This guest post is by Ethan Curtis, a hopeful adoptive father. It is part of A Dad’s Devotion, a month-long series of original stories related to adoption, fatherhood and Father’s Day.
On Father’s Day this year, my wife and I will celebrate like we do every year. We’ll both call our fathers and wish them a great day, then we’ll go out and barbecue with some close friends who have children.
Father’s day tends to have special meaning for my wife and I, as we were both born on Father’s Day a year apart, and my birthday happens to fall on the day again this year.
What we won’t do, however, is dwell on the fact that for the fifth straight year since we began trying to conceive a child, we have still not been blessed with one. After starting the adoption process, the sting of this seems to already be lessened, because of the possibilities available to our futures.
Waiting to adopt
Now, as any prospective father can tell you, one of the hardest parts is the waiting and preparing. My friends say that the few months leading up to the birth of their children, is filled with preparing every little thing, from the nursery to the car seat, and spending a large amount of money on supplies from clothes to diapers.
Every time this happens, I smile and nod, knowing full well what it’s like, as I have been in that position more times then I would care to relate. Again, what I leave unsaid is the fact that adoptive parents go through this process as well, but keep it to themselves, not knowing when their miracle will actually take place. This isn’t meant to take away from what birth father and mothers do, but it brings to light the challenges that face adoptive parents.
The most important thing I’ve learned during the adoption process is that hope is a blessing and a curse. Every time a birth mother contacts us, the hope springs eternal. We begin thinking about what clothes we’ll need, and what color to paint the room we have prepared, and what our first child’s name might be.
Then, if for any reason the situation doesn’t work, hope becomes despair, and we tell ourselves that it wasn’t the right situation and our miracle is just around the corner. That’s the hardest part, dealing with the uncertainty. My wife and I want a child more than anything in the world, but we know in our hearts that the right child, our child, is still out there waiting.
Challenges as a prospective adoptive father
As a prospective adoptive father, there are many other challenges you’ll face. None of them are more heart wrenching then the support you will need to give your wife. After years of disappointments, multiple miscarriages, and a failed IVF treatment, my wife has remained strong.
All of these things took their emotional toll on both of us, but she came out of it stronger then ever, and with a clear idea of what was the next step. Every setback or even perceived setback we have during the adoption process, I feel might be ripping these old wounds open again for her.
So I do everything I can to protect her and get her to look to the future and the next big hope. After a few months of doing this, I realized that I wasn’t the one protecting her and making sure she got through everything. She was protecting me by being the strong one, and continuously looking for that next opportunity. While I was content to dwell on the pain and had began to believe we were just unlucky.
My wife’s perseverance brought me to the realization of one thing. That no matter how hard the adoption process is and how painful you may think it is, if you believe in yourself and your partner and know in your heart that adoption is going to be the step that builds your family, it will never be a choice you don’t feel comfortable talking about at barbecue’s, or ashamed of admitting at work.
Hannah and I are high school sweethearts who have been married for 7 years. We are hoping to adopt an infant, with no preferences on race or sex. We are excited to begin our family and are looking forward to the opportunity of sharing our love and laughter with a child.
Wishing All Fathers and Hopeful Fathers a Great Father’s Day.
Do you have an adoption story?
Share it with us as part of A Dad’s Devotion, a month-long series of original stories by adoptive parents, birthparents and hopeful adoptive parents and adoptees. How has adoption changed your definition of fatherhood or family? What impact has adoption had on your life and what do you want people to know about it? Submit your story here or learn more by checking out our Guidelines For Guest Posts at America Adopts!