What is a Paper Pregnancy?

Delana H. Stewart, “Paper Pregnancy” and Adoption. What might seem self-explanatory to some, might require explanation for others. Pregnancy: having a child developing in the body, awaiting labor and delivery Paper Pregnancy: having a child developing in the heart while completing a ton of paperwork, experiencing long waits and many hoops, and sometimes facing roadblocks or closed doors (read labor) in order for that child to be delivered into your arms. Adoption.com – Adoption Forum Not sure when the term paper pregnancy first came into use, but after doing some extensive research online, one of the earliest references I could find on the internet to the term “paper pregnancy” came in this adoption forum in a quote by a blogger named Heather–“I feel like a weight has lifted. Now I can’t wait to dive in to what I hear is the ‘paper’ pregnancy.” Paper Pregnancy, Jim Gradoville, & China: Three months later in an article dated December 9, 2003 by the Xinhua News Agency, the term resurfaced. This article is about a man named Jim Gradoville who had been living in China for many years and began fathering two little Chinese girls. The article states: “As an expert in government relations, Gradoville actually considers one of his real interests to be “serving the Chinese orphans. . . . In 1998, after going through complex application procedures, which Gradoville called ‘paper pregnancy’, the American man adopted a Chinese girl Windy from a orphanage in east China’s Jiangxi Province, who was abandoned by her birth parents and spent the first year of her life in the orphanage.”

Some of the other earlier references to adoption being a paper pregnancy, include:

A December 2004 post on a blog called Bringing Back Jack (about adopting a boy from Kazakhstan). A December 2005 post on a blog called Katie…At Last (the culmination of years of prayer and a 13+ month paper pregnancy). A March 2008 article about the adoption of a little girl from Kazakhstan.

More recent articles about Paper Pregnancies, include:

February 2010 Chicago Now article called: The Stages of a Paper Pregnancy.

January 24, 2013 post by an adult adoptee who is in the process of adopting-Paper Pregnancy–Yes, we waddle!

November 14, 2014 — http://www.sbts.edu/blogs/2014/11/21/our-paper-pregnancy-god-the-gospel-and-the-global-cause-of-christ/

Not All Positive Views:

Some views of the term “paper pregnancy” are negative ones, such as this post “Paper Pregnancy…We’re Not all Glowing.” This article assumes that all those who use this terminology are infertile and cannot get pregnant and have thus borrowed this term wrongly. Yet, I beg to differ. I carried three babies, delivered them, and raised them to adulthood AND  while doing so prayed for and waited for and went through the paper chase for an orphaned waiting child. From that experience, I wrote the book Nine Year Pregnancy before I had even heard of the term paper pregnancy. You see, I was living abroad at the time and had not spent a lot of time on the internet to be current on new terminology. After writing that book, which tells our journey in the comparison of stages of pregnancy (something for which I was quite familiar) I learned that others were calling the adoption waterfall, lush waterfall, Virginia waterfall, serene waterfall, serene placeprocess a paper pregnancy.  Out of my desire to help families in the adoption journey to process their thoughts, feelings, and memorable events, this past week I published the book My Paper Pregnancy Journal:A place for you to tell your adoption story. What are your thoughts about the term paper pregnancy? Do you know of earlier articles using that term? Note: Nine Year Pregnancy, adoption book, Delana's bookIf you are going through a paper pregnancy, you might like some t-shirts I have seen from: Adoption Mama Adoption Bug Want a book to journal your adoption story? click here to order. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nine-Year-Pregnancy/312101615473700 *********************************************************************Adoption, Blog, Mommy, Parenting

See also:

Pregnancy: A Divine Analogy

–Delana H. Stewart People use analogies every day. Writers use metaphors and similes to draw comparisons. When I wrote Nine Year Pregnancy I unknowingly stumbled upon a somewhat controversial analogy … Continue reading → March 15, 2013

The Stages of “Pregnancy” in Adoption

Lately, I have read many blog posts about “paper pregnancies” and other similar terms in reference to the waiting period of adoption. Today, I read the article “Adoption: What to … Continue reading → February 20, 2012 **************************************************************** Show your support . . . Check out and “like” my Facebook pages! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nine-Year-Pregnancy/312101615473700 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adoption-and-Paper-Pregnancy/256021814475350 https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Paper-Pregnancy-Journal/136352423197088  blog, Mommy, Adoption


17 thoughts on “What is a Paper Pregnancy?

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