This picture kind of sums up our interaction/ reaction to kids... this is us with our niece, Emerson, over 2 years ago.
But something happened this past weekend. I certainly can't tell you what because I'm still trying to figure it out myself. This past Saturday I found myself at Emerson's 3 year old birthday party at Pump it Up. There were huge blow up slides and play things that the adults could get in with the kids. I must admit, it was my first time at a little kid's birthday party when I wasn't a kid. All of Emerson's previous parties consisted of a bunch of adults so this was different. And I have to say I enjoyed it. And not just because it was fun to play around with the kids. There was a little girl there who had obviously been adopted because she was Asian and her parents weren't. I just sat there watching her and I had to keep fighting back the tears. This happens quite often when I'm around kids so I wasn't surprised... I guess it comes from being reminded that I will never bring my own biological child to one of those parties. But something was different this time. When I saw that little girl I began to not just be upset from the reminder that I can't have my own kids, but I began to realize I would be just as happy being the mom to that little Asian girl. All I had to do was lean over and tell David I thought she was cute and he immediately knew what I was thinking. I think partly because in some way he was thinking the same thing.
Then the next day we went to Emerson's first ballet recital. The little Asian girl was dancing next to Emerson. Again, all I could do was look at them both and wonder if this would ever be part of our life one day. Looking back and forth from Emerson to the other child I had mixed feelings. Emerson reminds me that our kids won't look like us like she looks like Meagan (my sis-in-law) and there is a certain sadness with that. And I wonder if our adopted kids would be loved like other biological kids in our family are loved (on both sides). But then I'd look at the other girl (I wish I knew her name) and I would think about the possibility of having a child from another country... and an Asian child is our top choice. I could picture a life with a little child like her. Watching her dance made me feel as if there would be no difference at all. And I began to think about how I really felt about having a child.
And then that night I saw this picture my sis in law posted from the recital of us with Emerson.
As soon as I looked at it my first reaction was OH MY WORD, When did I grow up???!! This is the first picture I have looked at and thought WOW I actually look like an adult. And then my second thought was wow, we actually look old enough to be her parents. When did that happen?? I have felt 21 for the past 5 years. And then I realized that this coming Saturday I turn 26... like I said before, the same age my mom was when she was pregnant with me. And it hit me, all of a sudden, like a ton of bricks. I AM an adult. I am at the parent stage of life. I am not 21 anymore. I'm married, I own a home, and I'm only 4 years away from being 30. Now don't get me wrong... I'm not saying age is the reason to have a child. And I'm not saying I want a child because I'm getting older. But instead, I'm saying that I realized that I am old enough for this step. It made me realize that it's ok for us to think about children. And being around all of these children made me realize that I just might really want this... a family. Before I always felt weird even thinking about it, much less discussing it. Though I must admit it has been in the back of my mind for awhile... it's just at the front now.
I last night I brought it up to David. Something that was pretty hard for me to do because we kind of had a mutual understanding that kids were not something that we wanted soon. But I told him that I was interested in thinking about adoption and maybe going to an agency and asking questions and getting some information. Surprisingly, he was open to it. And not just because I wanted to do it. He said he had even been thinking about it too. So this is a total 180 for us. But it just feels right and it hadn't felt right before.
Last night after we talked I requested an adoption packet from a local agency. It arrived in my email inbox this morning. We have since emailed 2 agencies with questions and we have started discussing potential countries. Of course we aren't saying that we want a child right this moment. It might be 1 year or 3 years or even 5 years before we are ready, but we want to look into it and know what to expect. Plus we will have to save for several years before we can even afford it.
But so far we are interested in adopting from Kazakhstan, China, Thailand, Russia, Ukraine, or South Korea. But we still have to see where we qualify... some countries will disqualify you if you have had cancer. It is a super bummer because cancer causes so much infertility... adoption might be our only option! If we can't qualify to adopt a child we could be up a creek.
Please pray for us as we prayerfully consider this step. It is going to be a difficult, emotional, and stressful process but if we are meant to have a baby God will provide one for us. Also, if you have any info for us please write me! We can use all the help we can get... this is so new for us!
Also, as a note, we aren't giving up the possibility of a biological child one day... there are still lots of tests we need to have done... but I believe I will want to adopt a child either way.