Adoption Thoughts Part 2- Older Children

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.

I Know My Children Are Out There And I Havent Met Them Yet

My husband and I have been discussing the future of our family lately.

I had always thought that I would either adopt all or none of my children. Adoption is something that is a part of my family, I have family members that were adopted, some were genetic strangers and others were actually relatives- one was even put up for adoption and is now a part of my family. Adoption was always a thought of mine, I even joke that I’ll get kids of all races and have international themed food nights like ‘Sushi Tuesdays’.

At the same time though I held fears that I would not have the same level of affection and love for my adopted children as my genetic children if I had both. My worst fear would be for my adoptive children to feel like they didn’t belong.

I began talking about adoption with some other navy wives and some of them had similar plans. Most of them wanted to adopt older children, who are harder to find homes for because of their age. In one of my conversations I had a life changing realization.

In my mind I had always imagined adopting a child would be like they just magically showed up one day physically and emotionally. I’ve come to realize though that reality is nothing like that. The adoption process can take years longer than a pregnancy and at any point your future children can no longer be yours.

Ever since mine and my husbands decision, I have found myself thinking about my future children in a whole new light. They’re not simply an idea anymore. They are out there- and I don’t know where, who they are, or when I will finally meet them (they’re still just eggs at this point!) but I find myself longing for them because they are MINE. They should be with ME.

Since that epiphany of my emotions I realized I am ready for them. That they will always be in my thoughts specially through my pregnancies with my genetic children and when I finally meet them there will be not difference in my love for any of my children.

Products to Tame and Tousle All Tresses

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So I’ve talked about how to wash and style hair and now I am going to introduce you to some simple products. I will name the specific brands that I use but what works for me might not work for you so  don’t be discouraged if that brand doesn’t give you the results you want- try, try again!

Lottabody Setting Lotion   ($5.19 on sallybeauty.com)

I love this stuff for naturally curly hair. I recently gave the last of mine to a friend for her toddlers tight curled blonde hair and she loves it. Setting lotion was originally made for wet sets, which is when you put wet hair up in rollers and comb it our after it dries. This can work great for naturally straight hair but you MUST use heat to dry AND allow the hair to go cold before removing the rollers- if not your hair will be fabulously shiny but loose its voluminous curls through out the day. Personally I think it works best for curly tresses because it will battle frizz while leaving your hair baby soft. In my opinion, no other product can come close to the softness of setting lotion while holding va-va-voom appeal. This is the kind of stuff you grandmother (or great grandmother) would have used to create the lovely hairstyles of the 1940’s and 1950’s. The best way to get roller sets dry are with a hood dryer, these can be hard to find outside of beauty supply stores and not the most affordable (cheapest I’ve ever seen are for $100). However if you really enjoy soft glamorous hair on a daily basis this might be another tool for you to consider investing in. Before taking the financial leap I suggest doing a trial run to see if it would be a smart buy. Complete a roller set and visiting your salon on a calm day to use their hood dryer, I’m sure if you called ahead they would have no issue with you using it.

White Sands Curl Up In Silk Firm Mousse   ($17.91 on amazon.com)

This is another great product for all hair types. I LOVE the smell of this stuff in my hair! It might not be as cheap as setting lotions but this is by far worth the investment. It would be great to use for the same kind of styling as roller sets can, like how I described above but using curling irons instead. This might be easier for the hair styling virgins, I think in this day and age most of use are used hot tools, right?

Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo   ($ 3.94 on amazon.com)

Another great smelling product is this Dove dry shampoo. For me, if I don’t like the way something sells I can’t use it no matter how well it works. Dry shampoo is also one of those products that works for everyone for all kinds of reasons. I use this at least 3 times a week on my day old roots, I hate washing my hair everyday and with my job as an eyebrow threader I constantly have layers of lotion and hand sanitizer on my hands which always ends up making my roots look greasy by the end of my shift. Dry shampoo is also amazing with thin, fine hair. Using this on your hair will give it more girth and make it appear fuller. It also gives clean hair a grittier coating but keeps hair light which creates better teasing so this is also great to use for formal styles instead of trying to fluff up greasy day old hair.

Coconut Oil   (Found in the oil isle at any grocery store from $6-$10)

This is another favorite of mine for adding a little shine to your hair. This also does wonders as a conditioning treatment! I will occasionally use a small amount of this to give the lower 3rd of my hair a little more shine. A small amount really goes a long way too so thin,fine hair will need to keep an eye on using as little as possible.

That’s it! These products can work wonders for any hair type and I hope they inspire you to do that hair style you always wanted!