minutes), the boys were handed a big tub of toys that Betsy’s dad pulled out of storage, and they were in heaven. The boys also took to the dogs immediately, and Skyler spent a lot of time that day getting his face licked by Katie, one of Betsy’s parent’s Westie dogs.

Once they boys were occupied, that left the adults room to hang out and talk for a while. The afternoon was very mellow and relaxed – sitting around the living room, lots of little conversations between various groups, and just a chance for everyone to get to know each other. While I don’t necessarily remember any specific topics of conversation, it was just nice to get to hang out for a little while after the last few days of rushing and chaos. It was also nice to hear somethings repeated as our parents asked the same questions we had, helping us reinforce the things we’ve learned or hearing a slightly different take on an experience.

The next day, Betsy and I both went back to work, and it felt so weird – Betsy has been describing it as “we spent the last several days on Mars – and going back to Earth was so weird. Why are you guys still on Earth? Why are you pretending the world is the same as it has always been? Don’t you know that we’ve been on Mars?”

Aria’s family checked out of the hotel on Sunday, and moved over to a friend of Gale’s house for the remainder of the trip. Our plan on Monday was to go over there, have dinner, and then bring Aria back to our house to stay the night with just the three of us. However, when we got to Gale’s friend’s house, it was a comedy of errors going on the night – torrential rains outside, backed-up plumbing inside, furniture getting knocked over by the pets, kids who should be in the bathtub running naked through the house – and we were encouraged to take Aria back to our place now and scrap the dinner plans. We ended up grabbing a pizza on the way back and watched “The Jerk” (from which comes the quote that begins this post). Again, it was nice to have a bit of quiet time, and just relax.

It’s been a ridiculously long time since we last posted here. So much for “try(ing) to aim at at least one post a week“, I guess.At least we have a good excuse – we’ve had a really busy summer. Here are some of the things we’ve been doing over the last few months…

Betsy got dreadlocks put in! Don’t worry, they were only standing up in full Sideshow Bob mode for the first day or two – they’ve since relaxed and laid down nicely (as you’ll see in pictures below). She’s been talking about getting dreads for a very long time, and I think she was finally inspired to do so after attending…

… the Erykah Badu / The Roots concert at Marymoor Park. We also made it to the Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings show at the Woodland Park Zoo, but that’s been about it for concerts this summer. We’re thinking about trying to make it down to White Center, though, to check out some of the local bands that play at…

…Full Tilt Ice Cream and Pinball. In addition to a gorgeous array of pinball machines, the real attraction is the amazing ice cream flavors hand-made by the owner. Flavors range from semi-traditional (Mexican chocolate, coffee toffee) to experimental (mango chile, horchata, Thai ice tea) to the just plain weird (“The Memphis King” with banana-flavored ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate-covered bacon, or “Homer’s Odyssey” with chocolate-flavored ice cream, sprinkles and chocolate-covered doughnuts). We’ve been there about once a week since they opened (about a month ago), and we made sure to bring our friend Heather and her boyfriend Mike when they visited from NYC. But first, we had to work up an appetite by…

… canoeing on Lake Washington. It was a beautiful day for canoeing, and I think we were lucky enough to get out of the water before the mosquitos came in full force. The weather has been nice for much of the summer, with the exception of today, and…

… the weekend we went camping down near Ocean Shores. The beach was extremely windy and rather cold, but still, Betsy and Mandy (pictured above, on the left) went swimming out in the ocean. It was impressively brave. Apparently, salt water is supposed to be good for dreads – helps them tighten up and collect some of the loose ends.

The wind also wrecked havoc on some of the shelters we brought with us, and at the end of the weekend, our friend Doug told us to just throw away one of the cheap ones that hadn’t worked very well. But throwing away things is boring. I think it’s a lot more fun to…

… smash all of the pieces and tear the thing apart! While breaking down camp, Matthew (pictured above), Mandy, Adrian and I took the poor shelter and threw, hit, crushed, bent, batted, battered, and utterly destroyed all of the pieces. It was a fantastic stress release, especially since I knew that we had to come back to…

