The Waiting is the Hardest Part.

(Originally posted 11/21/2016)

There is much waiting involved on the road to becoming an adoptive parent. Waiting to decide if it’s the right thing and/or right time to adopt. After filling out the mountains of paperwork and answering numerous personal questions and writing out a life history, waiting for your fingerprint results to come back. (Mine got lost and I had to go do them a second time!) Waiting to get an appointment with a social worker for a home study. Waiting through the home study process. Waiting to be home studied approved. That is when you become an official “Expecting Parent” in the adoption world. Then waiting to be chosen by an expecting mom. The lyrics to Tom Petty’s song, “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” take on a whole knew meaning for adoptive parents. Then if chosen by just birth mother if the birth father is not around, there is waiting for him or other birth family to give up his rights as the parent. That part was hard because we didn’t get the chance to meet our son’s birth father, like we did his birth mother, so he was a total unknown, with us wondering and wishing maybe we could talk to him or know him, so we could answer questions about him for our son.

Then waiting for the child to be born. Waiting to see if this new pregnant woman you’re getting to know and love will change her mind and choose to parent the child herself. Which you would understand if she did, but cry and feel more loss and pain if she did. Then once that sweet beautiful child is home with you, there is more waiting for the adoption to become final. Which basically means legal and binding in the courts. It puts into law that you are a forever family even though it’s been felt in your hearts from the start. On that day of finalization you gain all the same rights and privileges of each and every biological parent. It was on this day, back in 2010 that my family had our day in court with our own adoption finalization ceremony. It was on November 17, 2010. Our son was almost a year old. We still celebrate that Forever Family special date every year. Such a happy and special day. I think many families share their finalization day in November because the courts wait until then, since November is National Awareness month.

At the courthouse that day and for days after, we cried tears of joy and held our son a little bit tighter and felt a huge exhale from all the waiting and could relax more knowing once and for all, that we were indeed a legal and binding forever family. We had friends and family there with us at the courthouse. We made it a special day celebration. We gave our sons some gifts, some wooden cars that are interchangeable, a book called, “How much Do I Love You?” and a puzzle. Since he was the missing piece in our lives. We still read the book at bed time all these years later. He also was given a cute stuffed Teddy Bear by the judge that day. He gives one to all the kids. My son calls it his Adoption Bear.

There is always more waiting in the life of a parent: waiting for them to sleep, to wake up, to eat, to see their first smile, to say their first word or take their first steps and on through out the years. Lots of waiting. And there’s joy in the waiting this time. I try to live more in the moment now. That helps me to be more present with my son. To not worry about the past or future too much. I’m eternally grateful for the gift and honor to be the mom that gets to raise him. All the loss, pain and emotional roller coaster we went through was so worth it. All the waiting taught me patience and acceptance of the “what is.” That we don’t have control over outside things in live but we do have power about how we respond and choose to feel about it all.

Each adoption story is unique. While my husband and I were in the waiting mode, We felt so powerless and alone on our journey, so I decided to take action and I started an Adoptive Parents Support Group. We had one parent at our first meeting and now have just under 300 families. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of. I love all the families and being with them and at our monthly meetings I’ve heard from so many stories and though each different, there is a common theme and connection when it comes to how hard the waiting is. But I always tell them that adoption will happen, there just may be hurdles and bumps along the way. There’s blood, sweat and tears shed in order to make the dream of being a mommy or daddy come true. Parenting is not an easy job, but it’s the best one I’ve ever had.


Now when you read these words, think about holding your child after experiencing loss and pain and wondering if you ever will be a parent and waiting so long for this moment to sit and gently hold and rock your sweet baby. You might feel the whole new meaning they take on for an adoptive parent. I remember hearing this song while waiting to be matched and it made me cry. I also remember hearing it while my lil guy was all snuggled up close to me in the Baby Bjorn type carrier we had while I did some house work. He must have been just a couple months and it came on the radio. Here I was dancing with my boy and singing these words and the tears came again. A whole new meaning.

Lyrics to “The Waiting is The Hardest Part”
Oh baby don’t it feel like heaven right now
Don’t it feel like somethin’ from a dream
Yeah I’ve never known nothing quite like this
Don’t it feel like tonight might never be again
We know better than to try and pretend
Baby no one could have ever told me ‘bout this
The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part
Well yeah I might have chased a couple of women around
All it ever got me was down
Then there were those that made me feel good
But never as good as I feel right now
Baby you’re the only one that’s ever known how
To make me want to live like I want to live now
The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part
Don’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to you
Don’t let ’em kill you baby, don’t let ’em get to you
I’ll be your breathin’ heart, I’ll be your cryin’ fool
Don’t let this go too far, don’t let it get to you

Songwriters: VEITCH, PETER ALAN/THOMPSON, CHRISTOPHER GREER

The Waiting lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.