The Big Announcement:
Yes, it’s true: We’re adopting again.
I’d rather tell you this news over a cup of coffee than make an announcement here. I’d rather sit on the back patio with the blue haze of dusk and talk about life and the universe and God and babies. Maybe not in that order.
So here’s the scoop, because I know you’ll ask anyway.
I like to imagine it’s just you and me and a little late night conversation with iced tea in hand, the glass sweating all over the table, while the conversation goes something like this:
1. Why did you decide to adopt again?
Not long after our son Silas died, people asked us the question, “Will you adopt again?”
Honestly our hearts were so broken, we couldn’t even think about that question. Some days, just the act of getting out of bed was hard enough. I know that people wanted us to feel better and babies bring so much joy, so naturally, a baby was the answer!
But we knew that one baby couldn’t replace another. Anyone who has lost a child will tell you this. We knew the answer to healing from our loss was not covering up grief with joy, but going through the grief journey by fully dealing with our pain. There was no other way to healing. So we walked that hard road of grief, knowing it would be foolish to rush into anything until we had done a significant amount of mourning.
I think this is one of the mistakes people make during any kind of loss. Even though everyone’s timeline is different, it is tempting to rush into something else that makes you happy when you are so broken. But if you don’t deal with grief, it will resurface. So we focused on mourning and occasionally would gauge our feelings about adopting again. One of us would ask:
“What do you think about adopting again?”
“I don’t really know.”
Sometimes I brought up the question. Sometimes he did. This went on for a long time. Then one day, Sam asked me the question again. It had been a long time since we had talked about it.
“What do you think about adopting again?”
And I said something like, “I feel differently about it. Like maybe it’s time.”
“That’s funny,” he said, “because that’s how I was feeling too.”
Neither of us had told the other person that we were feeling led towards adoption. We were afraid the other person wasn’t ready. But now I look back and realize God placed this idea in our heads around the same time, nurturing that desire until we were both ready to talk about it.
2. What kind of adoption are you pursuing?
We have loved adopting domestically. It is so amazing and special to us, so we are adopting an infant again! Our family is already multiracial and we think it’s important for our daughter to have a sibling who is also African American or biracial.
3. You’re crazy wanting an infant at your age!
(By the way, this statement makes me feel ancient. Please don’t say “at your age” unless you are under 12. For the under 12 set, I probably do look pretty old, so all is forgiven.)
Yes, we are crazy. God’s plans are sometimes crazy. Faith should make us braver and crazier Christians, but so many times we seek safe and comfortable lives. I don’t want to host Thanksgiving dinner 35 years down the road and think, I wish I had another child, because it’s too late then. It’s too late to wish we had taken that risk.
Secondly, because of our infertility, Sam’s cancer, and our son’s death, we’ve had little say into when, where, and how our children have arrived. Here in the midwest, most people plan their family like they plan their retirement accounts, with “X” number of kids spaced “Y” years apart. And most of their plans turn out according to their timeline with, perhaps, one child who messed up the equation a bit. It’s pretty amazing actually.
If God had asked me, (which of course he didn’t, because He is God and I am nothing), but if He had asked, I would requested 4 children by the time I was 36, spaced at least three years apart. And by the way, can we avoid cancer, infertility, and terminal genetic diseases too?
But in our family, nothing has gone according to plan. In fact, God has taught me that whatever my plan is, let’s just throw that out the window. I feel like I’ve spent the last ten years of my life learning that I’m not in charge. And that’s a good thing.
4. Where are you in the adoption process?
We decided not to tell many people until we were almost done with the home study. That’s because it’s hard (and sometimes slightly annoying) when you’re asked every week, “Have you heard anything yet?” for approximately 3 years.
I think pregnant women feel the same way, but at least with pregnancy there is a timeframe. When you’re in the home study, you can’t be matched with a baby anyways. You can’t do anything beyond getting the paperwork completed. So your conversations go something like this:
“Have you heard anything yet?”
“Yes, I found out I passed my drug screen for our adoption paperwork!” (I already knew this by the way.)
“Have you heard anything else?”
“Good news! I don’t have tuberculosis!”
As you can see, It’s all boring paperwork and tests. It makes for really lousy answers to everyone’s questions.
Personally, I wanted to wait until we had a baby to announce the big news. I thought that would knock everyone’s socks off! SURPRISE!!
Then my husband, who can’t stand keeping good news a secret, kept asking me when we were going to tell people. He’s like a five-year-old at Christmas asking when he can open his gifts. Sure, go ahead!, I said, not really thinking through this. Apparently that meant he could tell the whole world on Facebook.
In reality, I couldn’t keep it a secret because of problem number #2: the issue of money. Since we adopted Silas 5 years ago, adoption costs have increased by $10,000 to a total of $25,000. Even though I have been working multiple jobs this year, we will still have to fundraise a portion of our adoption costs. It’s a wee bit of a problem to fundraise if nobody knows what you’re raising money for.
Of course, I thought it might be nice if a bag of money fell out of the sky, but since that didn’t happen, making an announcement about our adoption is the first step in raising funds to bring a baby home.
All that to say, we finished our home study this week which means we will be placed on the waiting list soon. We still have to make a family photo book and a video of our family that will be placed online for birthmothers to look at. In domestic adoption, a birthmom picks the family she wants for her baby, which is why we have no idea what the timeline will be. It could be somewhere between 2 months and until we die, but I’m hoping for sooner rather than later since I’m not getting any younger and I highly value my sleep.
5. So last question, have you heard anything yet?
Please re-read question 4 for all the exciting answers. In the meantime, I’m going to go enjoy my sleep.