It was the summer of 2008. We were no longer newlyweds. My husband and I were starting to seriously talk about starting the adoption process. We knew it was how our family was going to grow since before we got married. But it was that summer when we researched and contacted adoption agencies. It was no longer just a dream for the future. It was becoming a real possibility.

The ups and downs of the emotional roller coaster started before we even officially started the adoption process. It’s a huge decision and would bring on big changes. Instead of being spontaneous and being just the two of us, we would (eventually, hopefully) become a family. We’d be responsible for another life. Were we really equipped to be parents?

Then there was the realization that if we were lucky enough to be chosen to bring home a baby that meant someone else wasn’t bringing home their baby. That was hard to grasp. I hated that our possible gain would be someone else’s detrimental loss. But if we weren’t ever chosen then we wouldn’t ever bring home a baby. Selfishly, that hurt a lot too. While sometimes adoption is presented as a win for everyone, it certainly isn’t.

On top of the stuff unique to adoption, there was also the normal baby stuff to think about. Will it be a boy or a girl? What will they look like? And all those prayers said for a good sleeper! And the baby gear. So much baby gear. Did we really need a wipe warmer? Can’t forget baby names!

It took us 4 months to fill out the required paperwork, have the necessary background checks done and meet with the social worker for our home visits. I was definitely in the mindset to hurry up and wait. I wanted to get to the waiting part. To know that it could really, truly happen at any moment.

There were so many mixed emotions. It was an exciting time. We could, at any time, become mom and dad!! But it was also a nerve-wrecking time since there were so many unknowns. As a planner, it was hard to give up control and just wait. Would we wait weeks, months or years? Maybe we wouldn’t ever bring home a baby. After we started the process (and even before!), it was all I could think of. The sound of a phone ringing brought on so many emotions. At the first ring, I’d get so excited at the possibility that MAYBE it would be THE call. And then came a wave of disappointment when I realized it had nothing to do with adoption or babies.

To those of you enduring your wait now… Enjoy it. Embrace it. Yes, both the ups and the downs. It’ll make you better parents. It’s an exciting time in your life and it really could happen at any time. Whether your baby comes tomorrow or in 3 years, it’ll be perfect. Someday you’ll look back on your wait and it’ll seem like a lifetime ago.

It was the summer of 2008 and I had no idea that life would be so good.

Alissa Kay

Alissa was born and raised in the Midwest and currently calls Wisconsin home. She's happily married to her college sweetheart and she's living out her dreams of being a stay-at-home mom. Although, let's be real, she's hardly ever home. She's the mom to 3 kids who all came to her via adoption. A boy (8) and 2 girls (6 and almost 4!). The kids keep her plenty busy, but when she has free time she enjoys a night out with friends or curling up with a good book.