Tag Archives: adopt

Suddenly it’s a great idea to foster…

…because it’s his idea. I have been very vocal about my desire to have more kids, just as I have been very vocal about everything important in my life. When Jay came to me almost 2 months ago with the suggestion that we should become licensed foster parents my first thought was “Yes! Of course! Finally!” That night, I couldn’t sleep. The foster process is long and difficult, but in my mind totally worth it. I started to get angry. For years I have tried to have more kids, using donors, looking into adoption and fostering…but I felt so alone. Everything I tried, every step I took, I was alone. Growing our family was important to me, and it was painfully clear that it was important to only me. It was clearer with ever effort that he wasn’t a willing participant in any of my attempts. 

After my hysterectomy last November I worked hard to overcome the extreme depression I fell into almost immediately after surgery. It was so painful to accept that I will never again carry a baby inside me. It was even more difficult to accept that our family, as it is now, is only going to grow when our kids have kids of their own. We already have 2 grandbabies, and I love them so much, but I don’t think I feel the grandma connection to them that i probably should. They are his kids kids, and his kids don’t like me…I feel distance is better than yet another heartache…that is on me. I was finally finding happiness with our situation. Our youngest is 18, and will likely leave us soon, making us “empty nesters”. I was as ready for it as I could be. Then he suggests we retake the foster classes (we took them almost 6 years ago, and never finished the process) and get licensed.

I asked him the next day “Why now? Why not anytime over the last 13 years when I suggested it? Is this your way of keeping me from leaving?” He said that when he got the email from the regional guy with the class schedule for May, he felt like we should do it. And he said that if I still want to leave, he understands. But now I’m really mad. I have had dreams for years about a boy that is supposed to be my son, and I know his voice, his face, even his name. Wide awake and all alone I would hear him say “Mom”. I knew that he was helping me to remember that he is supposed to be with us. My personal revelation meant nothing to Jay for over 13 years! I was beginning to think I was going crazy. The dreams stopped months ago. I stopped hearing him call for me. Now when I am wide awake and all alone…I hear nothing but silence. 

I needed time to think. I didn’t know what to do. Suddenly that yearning to have another child was back, but the anger and utter disbelief that he would bring this up like it was his idea all along, had me in an internal tug of war. I went back and forth on the idea for days. I didn’t know what I would decide, although I knew immediately what I wanted to choose. The realization that we successfully co-parented our nephews and we’re able to work together was so clear. I had finally made up my mind. 

Our marriage is broken, but the one thing that makes us communicate, work together, and support each other is taking care of kids for someone else. When we had T, and R, we were able to be happier around each other and work better together. Fostering a child will not fix our relationship, and I’m not saying it will make things better because in all actuality it will add more stress to our family. But that fire inside me was reignited and I want another child. 

We took the classes. 32 hours of uncomfortable chairs, lectures, suggestions, ideas, stories, making new friends, growing our support system, asking lots of questions and not always getting clear answers. J even went to all the classes with us, which helped her too why T and R behaved the way they did. Jay and I made a deal. I would find a way to pay for licensing costs, and he would handle all of the paperwork. We are in the process and waiting for the next step. The decisions about which placements to take will be on all 3 of us. Our hope is to adopt, but if we can’t, being a temporary stop to help children who need us will be enough. 

I can’t put into words how strongly I feel that doing this is what I need. More importantly…it’s what the children who will come into our home need. I am at peace (at least I think I am) with whatever happens. Is divorce still on the table? Yes, kind of. More put on the back burner for now. Not because I’m finally getting what I want, but because I know what the possibilities are. 

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Adoption goes both ways…sometimes in the same family…

…which can make for some very difficult conversations. I was young. Almost a year out of high school. Trying to be on my own, without being on my own. In a relationship and unable to see how unhealthy it was. I moved back home with my then fiancĂ© (JR). I found myself pregnant, living with mom, unsure of how to tell her. The circumstances that led to the pregnancy are irrelevant. It’s the lack of support that was most impactful. 

I wasn’t married yet, and I dreaded the disappointment mom would have when she found out. JR told his mom first. She threatened to tell my mom if I didn’t. I told mom, and the disappointment was evident. He moved back in with his parents, in Utah. My high school friend invited me to visit her in CA. I went. Met a man in the military, married him 12 days later. I’ll admit it was a desperate move on my part. I didn’t see it then, but I had this need to not be alone, and I wanted my unborn child to be raised by both a mom and a dad. He Said he wanted to be that dad, and I wanted to believe he really did, but I was wrong.  

Long story short, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Married, but all alone, I didn’t feel I had any support from my family. They were all so disappointed in me. My husband gave me an ultimatum, either the baby goes, or we both go. With no lifeline, and a fear of my child being taken away and given to strangers if I left too, I started searching for a family who would adopt her and love her as their own. I found that family, and sent her on her journey to her new family and her new life at one month, one week, and one day old. Although it’s been almost 20 years, and I have had contact, and pictures and visits, there is not a day that goes by that my heart doesn’t ache, and cry out, for her to be mine again. And yet, I know she is where she belongs. She will always be mine, even though she isn’t. 

Almost 3 years later, and still married, I was pregnant again. Depression hit hard…I was not strong enough to raise the first child, how could I find the strength to raise the second. I was fighting a battle within myself that still rages on to this day. 

Not long after giving birth to another beautiful baby girl, my husband took her and left me. The battle stopped being an internal one and I fought for her to be returned me, a few months later I traveled across the country with my little girl to escape and to keep her safe from the abuse that now plagued my marriage. God was watching over me as I divorced him and kept my daughter safe. 

4 years later and living near the town I grew up in, I found myself in love and engaged to the man of my dreams. He knew my past, he knew my struggles, and he loved us both still. We married and he adopted my daughter. He has 3 children, and with my 2 (the one I placed for adoption included), we had 5, but someone has been missing. Infertility and other issues have kept us from having another baby, and so we looked into adoption, but the timing wasn’t right for us. We tried sperm donors, but again, the timing wasn’t right for us. As silly as it sounds to most of the world, I know there is another child waiting to join our family. I have seen him, talked to him in my dreams, I know his name. We know Gods timing is not ours, but I find it so hard, too hard, to be patient. My faith has been tested, and many times I know I have failed that test. 

As we’ve opened our home to people in need, they have adopted us as family, and ties have varied as they move out and move on. Full adoption, step parent adoption, unofficial adoption, all start with choice. Never easy, never to be taken lightly. Natural families have choices too, but it’s not the same. The family who adopted my first born…they chose her. My husband who adopted my youngest…he chose her. The people we have helped…they chose us. Adoption goes both ways.