Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Near Misses

I hate the phrase "everything happens for a reason." HATE IT. It seems such a glib response to what is usually something inexplicable -- and there are so many things that I cannot comprehend a good reason for. So many things. 

I personally don't believe that our lives are mapped out for us, that there's a pre-ordained plan that we are living out, that our choices are ultimately not choices at all but delivering us along the line we were always going to be on, no matter what. No thread snipped by a Fate at a preordained time, no one pulling the strings. 

I sort of believe in marbles. I think people are like these pretty glass marbles, all unique but with some similarities, bumping about in the cosmos. Your marble might be shot in one direction, and you might hit any number of other marbles, but hitting one marble sends you off in one direction, until you hit another marble, and it keeps going in a kind of organized chaos of sorts. There's some kind of benevolent force out there holding the marbles together, and you don't have total control over the path your marble will take but each marble you hit leads you to where you are today, and where you end up...if that makes ANY sense at all.

But, occasionally, it does seem like there's a swerve of the path, a hop over a bump, something that prevents a close call, something that skirts you away from a particular marble. 

Apparently, we've had a few of these, the first one in February, disguised as a particularly disappointing profile opportunity where we were ALMOST chosen but not quite

When we had our homestudy update, we talked through our profile opportunities, our decision making processes and how we dealt with either not being chosen or choosing not to be put in the hat. We mentioned the super disappointing one, gave a few details, and then saw our social worker's eyes go wide. She was silent for a moment, and then solemnly said, "Be very, very glad you were NOT chosen for that situation." 

Well. I can't share much, but basically it was a situation where during the 30 day revocation period things got contentious and went to court and turned into a bit of a legal battle and while the adopting couple did have the placement stand and are parenting the baby, it was a horrible situation. And will probably continue to color the experience, and the relationship with the birth mother, and will be one heck of a thing to explain to a child. I felt horrible for everyone, EVERYONE involved in this circumstance. 

When we had received the profile opportunity, we were a little concerned because it seemed like from all the information that the expectant mother had tried to make things work and then shortly before her due date made the decision to place for adoption, and we feared a change of heart. 

I guess our intuition was spot on, although we did hope that we would have been chosen at the time, MAN am I glad that we missed that situation. I don't know how I would have done. I know this is a possibility with adoption, but I hope it doesn't happen when we are matched on day. Because I found this case (admittedly missing a ton of information that was privileged) tragic, for everyone but especially the birth mother, because she changed her mind later and fought so hard and lost, and maybe she wasn't ready to sign the surrenders but felt she had no choice until it was too late. I am extrapolating all over the place because I know so little (as I should not being a player in this situation), but holy moly what a MESS. 

A messy convoluted marble strike, averted. 

Then, when we were providing additional information for the homestudy update that was forgotten in our meeting, it was mentioned that we had been in the running for a last-minute situation that fell through before we even knew about it. Apparently the agency called our homestudy social worker to see if she could expedite the report because of a possible last-minute opportunity, but then called back shortly thereafter to say that the situation had fallen through (no reason given). It was given to us as a crumb of sorts, proof that although we don't always hear from the agency, they are always trying to match us with a potential birth mother for our child. 

That one was so interesting -- I mean, the marble barely came close enough to graze ours, but we never ever heard about it. 

It got me wondering...how many times has this happened? How many times have there been "almost" profile opportunities that never made it to any kind of decision call? Is it sort of like how you don't hear about all the terrorist attack plans on the U.S. that have been averted, because it would totally freak you out to know how many there were that were near misses? Or does it give you more confidence in our national security forces to know that a zillion horrible things that COULD have happened, didn't? 

I feel like for me, I would love to know how often something like that has occurred...because it would make me feel not sad for all the missed opportunities that never became a baby for us, but glad that our agency is working tirelessly to find situations that we are a good match for, and even if they don't get to the profile opportunity or blind profile stage, we were considered a boatload of times. I think that would feel pretty awesome, actually. 

I am trying to figure out how to ask about that without blowing in our social worker, in case she wasn't supposed to share that information with us. I mean, there was no sensitive information involved, so I can't see why that would be verboten, but you just never know. Because I would love to know how often our marble has been in play, narrowly missing all these other marbles, slowly leading us to the one that will allow us to parent our FutureBaby...some day. 

15 comments:

  1. I don't believe in "everything happens for a reason" either. Mainly because I've seen terribly things happen to amazing people and amazing things happen to awful individuals who I dare to call human. It all seems so final and damning. And no one is ever truly damned.

