In pregnancy, the first trimester is marked by being tired, nauseated, and somewhat uncertain, until you get to that 12 week appointment. In adoption, I would describe the time between signing on with the agency and going on the waitlist as the first trimester. Gathering all the documents to create your dossier certainly takes a toll on your energy and each time the notary dates don't match or you have to send off for another expensive document that you can't find, a wave of nausea isn't far behind. The trainings can also bring to the surface a feeling of uncertainty, when you hear of all the risks of adoption. So, overall, the 1st trimesters are similar. Oh, and both of them also come with great amounts of excitement.
The second trimester in pregnancy is typically the honeymoon period. You are a little more relaxed about the pregnancy, you start to form an actual baby bump, instead of just looking bloated and you can even go on long walks (or runs if you are that type of person), knowing that a beautiful baby is forming inside. The second trimester in adoption would be all the time between going on the waitlist and accepting a referral. I would still say that it is the honeymoon period of the whole process, but it is not quite as honeymoonish as a pregnancy. You can certainly take long walks, the paperwork is mostly behind you and you get to celebrate every time you move up on the list. However, the big difference that I can see between pregnancy trimester 2 and adoption trimester 2, is that in adoption tri. 2, you have no idea when it is going to end. I mean, could you imagine being about 20 weeks pregnant for an undecided amount of time? You don't want to rush the honeymoon period, but you sure would want to know when it was going to end. At least I would.
The third trimester in pregnancy is definitely when you are ready to move that baby on out and start eating 3 meals a day, instead of 20 mini snacks every 30 minutes. You know that life will be hard and busy and sleep deprived, but you are just ready. The 3rd trimester is just not a lot of fun. And then the contractions - good golly! As bad as contractions were, I'm sure I would take that kind of pain over meeting your baby, leaving him, and then having no control over when you get to go and pick him up. Even though the 3rd trimester of adoption is going to be the most difficult by far, I'm still kinda ready to get there. I'm still enjoying the honeymoon 2nd trimester, but I'm having to remind myself to enjoy it, more often.
I wonder if I am thinking about pregnancy vs. adoption, because we have been on the waitlist for 9 months (and 1 day) now. WOW! In case you are wondering, I honestly think that paper pregnancy goes much faster, but maybe that is just because I have a couple of cuties to keep me busy all the time.
Well, hopefully, the next time I post, it is because we will have an update in numbers. The referrals have been awfully slow lately, but that is OK, because I'm just gonna sit here and talk myself into enjoying this nice long honeymoon.