… a broken water heater. On the right side, you’ll see a big burst in the seam – that’s where all of the water was pouring out of the heater when we came home from work on Friday. We were supposed to leave for camping within an hour of getting home, but that emergency delayed us quite a bit. All told, though, it was probably the best case scenario for a epic failure like that – it was before we went camping, rather than during; it was in a room with a cement floor and no insulation or dry-wall; and based on the amount of water I saw, it had only been spilling for an hour or two. Still not the most fun in the world, though. Fortunately, Adrian had installed a water heater with our friend Eric recently, so he was able to come over and lend assistance when we installed…

… our new water heater. I had never had to do any work involving hacksawing pipes, using blowtorches to melt solder, teflon tape, or any plumbing work at all, really. It was a bit tiresome at the time, but I’m actually rather proud of the fact that we installed it successfully ourselves. And it’s a good thing that we had hot water, because…

… we always have some dirty dishes to do. (Okay, so maybe this isn’t as exciting of a picture as the previous ones, but hey, this is a big part of why I haven’t been updating the blog recently – priorities are priorities, after all.) We’ve had to work extra hard at keeping the house clean these days, as we already had a small house, and we essentially “lost a room” in order to put together…

… Eelfang’s nursery. It’s still a work in progress, but we’re up to a point where I feel pretty confident that we would have much of what we would need for Eelfang when s/he shows up. Which is a good thing, because…

… I love me some babies.


So, my new goal is to try to take at least one picture a day. I can’t promise that they will be particularly exciting (for example, the dishes picture and the nursery picture above are from the first two days of this project), but it’ll get me more familiar with my camera and general principles of photography. And it’ll also give me an easy thing to post and write about, if I’m not feeling up to a long words-only post. While I’m not going to promise “one post a week” again, I’ll do my best to stay on top of this. And if I don’t… just bug me a bunch.Photo credits

Betsy’s new dreads – Lish D

Pinball, Canoeing, Todd’s huge eyes – Heather M

Erykah Badu – some anonymous Flickr dude

The rest of them – Todd & Betsy

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working really hard on being as prepared as possible. I’ve studied magazines and books, highlighting and circling relevant passages, searching out helpful blogs, organizing my work in spreadsheets, and just doing some real heavy soul-searching to figure out what’s important to me. They say you can never really be prepared, but for every day that passes, I feel more and more comfortable with my decision – that drafting a top tier wide receiver is a priority in this year’s fantasy football draft due to positional scarcity and a relative parity in running backs after the top eight.

Meanwhile, our “what eelfang needs” list remains untouched…

For whatever reason, our enthusiasm and momentum fell off shortly after getting in the pool. I guess it felt almost like we had reached the finish line of a long, long voyage, and now we got to take a break. The odds of getting a call in the first few weeks are so small that it felt like we could take an evening off to watch a movie, or work on projects around the house, or study fantasy football stuff, or whatever it is we wanted to do to return to a “normal” life after a busy past few months. But then one evening led into the next, and the next…

It’s not like we haven’t done anything, per se – Betsy sewed a baby sling for us, we’ve started to gather together some furniture, and we have a few supplies gathered. We’re slowly making our way down the path towards preparedness – but at the pace we’ve been going, we’d be ready for The Call some time early next decade.

Which is why the call we got on Friday evening set our hearts racing.

We were out with some friends, hanging out and talking in a loud and busy bar when Betsy’s phone rang. She took it outside to talk to whoever was calling, and I just kept socializing and having fun. She returned back to the table, grabbed her purse, and whispered in my ear, “We’re getting a screening call right now.”

A bit of terminology – a screening call is very different from The Call. With a screening call, a counselor at the agency is determining what families would be open to having their profiles shown to a potential birthmother. This call is usually triggered by some sort of extraordinary circumstances – health issues, difficult birthfather situation, substance use during pregnancy, etc. The screening call goes out to everyone who expressed openness for similar situations (you express that openness on the Screening Tool, which deserves a post of its own) – if your openness range roughly matches up with the intensity level of these circumstances, you get a call to see if you are open for the specifics of this particular case. Depending on the situation, a screening call could go out to 50 families and they’ll all say yes, or it’ll go out to 5 families and only two of them say yes. The call itself really means little about whether or not you’ll be getting The Call soon – if the 50 other families also say yes, you’re at only a 2% chance of getting The Call as a result of the screening. Of course, you never know the numbers of the people who also said yes, and it’s hard to remember those when emotions are running high, but that’s the way it is.

