March 05, 2009

What's That I'm Feeling?

I put a lot of stock into my gut feelings. So, I’ll admit it: I was a little excited when I recently took the Myers-Briggs personality test and it revealed that I’m borderline for having the rarest of all personality types, the one that “know[s] things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand.” This part is fun too: “They are usually right, and they usually know it.” I digress.

Why is this a big deal to me? Well, regarding adoption, it has really helped me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I truly believe that the baby meant for you will come home to you. But I rely on my gut to help the process along.

Too often people don’t rely on their gut feelings and get stuck with a job, for example, that they didn’t feel right about taking, but did anyway. Where this gets tricky with adoption is wondering if you’re playing the role of god (or whatever spiritual being you believe in).

Recently we had an opportunity to pursue an adoption through the state (our first real opportunity in more than six months). Out of approximately 80 interested families, we were chosen as one of three families to go to committee (where a panel decides who will adopt the child). We were thrilled—everything we knew about the child matched exactly what we were hoping for.

Unfortunately, right before we were scheduled to go to committee, the agency disclosed many more details about the child’s history, and the child’s foster care mom revealed some “insider info” as well. We were then faced with the difficult decision whether or not to move forward or follow our gut, which was signaling that we might not be the best match for this child, as we may not be equipped to provide the best care for this child’s needs.

As you probably guessed, we decided against pursuing the opportunity. And that was an awful decision to have to make. We felt like we were letting down a child we’d never met. We wondered if we were “bad people” for deciding not to go forward. I felt like I was playing “god” with this child’s life. It sucks. It really, really sucks to be put in this position and to keep going through this. Of course, we could have gone to committee and not been selected (keeping with the whole “what’s meant to be will be” theory). I think that would have made me feel better.

There’s a reason case workers and agency coordinators call this whole thing a roller coaster ride; they know what they’re talking about. But, as tough as it is, as strong as my desire is to grow our family, adoption is the way we’ve chosen to grow it. And I wouldn’t change that. Our child is out there. I just hope he/she will find his/her way home soon.

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