After many discussions, research, meetings, tears and deliberation; Rob and I have made the decision to adopt our next child. And we have decided to adopt from Haiti.
Warning: The blog will take many twists and turns. As will this post. I am not a writer, nor pretend to be good at it. But the best form of therapy without paying millions is getting it out there right? So here I go. :)
So why Adoption? And why Haiti?
Well, that is a lot to answer. Why Haiti, I think, might have to be a post all its own. So here we go. The story of us. How we and this came to be.
I was adopted right after I was born. My birth mother was young and decided she could not care for me, so I was brought to my family that I know now. I had a wonderful childhood, great parents, and amazing siblings. It was a really great experience for me. My family is the only family I have known and I honestly can never say that I felt like I wasn't a part of them or born into it. Some even say that I look like I was meant to be a part of their family. And it is because I was.
I grew up with a lot of interest in the adoption field. I majored in Professional Family Services in college with the idea of working in the adoption field. I wanted it to be my career. I even did my internship at the Wyoming's Children Society, an adoption agency in Wyoming. It was amazing. I loved every minute that I worked there. The ladies I worked with were great and they taught me so much. I met a lot of families hoping to adopt, some that had already adopted and a lot of mom's ready to give up their babies for adoption. It was emotional. It gave me such a different perspective on the entire thing. When I moved to Denver, there were no opportunities at that time for me so I started down a different career path. After I had my first child, I became a stay at home mom. And that is what I am still today. :)
*off track rant* When you are adopted, a part of you believes that you are unwanted. That something about you made someone else decide to discard you. No matter how great your family is, how wonderful your experience, this is always in the back of your head. It feels like rejection. And of the worst possible kind. That being said, when I worked with birth moms, I realized that no matter what, no mother doesn't love her child. Her decision to give you up, is and will be, the most selfless act she will do. She is a teenage mom, a woman in her career prime, or maybe just unable to care for a child. They all agonize with the decision and love their child and only want what is best. They decide that they cannot do that for you. They give you to someone that can. It is truly an amazing thing. And while the "rejection" feeling never quite goes away (and molds a part of you) I can say I get it. I understand. And I thank my birth mom every day for giving me this gift. This life. This family.
And as a result of all this and since I can remember, I have always wanted to adopt. I didn't ever care if I gave birth myself, I just wanted children. I wanted my children to feel as loved and wanted as I did. As Rob would put it, simply, I want to pay it forward. :)
Ok, back to our story. Enter Rob into the picture. We met almost 20 years ago now. High school sweethearts. I dated Rob for most of my high school life. We had ups and downs that young, stupid love will bring. We got to college and we decided to break up. There were many different reasons and it effected each of us differently, but we found our way back to each other as adults and have been in love and happy every since. I truly feel that we have loved each other since we met and that although we broke up, we both needed it. We would have never lasted if we stayed together in college. We both needed time to grow up, experience life, and time with others; to truly realize and appreciate what we had. We were so young the first time around. I have always been grateful for our story. Our life. The way we are now. We both lived on our own and kind of established ourselves independently, which made it so much easier to establish our life together.
After we were married, we made a deal. Rob has always been supportive of adoption, but also wanted to have a child of his own. And honestly (after all I said above) after we got married, I wanted that too. We waited a while and were married for about 4 years when we had our daughter, Adriana. She came into our lives and changed our world from the minute we found out I was pregnant. She is truly so amazing, wonderful, fantastic, funny, smart, crazy, happy and all around a joy. She is now 2 and a half and makes me laugh every day.
Once you have one child and they reach the age of one, the questions begin. Are you going to have another? When? It is like the minute you are married for 5 seconds, everyone starts asking when and if you are going to have kids. It was also about a year when I started thinking about our next child. We talked about adoption and Rob was completely supportive of doing it. I, oddly, was the one with doubts. There had been a lot of stories about adoptions going bad, taking 5 years instead of a couple. It completely scared me. So I panicked and decided that we would just try and have another one of our own. And we decided that we would after this September. So pressure off. At that point, we had a good 9 months to just relax, enjoy and not think of baby making. Fear makes you decide many things. I think at that time in my life, I had this 1 year old and it was so overwhelming. So much to think about and having another child ourselves would have been much simpler. At that time, I chose simple.
About 3 months into our 9 month "window", I started to think about adopting constantly. This nagging feeling that I was cheating myself, not being true to something I have always wanted to do, kept coming in. So we started talking, researching, discussing and the decision was made. We both really really felt it was the right thing for us to do. And exactly what we wanted to do.
So here we are. Present day. We both wanted to do international adoption and had narrowed it down to Ethiopia and Nepal. We went to meetings and talked to adoptions agencies. One agency I always heard great things about was CCAI. They specialize in China adoptions and since the wait is now 5 years and you don't have an option of adopting a boy, we had ruled China out early on. But they did have a Haiti program. Haiti was a country I had looked at before the earthquake 6 months ago, but hadn't looked at it much presently. I figured it would be a nightmare as they were still trying to dig out from the wreckage of the earthquake. And I believe it did close down its adoption for a while, but then recently reopened. We decided to go to the meeting though I didn't feel that was the path we would take. But what could it hurt? We wanted to be as informed as possible to make this decision.
I can't explain what happened to me in that hour. Nor could Rob. All I know is something transformed inside of me. I came out of that meeting emotional, sad, hopeful and with a strong feeling that my child is in Haiti. And Rob felt the exact same way. He was as emotional, excited and scared as I was. I truly felt we both had made our decision, but since I left every meeting wanting to save a child, we decided to sit on it for the weekend and discuss the next week.
Not much needed to be discussed when that next week came. We both had made up our minds and were on the exact same page. Haiti is were our child is. We turned in the application last Friday and now are awaiting to hear if we are approved. After that, the long journey begins.
And I cannot wait!
Thank you for reading and staying with me this long. I hope that reading our story will move you, make you laugh or cry. I have already grown such a support group of amazing friends and family that are as excited for this as we are. We couldn't do it without you. Thank you for being a part of our lives.