I mumbled some sort of excuse to leave the table, and rushed outside to sit next to Betsy while she talked to the counselor. Fortunately, Betsy had paper and a pen in her purse, and I was able to follow a lot of the conversation from the notes she was scribbling down. The baby had been born on Thursday, and was ready to be released from the hospital on Sunday or Monday. There were a few (seemingly minor) health complications, and the birthmother had her own set of requests about the adoption process that would have been an adjustment to our expectations.

But it wasn’t our baby. After hanging up (and excitedly hugging), we talked to each other briefly, and both of us felt and quickly agreed that this was not our baby – not our time to say yes, not our time to be chosen. The baby will be going to another family (the right family) who will love them deeply and raise them, and I wish all the best for them. Even as I write this post, I know the new parents are holding their child and filled with love and amazement, and it’s awesome for them. Our turn will come soon enough, but it felt very clear that night that it wasn’t the time for us.

The counselor wanted to hear back the next morning, so we agreed to sleep on it just in case we were rushing to a judgment. “Sleeping on it” always seems like a weird way to think through an issue, as I rarely get good thinking done while unconscious, but I guess just the fact that I slept soundly with no nervousness proved that I felt really comfortable with our decision.

(Since I’m between jobs, the insurance situation was also extremely dicey, and it could have been financially ruinous to have said yes. (The counselor had overlooked the note on our account saying we were not open to children born before July 1st). But that wasn’t what made our decision – it just made it a little easier to help keep wild emotions in check and make the right decision.)

But for as much as I felt comfortable saying that this was not our baby, I feel equally comfortable saying that this was our message baby. I think God arranged for the counselor to overlook the note on our account and give us that call, and to help wake us up that we really are in the pool and that we need to get ready. That it’s more important right now for me to compare pediatricians than it is for me to compare quarterbacks, and that it’s better for us to be working on setting up the nursery than it is to work on setting up summer parties.

Because next time we get that call, it might just be our baby on the other end of the line…

(Note: This will probably be the last time we write about getting a screening call – we’ll probably keep those private, if for our own sanity more than anything else. And yes, I realize that some people might scoff at the idea that it will be our baby at the other end of the line, but you haven’t met Eelfang yet – he/she is going to be so smart, he/she’ll be calling us up from the hospital to make his/her own screening calls.)

A little over two months in the pool. Still bobbing about. But to rewind a bit…

A week or two after getting in the pool, Todd and I decided to register for baby items. We’d already gotten a bunch of awesome things from Todd’s sister, and a whole room’s worth of furniture (dresser, handmade cradle, rocking chair) from my parents. I checked out The Expectant Parents’ Companion from the library, which has really great lists of essentials, nice-to-have’s, and lists for breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. After pouring over that and some other online resources, we compiled a list of around 30 items, and walked the couple blocks to Target to take the plunge.

Sadly, Target’s baby department was lacking. They had lots of cute clothes, but didn’t have any changing pads nor the cotton receiving blankets I had been hoping for. So instead, we drove over to Babel–, I mean, Babies R Us.

I’ve heard folks say that all babies need are a boob and a blanket. While I am not in a position to be that hardcore (unless there is such a thing as spontaneous lactation!), nor even necessarily want to be, there are also many opportunities to go overboard with Baby Stuff. We checked into BrU’s registry, and an employee gave us a pep talk that registering was going to take about 1-2 hours, and the result would be about 150-200 items. What?! I couldn’t decide if I should feel smug that we/our baby can get by with so much less, or simply inadequate.

We knocked out almost our whole list in one corner of the store, and of course caved to a few impulse items. It should be noted, though, that even though it seems like BrU has everything, they did not have any Sonic Youth onesies. We did register for a few other clothes, but it was odd not knowing size (preemie or Michelin-size like I was?), season, and gender. I’m totally going to be that parent who dresses their little girl in dresses and dinosaurs, but it’s a little harder to adapt girl clothes to boys…Plus we got a good tip later from other adoptive parents that clothes often get discontinued, so anything more than basics is something we’ll wait to register for until we know more.

