I’m just back from a three-day jaunt to Philadelphia, where I was going to meet BMA face to face. And it didn’t happen. It was still a good trip: I went to one of my favorite museums, saw friends, talked about parenting with someone whose opinions on the topic I value, made friends with an adorable dog, and got a fair amount of crocheting done while on the bus or waiting for public transit.
But it was frustrating. Part of this whole thing, of preparing to become a parent, of going through the adoption process, is trying to let go a bit, even when doing so means I don’t get the outcomes I want or need. There are very good reasons that BMA couldn’t meet with me: death in the family, the heat wave, money miscommunications with the agency. There was a day there when I thought that the adoption was going to disrupt: BMA was angry with the agency and was texting me saying that she wanted to place her child with me, but didn’t want to work with them anymore. It all got cleared up, but that level of instability is profoundly scary.
I’ll talk about money in another post, but much of this anxiety and instability comes down to the miscommunication about it. Yesterday, I got an urgent message from BMA’s advocate to ask if I could pay for an air conditioner for her. I set a budget and said yes, but it was a reminder how close to the edge BMA is. During an incredible heat wave, she doesn’t have anything squirreled away to ensure her family’s comfort and health. If the money order from the agency doesn’t come through in a timely manner, she can’t take the kids out to meet me. The issue of money around building a family is not unique to open adoption, or even to adoption in general, but it is amplified and foregrounded in this process.