    All that said, I do find looking back one can see a path to what got them where they are today. The lessons and sacrifices that helped shape who they are. I think often this is what people mean by this phrasing. They just use it wrong.

    Regardless, it's hard not to wonder about the near-misses. The coulda beens and the almosts. Especially with new information.

    I guess my point is keep doing what you're doing. Because, truthfully, we're all making this up as we go. And I'm hoping that one day soon, you're looking back on the decisions and choices you made and it makes some sense of how you got to where you are.

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  2. Love the marble analogy.

    And wow.

    I hope you get a chance to know of other near connect situations. More, heres marbles meeting.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts! I hope for marbles meeting, too.

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  3. You might be able to couch it as..."Has anyone else inquired after us, that we haven't heard about?"

    I don't know all of the nuances involved because I'm not in your shoes. But I could see someone asking that question after a while just to get some crumbs, or some sense of marble movement. Here's to marbles...

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    1. We can definitely ask the question, and it's funny because it's not someone inquiring after us, it's our advocate at the agency considering us a good fit for expectant mother situations that come to the agency looking for a good fit. I have to wait a little before asking though, just in case.

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  4. What a thought provoking experience and analogy. I thought about your question: would it be good to know about all the near misses? On one hand I think I would like to know: because it's more information, it gives a more realistic picture of the situation. On the other hand, if just knowing about the near misses wouldn't change anything, maybe it would not be worth it the time spent thinking and wondering. Honestly don't know. I am happy that you averted the ugly court situation though. So heartbreaking.

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    1. Isn't that heartbreaking? So, so sad. Glad to have missed being involved in that one. I feel like since it seems that we receive less profile opportunities than other people I know who are also in the process, it would be encouraging to know that we were considered in early runs because it means progress. For me, I feel like knowing we're on the radar in a consistent way and that we just don't fit specifications right would be more encouraging than a rollercoaster. Of course, I'd want to know about them postmortem, not as they happen, because that would be an up of possibility and then a down of not being the right fit. I worry that we are less likely to be chosen in some cases because we are over 40 and not a part of organized religion and don't already have a child. Surprising that there were more placements this past year for families with children already than couples looking to create a family of more than two.

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  5. That court situation sounds like a nightmare come to life. I'm very glad you didn't go through that. I don't believe in fate either, even though I do believe there is a god. I just don't think he/she/it pulls the strings like we're puppets like that. Nonetheless, I do think your baby is out there, and his/her marble will collide with yours sooner or later. It'll be the baby you're supposed to have because it'll be the one you get, if that makes any sense at all.

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    1. It does make sense! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and beliefs. It is interesting to think of what might be in motion that we don't know about that could be gradually bringing our baby our way as we speak. Maybe.

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  6. I love your marble theory and think it makes perfect sense!

    I have thought about a similar sense from the pregnancy stand-point (i.e. did I actually ovulate, did an egg/sperm every connect but then not progress, whatever happened and how long did the second blastocyst last once implanted, etc.). I ultimately land on the side of likely being disappointed with all the near-misses and it's probably better not knowing for me.

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    1. I'm glad it makes sense! I feel like a crazy person most of the time when I try to explain it. I think if it was about my own body I would not want to know, but for me this process is so external that it would be nice to know, but after potential opportunities have come and gone. It's a funny balance.

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  7. I think I'd want to know about near misses only after the event, so that I then wouldn't have to go through the agonies of waiting! Nice to know though, that you are being considered for other opportunities. But then, maybe I'm losing my marbles.

    PS. I think you know that I detest the "everything happens for a reason" argument. I've met genocidal leaders in Cambodia. No-one can tell me there was a plan for them to do what they did.

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    1. Seriously to "everything happens for a reason." Argh. Yes, after the fact would definitely be better than as-it-happens. I'd just like a record of how often we've been considered, even if it didn't really make it to an actual profile opportunity, because it would make me feel a little better. It's been 4 months since our last profile opportunity, and it's making me feel a little antsy, a little "what's wrong with US?" even though I know that's not really what's going on. Such an intricate business, this matching up of potential situations on both sides. Ha to the lost marbles... :)

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  8. Glad to hear you are at peace with the near miss. It sounds like a very difficult, sad situation. Hoping you get another call soon!

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    1. That near miss is very hard to think about. It has been haunting me, actually, making me think on what I might have done in the situation, even not knowing what exactly led to all the pieces of the fallout. Very sad. Thank you for your well wishes, me too -- I keep hoping my phone will ring with that area code!

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