Hi, nice to see you back! (Ed. note -- Thanks!) My questions: How long were your waits for Puppy and Firefly? Was the second wait easier than the first? Did you ever feel like you were getting things ready for a baby who may never show up? (We've been waiting 9 months for a match)I'm trying now to remember when exactly we went "in the book" in our first adoption. It was sometime around May, maybe June? We learned that Kelly and Ray had picked us near the end of August and Puppy was born six weeks later, in October. So our wait was somewhere between four to five months.
The second time, we went in the book in July and were picked out by Beth sometime in the next few weeks. We didn't learn that she was interested in us, though, until September. We met her for the first time in late October and Firefly was born in February. So about seven months total.
You've already made it further than I had to, so a big hug to you for that. To answer your question, I never felt like it would never happen, but then I didn't face down milestones like the one-year mark or a home-study renewal. We also didn't buy any baby gear or change anything in our house the first time around until we were matched. I was pretty adamant about not wanting visible reminders of the wait, so that I could take mental breaks from it all if I wanted. I wanted to keep living our life just as it was until we could be fairly sure it was about to change. Not that it stopped me from thinking about it every day, several times a day! It took up a pretty big chunk of my inner life. It was definitely hard at times, and I wrote awhile back (during another Q&A, actually) about how I coped with the emotional rollercoaster ride.
The second time around was so different than the first. I wouldn't say it was easy, but it occupied a lot less emotional real estate. I still dreamed about the future, but without quite the same undercurrent of longing. That time our life included Puppy. We weren't waiting to take on this whole new identity as parents.
I can't help but add that it drives me up the wall when adoptive parents who had a tiny blip of a wait get all smug about it, like they're valedictorians of adoption. It's not a competition, as much as some people try to turn it into one. The length of time we wait isn't a reflection on our worthiness, but how we conduct ourselves during the wait can be. The point isn't a fast placement, but one that is right for everyone involved--and that takes honesty, authenticity, patience and a bit of luck. And the nice thing is that, at least for me, the memories of the waiting time started slowly fading away once the parenting had begun.