So that was that. Now we’re to a comfortable pausing point on Baby Stuff, which frees me up to dwell on…well, more Baby Stuff. But that’s only because Eelfang totally needs a (insert cute handmade thing I saw on XYZ blog yesterday), right?

Last weekend, we held a “pool party” BBQ to celebrate finally getting into the pool. I really should have taken some pictures to commemorate and post here, but we forgot (one of the reasons why compiling the photo collage was more difficult than it should have been).

It was great to get to hang out with everyone. The weather was absolutely perfect, and while there was still a lot of yardwork I had wanted to get done, a lot of the flowers were in full bloom and the place looked nice despite the occasional weed. I cooked up some fajitas on the grill, and if you’ll allow me to break my false modesty for a moment, they were completely awesome and delicious.

Most important of all, it was a gathering of the community that will be part of the support system for us as we raise young Eelfang. We had established parents running around with their son on the lawn, excited talks with new friends who had just attended their two-day seminar to start down the open adoption path, and lots of other well-wishers and warm-hearted people who are almost as excited for us as we are. Being in a backyard packed with that many great people is a great reminder of how lucky we are to know our friends.

Halfway through the party, I got a call on my phone from a 206 area code phone number I didn’t recognize. Immediately, my pulse picked up a few dozen beats, and I thought “this is it – we’re going to get The Call in the middle of our BBQ.” When I answered, and it was our friend Casey, I tried my best to not sound disappointed – I’d normally be really happy to hear from him, but asking for directions to our house is not quite as exciting as “hey come get this baby.”

That’ll probably be the way I am for the next few months/years. Earlier today, I was teaching one of my classes, and my phone started buzzing in my pocket. I checked it out immediately, and it just turned out to be a low-battery warning. But I never failed to jump slightly for the next two hours while the phone repeated its battery warning every few minutes – when the warning and the inbound call has the same pattern, you just never know…

In retrospect, it does seem a bit weird to throw a party to celebrate that you are about to start waiting for something to celebrate. So maybe it’s better to think that is was just a “awesome backyard BBQ party”, and try to keep the tension low for the long wait ahead of us. It was a good opportunity to break out the new outdoor fireplace, to get together with friends, and to eat some good food. As for what’s coming next… well, I’ll make sure to keep my phone close to me at all times, but just enjoy the summer in the meantime.


I’ll do my best to keep updating this blog while we wait in the pool. We won’t have much in the way of “milestones” to talk about, but there’s still a lot to talk about that I haven’t covered yet. Here’s my attempt at brainstorming a list of future topics:

  • Being a rad dad (aka Why I hate Parents magazine)
  • Registering for stuff (aka Why I hate Babies’R'Us)
  • Experiences at the Agency-wide “waiting families” meetings (aka Saying all sorts of gossipy things about weird people we meet, thinking better of it and deleting it, and then saying that “everyone is so nice”.)
  • Parenting philosophy (aka Why I should be nicer and stop being gossipy or saying I hate stuff)
  • Book review of parenting books I’ve read
  • Nature vs Nurture hopes and worries
  • Transracial adoption and our family
  • Naming disputes
  • uh, submit your own suggestions below?

So, that should keep me pretty busy for a while. I’ll try to aim at at least one post a week during the summer (although I’m not making any promises), so I may end up repeating myself before too long. We’ll just have to wait and see, though.

Todd and I got a “welcome to the pool” packet in the mail from the agency today. Among the items was a bound booklet of Dear Birthparent letters. I started flipping through, and it looked to be current–us, plus lots of people who I recognized from the website, and some folks who didn’t choose to have their letter posted to the website…and then I happened upon two, count ‘em, two, letters from folks who we know outside the adoption world! We’re attending our first Waiting Families gathering in a couple weeks, and now instead of the usual shyness that was bound to take hold, I’m super excited in hopes to see their familiar faces there! Yay!

After many stutters, hold ups and near misses, I am thrilled to announce that, as of last Friday, 4/18, we are officially in the pool! It is a good, good day to be Todd and Betsy.

During said hold ups, etc, when I was feeling especially impatient and raw, I tried to remind myself that getting “in the pool” is something of an arbitrary line in the sand. We could end up waiting a month to be picked, and then these last few weeks of frustration won’t feel like such a waste. Or we’ll hardly even remember them if we end up waiting three years! But! it’s still so nice to get on to the waiting already!

