Monday, June 2, 2008

Under Promise and Over Deliver

Prior to my stay-at-home life, I held various jobs and all were related to customer service on some level. I always held to the "under promise and over deliver" philosophy. Don't promise it, if you can't make it happen.

Many, many families in the international adoption community are waiting with me for their referral. Many, many families were given totally inaccurate timelines by their agencies. I concede that agencies do not have crystal balls and cannot ever know for sure what your timeline will be. I do think there are some agencies that do a better job of communicating realistic timeframes, though. Or at least try to keep people informed as timeframes change, so that they can change their expecatations along with it.

If you were say, pregnant for 9 months and then someone came along and said, "oh, the baby isn't ready yet, maybe in another 9 months," can you imagine what would happen? Do they not know that paper pregnant women are hormonal, too???

If I ever own an adoption agency or work for an adoption agency, I will make sure that communication with families is a top priority. I will remember how hard this journey is and how sensitive the parents-in-waiting are feeling.

My advice is to under promise in your own mind when it comes to expectations on referral times. Whatever the agency tells you, add on a few months, just for good measure. But, when even that comes and goes, it is hard on a Mommy's (and Daddy's) heart. This is happening a lot lately with all the bumps in the international adoption process.

How does everyone else handle this? Do you just go by what the agency tells you? Do you try to plan out the worst case scenario? Do you just live for the moment and not worry about that magic month/year that your referral might come? How can we help each other with the disappointing delays?

I've been reading Proverbs lately. Here's one that really jumped off the page at me:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy." Proverbs 13:12 (NLT)

Maybe my heart is just gonna be a little sick until the dream comes true! I know there are a lot of heartsick people in the waiting room with me. How can we help each other's hearts? If you have a friend who is waiting, send them some encouragement today.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Uggggg. It's hard. Yes, we get frustrated because the agencies give us a timeframe for referral and it doesn't end up that way. But a few months ago, I started thinking this way. All they can do is look at what's happening now, and draw a timeline out based on what's happening now. They can't predict facilitators changing rules, signing up with more agencies, and women in sending countries choosing other facilitators to place their children with and not the particiuar facilitator that your agency is signed up with.

When I think I've had a bad time with waiting... I start thinking about those poor heartbroken people that are waiting for NSN China referrals... or the people that have been waiting a year and a half for a Vietnam referral, and know that there's no way they'll get a referral before a September shutdown. Then I feel blessed where I'm at in the wait.