tears at the kitchen table, or: how we decided to adopt now

Freshly married, Dan and I were sitting at the kitchen table together when I sprung it on him: “I’ve really been feeling like we should reconsider the timeline we’d kind of talked about for adding kids to our family. I think we should do it sooner than we’ve talked about.”

I’m the dreamer of the two of us. I regularly picture little scenes in my mind that I end up truly believing are a glimpse at our future. Walks with my husband with kids riding ahead us on bikes at dusk. All my kids dancing with Dan in the kitchen while indie and classic rock records play. Baking sugar cookies with my girls in matching aprons from Anthropologie. Dreamy stuff like that. And Dan is the realist of the two of us. He considers the logistics of attaining goals and making plans. If you hadn’t guessed, he’s kind of great at budgeting our money.

When adoption came up, we jumped fully and stubbornly into our primary roles as a dreamer and a realist. I could not have cared less about the logistics of income and work and med school as they related to adopting a baby. Dan couldn’t have cared more about those things. I cried and shut down when he brought up how we’d pay for it. Lesson learned: Clue your husband into the fact that you want to adopt a baby RIGHT NOW and you’re SET ON IT long before you become 100% convinced that you’re doing it. 

We prayed about it a lot. We prayed about it a ton. We talked about it later. And we talked about it again even later. And more tears were had. Nothing like working out the kinks in the communication habits you’ve set during your few months of marriage than through talking about the pros, cons, possibilities, and logistics of adoption. It’s my understanding that adoption becomes the only option for some people. They want children badly, they’ve waited a long time, and it’s clear what they need to do. For us, we had other options. Good options, even.

Because we so strongly desire to adopt, we soon realized it was a matter of doing it now or doing it later. We sat down with a green Moleskine — again at the kitchen table — and I wrote boldly at the top of the page: NOW? Pros. Cons. We threw out everything we could think of while I jotted it all down. When we finished, it was so dang clear: Now was better. There were a few logistics to look into more closely, but it was absolutely doable. We’d felt that tug from God, for sure, but making that silly pros and cons list gave us the extra confirmation we needed.

We made dinner. I sat across from Dan on the side of the table closer to the living room, like I always do. “So we’re gonna do it?” I asked. “Yes,” he said, smiling nodding. And yet again, the tears started to well up.

See also: why we’re adopting

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