Friday, May 25, 2012

Why Adoption? Why Africa?

Almost every adoption blog I read has a similarly titled post as this. And while each post shares many common ideas and thoughts, each one is invariably a bit different than the last. Each family has such unique circumstances and paths toward adoption that I still enjoy every 'Why Adoption?' post I read.

So why adopt? This is probably the question I see written across many people's faces when Adam and I reveal that we are adopting. We have two young healthy girls who were born easily and with fairly uneventful pregnancies. We are quite young parents (at least for the adoption world), and we have a very nice balance in our lives in which we are able to be great parents but also enjoy individual pursuits that are important to each of us. I think many people wonder why we would disrupt that balance, or why we would pursue adding to our family when we have two already. And I can't always explain it, honestly, because it's something that we entered into with our hearts, not always with our minds.

I've felt like I was meant to adopt since college or earlier. Well before I met Adam, I loved watching stories of family united through adoption (particularly international adoption). I used to watch adoption documentaries or TV shows, and when Guatemala and China adoption became so popular, the thoughts were always just below the surface that, someday, I wanted to be apart of that path. I'm not sure why I felt so strongly, but, like many of the things that make each of us as individuals, I think this desire to adopt was a combination of life circumstances and my own inherent personality.

After our oldest daughter was born, I started talking to Adam about international adoption. Mostly just attempting to expose him to the idea and families that had adopted. Adam was less enthusiastic about it and never really thought of it as a serious option for our family. Adoption, especially international adoption, was outside of his realm of experience and just something he'd never considered. Shortly after that, I had our youngest daughter, so discussions were tabled as we adapted to life as a family of four.

When Emma turned two, we aggressively started to pursue adoption. It took Adam much time to wrap his head around the idea of adopting and become as enthusiastic as I was. Mostly his concerns revolved around adding a third child to the family, as he was perfectly content with our family size. A third child throws you into mini-van territory and Adam was not ready for that ;) Also, in fairness to Adam, many of friends had not even started having children and I was asking him to consider expanding our family to three children under 5! I probably was crazy!

Now that a few years have passed and our girls are bit older and more independent, Adam is thrilled we are adopting (as am I obviously!). We aren't adopting to 'save' a child, but instead feel like this is the way to complete our family. We love the idea of embracing a new culture into our family, of being able to raise a boy after two girls, of (if I'm honest) being able to skip the infant stage and move into the sometimes-more-fun preschool age, and of being able to advocate for a child waiting for a family. We want to adopt because it's right for our family, because we believe our son lives in DRC right now and is just waiting for us, and because it's our path. I don't know how to explain it properly most times, as it is intangible emotion that can't always be described in practical terms.

Are we nervous? Yes! Do we sometimes think we've lost our minds, just a bit? Of course. I think we would be somewhat naive if we didn't have those natural fears (very similar to fears I had when pregnant with both girls, actually). But we feel such peace about our adoption right now that we know we've made the right choice.

I'll save 'Why Africa?' for my next post, as I wasn't anticipating just how many words would be needed to describe what brought us to this point in our lives...

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog through another and I just wanted to say hello! We are also in VA and recently brought home four children from Ethiopia :O).