Tuesday, October 2, 2012

When the Table is Turned - Adoption Style

Back when my husband and I were starting our family, he told me that he thought we should adopt. I was taken by  surprise by such a lovely thought coming from my new husband. It wasn't because I didn't think he was capable of it, it was just that it had never come up before. In all of our pre-wedding and post-wedding conversations of our future, adoption had never been mentioned. The conversation of children came up as well as how many we would like came up (3 btw was the number we both liked), but HOW those children would enter our lives never came up. I assumed I would get pregnant and deliver them. He wanted to give a parent-less child a chance.
We were married a whole 2 weeks when my husband asked "So when are we going to start having kids?". I was shocked by his enthusiasm to "get cookin' " and probably reacted like a child hating ogre. "What do you mean?" I blurted out. "We've only been married 2 weeks!" The look on his face was shock. I immediate felt bad, calmed myself and then explained my reaction. "I wanted to be married for a while, just the two of us. Once we start having kids, it will never be just the two of us. Besides, I want to finish getting my black belt (in karate). I know that will never happen once I have kids." Surprisingly, that last "selfish" comment was the one that seemed to sway him. He agreed, waited patiently for several months, and drove with me to Ohio for my black belt test.

In my mind, I knew that once I got that black belt, I needed to keep my end of the deal. I was also now ready to start our family. I watched the calendar for prime ovulation windows and told my husband "Well, if you want to start having kids, today would be a good day to start trying." I imagined I would be swept off of my feet, but instead my husband said "I think we should adopt." What? Did I just hear correctly? "Really?" I asked. He explained how he felt and I was completely on board with adoption. However, I also felt the desire to try and have at least one biological child too. We agreed that baby #1 would be biological and then we would re-visit the conversation for babies #2 and #3. 

When it was time for baby #2, I had already been researching adoption. I had looked into the process, the length of time it could take, and the costs involved in the process of adoption. I shared all of the information with my husband and we agreed that baby #2 would be biological. We wanted a second child sooner rather than later to grow up with baby #1 (they are only 19 months apart). We knew that adoption can take several years and a lot of money, that we just didn't have.

Baby #2 arrived and I continued to look into adoption. I also looked into becoming Foster Parents. I contacted someone at Catholic Charities and started the process. I met with the representative, filled out forms, got reference letters and signed us up for a required orientation class. Two days before the class, my husband told me that he couldn't go because he had to help his dad move. I was disappointed to say the least. This was the first point where he would have to be involved, and he didn't seem to be on board. 

I asked if he thought we should have a biological baby #3. He was completely against it saying "Pregnancy is just too hard on you." It was a sweet comment. He was right. I didn't think he had noticed those last two 9 month spans. He seemed done and content with the two beautiful babies we already had.

Enter mommy guilt. Of course I was happy with the two beautiful babies we already had. But in the back of my mind, we were always going to have 3 children. I thought that perhaps the miscarriage I had prior to baby #1 was the 3rd child that I was feeling was missing. How could I want another child when I was so fortunate to have two healthy, beautiful and good boys already? As my boys grew, I grew to love having two. One at each hand, one on each knee, one on either side of me as bookends on the couch. Yes, two was the perfect number for us, for our family. Our family was complete.  I was sure of it.

Fast forward ten years to last weekend. My husband and I were sitting by the fire pit in our back yard. We were talking about nothing in particular when suddenly he says to me "What do you think about adopting a little girl? I mean, not a baby, like maybe 6 years old or so. I was upstairs and I saw that spare bedroom just sitting there, doing nothing. I know we don't really have any money, but maybe we can give a kid a chance." What? Did I just hear correctly? (Again) I looked at him for a second to make sure he wasn't kidding then I said "I started the process a long time ago. I filled out paperwork. I got reference letters. And you shut me down." He nodded and said "I know. And well, I'm not going to change. I'm still going to go out on my motorcycle and you're still going to be doing everything." I smiled and said "I know." Then we looked back at the fire pit and that was the end of the conversation.

I couldn't stop thinking about it the next day. Since then I've had dreams that I was pregnant, and then wasn't. I had a dream that I had an extra child that wasn't a boy. And, as I told my friend "You don't tell someone who loves puppies, that they can get another puppy." 

For now we are taking it slow. As my husband pointed out, we are barely supporting our family now, so due to financial reasons we can't move forward. However, I am hopeful that our financial situation will improve and one day you will be reading my blogs about the adoption process!


Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew By Eldridge, Sherrie (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Adopting in America By Hicks, Randall (Google Affiliate Ad) 

You Can Adopt By Caughman, Susan/ Motley, Isolde (Google Affiliate Ad)

Happy Adoption Day! By McCutcheon, John/ Paschkis, Julie (ILT) (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Adoption Is for Always By Girard, Linda Walvoord/ Friedman, Judith (ILT) (Google Affiliate Ad)

The Adopted Room By Michaelis, Antonia (Google Affiliate Ad)

Adoption Healing By Soll, Joseph M./ Buterbaugh, Karen Wilson 
(Google Affiliate Ad)

Being Adopted By Brodzinsky, David M./ Schechter, Marshall D./ Henig, Robin Marantz (Google Affiliate Ad)

Real Parents, Real Children ; Parenting the Adopted Child By Van Gulden, Holly (Google Affiliate Ad)

Adoption Nation By Pertman, Adam (Google Affiliate Ad)

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