Today your job is to take your questions from yesterday and compare your answers. What is your first instinct? What were you initially excited about, relieved about or most nervous about or had a nagging feeling of “see I knew that…”. Let these be your guide. For example if you were very apprehensive about adoption but after talking to three agencies you feel more relieved, than that is a sign that you may be ready to take the next step down that road. However if you talked to three agencies and got the feeling like “see I knew there is a chance that the birth mother can change her mind for a period after the baby is born.” Then maybe you’re not ready to go down that road. We often hear what we want to hear and ignore what we don’t. I remember when we listened to the introduction meeting about international adoption and they discussed adopting older children I downplayed words like “special needs” and “extremely emotionally challenging”. Now I know what those words really mean. But at the time I fluffed it up because my heart was set on international adoption.
So you want to use “Feeling and Fact” decision making. These exercises are a way to help you sort out your feelings as well as gather the facts to help you make the best decision for you that leaves the least amount of regret. Maybe you’re reluctant to explore adoption because when you were growing up you knew a family at church that a adopted a boy who burnt down their house and had to be sent to boarding school. That may be what you associate with “adoption”. So you would feel frightened about adoption but is this fear based on fact? Based on this one family yes, based on the majority of adoptions no. So gaining the facts can help change your feelings to line up with reality.
Our feelings play a big role in our decisions. If you don’t feel ready to go down the road of adoption you may not be ready. You may still feel like you want to try other medical interventions to have a biological child.
You may have called a few clinics and found out all that is involved in taking the next step medically and your first instinct was “I can’t stand to be poked, prodded or monitored anymore!” Then clarify that and look at what your other options are. Acknowledge what you feel now and know that you may feel different later. For example in 6 months you may be ready to try IVF (if that’s the next step) but for now maybe that is too much and exploring adoption would be a good idea.
Pay attention to your “gut feelings”. These often guide us. I also believe in prayer and praying for peace in your decisions. You may have been praying for a baby (God heard many of those prayers from me) but also pray for peace during the process. Once you have some clarity it makes it so much easier to have tough discussions with your spouse especially if he/she is not at the same point as you. Sharing how you arrived at your decision will help him/her understand your point of view and you can encourage him/her to participate in the same exercises to help them reach some clarity.