All pregnant women expect them. The gut-wrenching pain of bringing a new life into the world is normal. There are classes on how to breathe through them and there are drugs to block the pain. However, when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time and look at the face you’ve been waiting to see for 9 months, those labor pains fade in comparison.

I have two birth children and so this pain I know. I had both of them naturally and learned the breathing and relaxation techniques to help me through their births. The pain was still there, but manageable and now 25 and 21 years respectively later, the memory of those pains is fading.

There are no breathing techniques or drugs, however, for the “labor pains” of adoption. Today I wish there were.

The process of waiting for an adopted child is an almost unbearable gut-wrenching, heart-rending pain that I did not expect and was completely unprepared for. There’s no set due date to look forward to and so you live for months wondering when you’ll get to bring them home. There are no obvious outward signs of progress like a swollen belly to tell the world that you’re getting close to that time.

I’ve managed to hold it together for months, but today the pain of loving two boys desperately who I can’t hold has me at the end of myself. This morning I am sobbing at the foot of the throne, placing my children in God’s hands and asking for relief.