Although the time when we’ll have a baby in our home is still fairly far off, we’re slowly but surely preparing for his or her arrival. What that means is that we’re getting little bits and pieces together of what will one day be our life as a family with a baby.
We had a bit of a head start on the process. When I was pregnant, we put a down payment on a set of baby furniture. Beautiful furniture — a crib, a dresser and a wardrobe. Gorgeous stuff for our beautiful new baby! Unfortunately, then I miscarried, but the furniture still had to be paid for. (So we ended up paying for baby furniture while mourning losing a child — that TOTALLY sucks.) Anyway, in our baby’s room downstairs, for the past 3 years we’ve had furniture, all disassembled and stacked against the walls.
Then, we started the infertility stuff. We were not going to get our hopes up, so we resisted buying anything. Once bitten, twice shy, as the saying goes. But the odd time, we’d come upon a stuffed animal or a little lovey and pick it up. Soon we had a small accumulation of little friends to go with our collection of furniture. All sitting together in a dark, closed room.
January rolled around, and our decision was made — no more infertility treatments, we were going to adopt. Suddenly, there was the thought that there would finally be a baby in our lives. And so, cautiously at first, we started picking up a few more things. A lovey to give our child, waiting in Ethiopia, once we get a placement. A few sheets and washcloths and 18 mo. shirts and pants, on sale at the grocery store as they closed out their baby aisle. Plus there was all the babyproofing stuff that had to go on, although that wasn’t nearly as much fun.
Once we finished our interviews, and we figured we’d likely passed our homestudy, we began preparing a little more consciously. We figured that the expense of adoption was already pretty huge; we didn’t want to then have to go out and buy a whackload of stuff all at once to get ready. We wanted to spread the expense out over the months of waiting, and it’s kind of fun that way, too. It gives you something to look forward to, and browsing in the baby aisle almost makes you feel like a real parent instead of a sad wannabe.
We started picking up one thing at each trip to the grocery store: a bottle of skin lotion here, a package of diapers there, a sealed package of baby wipes… things we knew we’d need, but that could be stored for the next 6-9 months. Today, there were bottle liners and nipples on sale, so I picked up a few packages. Just little things to put aside.
All these things get put in the dark, lonely little closed room downstairs.
Although one of these days, when we’re feeling brave enough and thinking that maybe, truly, this all might happen for us, we’ll go in there, and take the blind down, and throw open the window. We’ll begin sorting and cleaning and painting and decorating. We’ll embrace hope again, and start making a place for someone to come home to.