Since my husband’s and I decided to adopt I have been reading and searching for all kinds of information online. I found so much sadness and disappointment with new born adoptions. I couldn’t believe how hard those situations could be- but at the same time there were also stories of great joy and love.
My husband and I have chosen another adoption route that is even less traveled- older child adoption. I know this is the right move for us because while I will enjoy having children of our own DNA and having them as infants- there is nothing I have enjoyed more than bonding with my friends and family’s children who are toddlers or older, with personalities and traits that are developed.
Why: The Money And The Heartbreak
This avenue would also dramatically cut the costs of adoption for our family. The process can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars and that’s all before you even have the chance to find a child! There are fees for the agency, lawyers, courts, and the costs of living and medical expenses for the birth mother which will sometimes include costs of living after the child is born.
After all this money changes hands there is still the chance that you will not receive the child you have been waiting for, that after all the financial and emotional investments you have made you will be left with nothing. There are just some people in the world who’s only interest is money.
Why: My Identity and Theirs
Another big contender in our decision has been my career. I have nothing against being a stay at home mom or those who choose that life. But I know it’s not for me. I have the desire to be a successful cosmetologist and where that road will take me I am not sure of yet but I know I cant spend my life at home and expect to feel fulfilled. I want to be an example for my daughters that they can have both without sacrificing any part of their goals. I want to be an example for my sons that a career driven woman can be a great partner for them in life and to not be threatened by it.
My husband has 2 years left in the Navy and we will not have to move again until he goes on Terminal Leave. His sub is in Dry Dock for the next 2 years so he will be home just about every night for the rest of his naval contract. This is the perfect opportunity for us to start our family but only being 37 days away from turning 25 I know that having all my children with my own uterus and still manage the career I desire will not happen.
At the earliest I will be back to work in a salon at 30. Three decades old, licensed for nearly 1/3 of my life and just now getting into a salon! I know 30 is not old- its not that I wont be young anymore, but when I was young I didn’t realize how much of my life I was wasting goofing off and delaying what I know will the the most rewarding part of my life.
I wanted to be further along in my career at this age but my life changed when I got married. I moved twice -one of those moves from San Diego to Maine just before winter. (Now that is love!) I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world but it has stunted the growth of my career. My education options in this rural area are extremely limited compared to the near daily classes and seminars that are offered by one company or another in the Los Angeles area. And there is close to zero salon employment options that would be at the level of innovation freshness that I am striving to be apart of in this community.
How does all this relate to adopting? Well, if we have 4 kids of our own I wont have a prayer of getting into a salon by 30. Lets say I’m pregnant with baby #2 by the time he gets out of the Navy, I’ll be 27. Then add another 2-3 years for babies 3 and 4 and I’ll be giving birth to baby number 4 at 30, if I’m lucky. Plus a few years of me being at home with all my children to bond and prepare them for school.
I know more and more women are having children later in life and everything goes great for them but being pregnant at 30 is still considered risky. Humans have never lived longer than we do today and most people were married and had multiple children by their mid twenties. I want to have enough of my young years left to enjoy my children and my grandchildren. Basically, I don’t want to be 50 at my youngest’ high school graduation.
Adoption will allow us to steal back a few years, almost like getting a two for one deal on children. Have two and adopt two when they are all toddlers. My adoptive children will be young enough to have few lasting memories of anyone else but my husband and I raising them and hopefully very few adjustment issues. We will still have the enjoyment of having them as toddlers.
My Greatest Hope
I would love for us to have one of each on our own and then adopt siblings also one of each. My sons and daughters would bond with their new same sex sibling but still have someone of their own DNA to relate back to. This is especially important to me for my adoptive children. I have no intention of hiding their adoption from them, I want them to have the chance to know their families from their birth parents as long as their relationship will be a positive one. But I also want them to feel a strong connection to our family too, to feel a sense of belonging that I think only a sibling can give, and who can relate to you more than your same sex sibling? You play with the same toys and have the same kind of thought process about life. Girls want to play house with dolls and boys want to play in the dirt with tools.
Not all kids might fall into these societal categories but I’m willing to bet that after the awkward introduction phase my sons and daughters will bond with their new siblings in a way that they could not have bonded with their genetic sibling. It is through those bond that I feel our family will find its greatest balance but whatever fate awaits my family I know that it will be the one that is best for us.