The application has arrived, and so have my nerves

It's here! The FORMAL APPLICATION (I hear those words booming as if spoken by James Earl Jones) came from AIAA on Monday. It's all very straightforward, mostly a repeat, although more in-depth, of our preliminary application that we sent to AIAA already. There's a deadline date on the application--we have to have it completed by Sept. 7. The clock has started!

When The Man walked into the house wiggling that big yellow envelope in front of him, I felt a huge jolt of nervousness. Last week I was ecstatic to receive the application. Last night, when we opened it, I felt a weird mixture of joy, excitement, and panic.

I think part of the nerves are because this process is hard for me to measure. I'm not sure I can explain it, but I'll give this analogy a try.

Pregnancy, to me, seems like a pop song. (Disclaimer: I know pregnancies can be very different, but for the sake of this analogy, let's just imagine a straightforward, easy pregnancy.) Like a song, it follows a fairly set pattern. A few stanzas, chorus, stanza, chorus, finish. There might be a few surprises along the way, but you generally know how long the song/pregnancy is going to last. All the while, nature gives you a visual indication of where you are in the process so you can tell when it's getting near the end. It (hopefully) follows a predictable course and you are being prepared for parenthood throughout the entire process.

Adoption feels more like a free-form jazz performance---frenetic activity interspersed by long periods where nothing seems to be happening and you have no idea where the song is going. There is a vague notion of a schedule, but things can go much faster or much slower than anticipated. On a day to day basis, our lives feel exactly the same as they always have, and we are doing the same things we've always done. It's hard to measure the process, to know where we are at, and feel like we are moving forward. At some point the song/adoption will be finished, but it might catch you by surprise.

So when we move forward a step, like receiving the formal application (which is a bit intimidating) it kind of smacks me around a bit. Wait...this is really happening!

And that's when my nerves kick in. Holy crap. Whatever we put down on this application will directly affect what little person becomes part of our family. For a woman who is worried about doing the exact right things, this is a bit terrifying.

Take a deep breath. The right things are happening at the right time and in the right way. I try to comfort myself with that thought when I get a bit overwhelmed with worry, fear, panic.

My friend M told me this is exactly how all moms feel. That the emotions I'm going through are what all parents do--worry about their child. And my sister T says this really never goes away.

Well, I'm glad that my nerves aren't anything unusual. If only this stomach would ache go away.


  1. I love the music analogy!

    I've thought too that the date we got our approvals (which is our official 'clock ticking' date) will impact which child we are matched to--i.e. if we had gotten approval a few weeks ahead or after we might get referred a different child. Kind of weird to ponder...

  2. I think it's a GREAT analogy! And so true. That was one of the most frustrating things about the process vs. pregnancy. If you're preg, you KNOW that baby's comin' out some time. There are deadlines imposed by doctors. But with adoption, there's NOOOO indication of the end. It's really tough on the nerves.

  3. that's an awesome analogy! and, this is huge! good luck getting through everything -- you can do it!

  4. Oh man. The stomach ache!!! I so clearly remember that...

    And a *fabulous* analogy!

  5. Terrific analogy, very fitting! The stomach ache will ease (and return occasionally) throughout the process. Good luck!

  6. I definately agree with Christy's comment. My stomache ache has returned this week although it has been missing the last month. What the heck?! Instead of pondering what I'm feeling and why I'm feeling it I'm trying to make a concious decision to roll with it. It just sucks having roller coaster feelings with adoption...Good luck!

  7. My strangest feelings came when writing the checks. I believe that this was the biggest check I've ever written. I was so nervous and emotional, I messed one up, had to void it out, and rip it up. Good things are coming. Get that paperwork in as fast as you can. When you get that kid in your arms, it's worth all that stress you feel now!

  8. Thanks all, for your support! It means so much to share these experiences and feelings, and your comments really help alot. xoxo

  9. Very true. I remember those feelings. I must say that they are all worth it when you hold that baby in your arms (the baby that was meant to be yours). What a big step!


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