P.S. I also want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for your curiosity, encouragement and constant support thus far. You folks are awesome!

So, been waiting on the edge of your seat since our last post? Wondering when we’re going to finally be in the pool?

Well, so have we.

The plan was to be in the pool by the end of last week. We sent in all of our material on Thursday, and some of it had to go down to Portland, so we weren’t surprised when we hadn’t received a confirmation call by Friday. By Monday and Tuesday, though, we were starting to get a bit anxious. Finally, we got an email from our counselor, who let us know that she had forgotten about some work on the back-end that still needed to happen, and that she was now looking at April 11th as the official “pool entry date”. So as of right now, we’ve got our swimsuits on, googles in place, ready to dive on in – and we’re just waiting for the whistle to sound.

Of course, getting in the pool might end up being anti-climactic. Once we’re in, the only immediate change is that both of us will suddenly be a LOT more jumpy whenever our phone rings. (Have you ever been annoyed by the fact that I’ll forget to charge my cell phone for days at a time, or that I don’t check my voicemails immediately? You’re going to be really happy when we’re in the pool. No guarantees on how long it will take for me to return calls, but at least you’ll know I’ll have listened to the message.)

There’s a whole new to-do list in front of us, though. If we were to get the call right now telling us to come down to the hospital, we’d be in complete chaos trying to figure out what we need to do and get ready for. Dan Savage wrote in his book that there’s nothing a child needs in their first week that can’t be bought on the way home from the hospital (other than a car seat), and while that’s reassuring, it’d be nice to have a few things in place and ready to go. I also deal with stress and confusion by making lists, so I have to put a few of those together to make myself feel better.

So we’re spending the next few weeks getting our ducks in a row. Like trying to figure out how the car seat fits in the car – not something you want to try for the first time with “The Call” adrenaline running through your system. Or finding a pediatrician – again, it’s hard to be objective with interview questions when you are holding a feverish baby in your arms already. And we started to put together a list of what to take with us if we need to take an urgent road trip down to Oregon – even down to which CDs to bring with us, because I know I’d be staring at our collection with blank, panicky eyes if I waited to the last minute to make that choice.

We should have plenty of time to make these decisions, of course. The average wait time for our agency is 10.5 months in the pool, and only 24% of placements are last minute – the majority of “first meetings” with the adoptive parents and birth parents is somewhere near the start of the third trimester. While it’s entirely possible that we could be in the pool for 2 weeks before a last minute placement, and have a child in our home before the start of May, that’s extremely unlikely, and we could end up waiting a couple years or more – we’d be very fortunate to have a child in our home before the start of 2009.

Even though I know it could end up being a while, there’s part of me that keeps clinging to the idea of a very short wait time. It’s hard to get a sense objectively of how our Homestudy material turned out – my hope is that we did a good job of showing how totally awesome Betsy is and what a fantastically amazing mom she will be, and that we sufficiently explained that her husband Goofus has the best of intentions and that his oddity is mostly benign.

Beyond that, we do have some “advantages” based on who we are. Those could be meaningless – all it takes is one lotto ticket to win – but we do get a few extra tickets to scratch just based on the fact that we are young, healthy, religious and heterosexual. It gives me a weird sense of guilt to think about that, though, as we’ve met some great potential parents already who don’t fit into those categories, and I don’t really like being given “better chances” just based on who we are and our backgrounds. But that’s just the reality of it, I suppose.

It’s hard to say when it will happen, though. I know Betsy tends to assume that we’ll be waiting for quite a while, where I can’t keep my mind from fixating on the stories I read of the one or two month waits. Both of us tend to picture ourselves adopting through a last-minute placement, but that’s the minority of cases. And it’s like the dating world – since so much depends on the chance thing that makes two people click, there’s no way of knowing how long it’ll take for the right person to show up, even if you have all the “advantages” in the world.
However long we wait in the pool, though, it’ll be the right amount of time. If we do get a call in the next month for a last-minute placement, that’ll be the right time. If we’re still waiting in the pool 3 years from now – it’ll be tough, but that’ll be the right timing as well.

I just want to hurry up and get waiting already.