The reality, of course, is much, much different. Paper-chase and home-study aside (they deserve their very own post) the process is most often much longer than a pregnancy, full of decisions that few bio parents need to make. When entering the adoption process my husband and I had to fill in a form that outlined the sort of disabilities we could cope with in our children. The list went from the relatively simple, such as a hearing difficulty or partial eyesight, to the downright complicated like cystic fibrosis and celebral palsy. For two people who had not parented before, the academic choice was astounding, crippling and anything but simple.
And then it's the time. It's not that it takes long: most people who go into adoption are aware of the longer time frames. It is the uncertainty of it all: it could take a year, or it could take four. Not to mention that in most cases you don't even know the sex or age of the child you will parent. This can, of course, be a delightful surprise when the time comes, but it does make preparing for the little one (or little ones) a little harder.
Speaking of preparations: we have started none! We still don't know when (or some days "if") the little ones will make it into our house (because they have certainly made it into our lives already!) and so we have decided to not prepare a room just yet. Some friends who are in the same process found out last Friday that they have a court date next Monday and now have one week to get a room ready, buy bottles and clothes, dummies and toys. Not to mention plan a trip, book hotels and find a cat-sitter.
I realise full well that pregnancy is not a walk in the park. In fact, I have been there, albeit not at the end of it all. I understand that child birth is no field day either, for most people. Yet, there is a certain predictability in it all that I am deeply envious of.
As we wait to "just adopt" these thoughts are with me. And with my friends who are awaiting to become parents, both pregnant and paper-pregnant. Good things come to those who wait.