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.