You Need a Baby? I Can Get You a Baby – Quick!

The title of the post are words that were spoken to my husband about a year ago when the man he ultimately works for – a man who is wealthy enough to have been on the Forbes Richest People list and has ridiculously influential friends – overheard my husband getting documents notarized for our adoption. Regardless of wealth and influence, it’s pretty shocking to hear someone say they can get you a baby like they might have just asked if you needed more ketchup for your sandwich. Anyway, just to be clear, the method suggested was legal…he just so happens to have a good friend that is an abortion lawyer and finds families for the babies that are too far along to be aborted. (What a crazy world this is.)

Well, two nights ago my husband gets a phone call and it’s Mr. Billionaire himself. He wants to know if we are ready for that baby because a high school girl is three months pregnant and he thought of us. To make matters much more complicated, we have spent the last three weeks in deep contemplation about switching our adoption course to bring home two Colombian, twin, six year olds we randomly saw in a Waiting Children newsletter from our agency. They would be home by Christmas, most likely, and then our family would be set just like that.

And then, there is just one more layer to all of these family planning considerations. We recently semi-stalked and invited over a Haitian couple we knew to live in our area. It was as simple as, “We are adopting from your beautiful country. Would you like to share coffee and pastries and get to know one another?” Well, it turns out they are charming, intelligent, well-grounded, and compassionate people who offered to help us after knowing us for all of about ten minutes. They came to the U.S. as political refugees and still have ties in Haiti. We discussed our process and they left with a promise to try to find out something about our file, trying to see if we can get it moving along. They also told us they would help us learn their language (Haitian Creole) and that, next time we all meet, we will share a Haitian meal. Now if those don’t sound like people you want your future kids to be influenced by…

So, this is the point when my husband and I have to really refocus our priorities, allow a little risk into our lives, and try to discern emotions from destiny. Here is a snapshot of our thoughts:

Domestic, Infant Baby (Due Septemberish): There is a real appeal to many things in this situation: abridged paperwork, no worry about attachment and bonding issues, quick timeline, possible open adoption which has been researched to be best for the child.

Colombian Twins (Due Home around December): Not just faces and names…but the most beautiful faces and names I can imagine; fun ages that don’t require diapers and big plastic toys all over the house (which I will try to avoid regardless); worries about attachment issues, learning delays, physical disabilities, behavioral setbacks, and the ability to overcome these in the long term. Hubby also speaks Spanish so we have an instant connection there; his staff mostly speaks Spanish so we have a community connection with their families as well.

Haitian Child (Due Home TBA – Best Guess is Late 2016): Toddler aged so we won’t miss all of the small, cuddle time and early development stages; connection to Haitians in community; longest wait time; new language development for us; original plan.

So, why did I add “original plan” to the end of the Haitian consideration? Not because we are stuck in our ways, but to remind us of why we chose that path in the first place…

“Original Plan” Considerations:
– Help a young child out of a system that doesn’t offer foster care (Haitian adoption is only consideration of child from an orphanage)
– Add culture to our family by keeping birth country traditions and language alive in home
– Leave room for follow-up decision for family planning (no more kids, one more biological, or one more from a domestic or another international adoption)
– Experience as many parenting stages as possible

Finalization:

Domestic Infant: We decided pretty quickly this wasn’t the right plan for us at the moment. We feel a little crazy making that decision based on the ease of this potential situation, but our hearts just aren’t in it the same way they are overseas, so we have to follow our hearts. No Domestic Infant Adoption For Now.

Colombian Twins: This has proved to be a heartbreaking decision, much like having another miscarriage since we started to fall in love with these little ones, but – after three weeks of research, consideration, and attachment, we believe we have decided Not To Adopt The Colombian Twins. I am positive they will always be in our hearts and we will wonder about them all of our lives. However, my husband and I felt it was necessary to enter a situation with more positive growth potential since this situation offers many exhausting and scary unknowns. Our souls have expanded during this consideration and we realize now a lot of things are negotiable for us, but the bottom line is that we really want a higher probability to raise loving, well-adjusted kids than this situation will give us, especially because this consideration would take so many resources and options off the table for us. This makes us feel a little selfish because these are kids we are talking about, but – in the end – we feel we may have a more positive, influential relationship with a younger, adopted child who we can take out of an orphanage into a family environment.

Haitian Adoption: This one is still in the works. We are hoping our new friends may be able to find out more on our file – and possibly speed up the process for us – but, even if they cannot, this seems to be the most fitting option for us right now. The Colombians have showed us that we are ready for a lot of change; they have given us the gift of coming back to this Haitian process with a new-found confidence and excitement. We now feel so much more ready and equipped to take on one youngish child from another country since we were considering two, older, special-needs kiddos.

One of my favorite spiritual leaders, Richard Rohr, always says you learn the most through suffering. It might sound crazy since it was our choice, but I am truly sad we have decided not to adopt these beautiful twins. However, I feel I have already learned more about myself, my limits, and my passion because they briefly entered my life. I have become more open to a messy, unbridled type of love. I feel more sure about my capacities. And, for that, I will always silently thank them.

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Contemplating Desire Versus Calling

I don’t know how to start this post. Do I just come out with it – that I am yet again/regretfully/humiliatingly/confusingly miscarrying? That it feels a little like selfishness; a little like shame; a little like we should have known better, even though each doctor keeps telling us we should have no trouble having a biological child soon?

Do I add that I just found out today that last Friday – the day I found out my hcg levels had dropped in half – our dossier had also been stamped “received” in the Haitian government office in charge of making child referrals? I have said before that I don’t believe in coincidences…

My soul work lately has been a lot about trying to figure out the difference between desires and divine calling. When do we decide a desire (e.g. having a biological child) isn’t a divine calling in our life? I am reading Radical Amazement – Contemplative Lessons from Black Holes, Supernovas, and Other Wonders of the Universe by Judy Cannato. It is challenging me to dig deeply and try to distinguish how I can best evolve my spirit and my communities. What is the most powerful way that I can connect to others positively and fuel a collective transformation of spirit? It seems like a no-brainer that adoption will do this. But, is this revelation mutually exclusive (for me and my family – I obviously don’t believe having biological children is in any way a bad thing)?

As usual, I don’t have an answer. I may not for the better part of this decade, or my husband and I may have an aha moment tomorrow…who knows. What we plan to do anyway, is commit ourselves entirely to this Haitian adoption for now. With that commitment in mind, we will follow the advice of my primary obgyn and go back to the fertility specialist for more analysis and possibly more testing. Whether we do anything, with whatever information comes out of that meeting, is completely an unknown.

With this current pregnancy, all we prayed for was to stay open to God’s divine plan. Full acceptance of reality feels peaceful some days, and like a full on struggle other days. We are completely aware that full acceptance sometimes – dare I say often – means a death of some dreams. But, we have to make room for new and better ones.

Maybe this means we’ll adopt two kids. Maybe this means we’ll only adopt one and re-vision our nuclear family tree once again. And maybe, sooner than later, we’ll bring that second labradoodle home and name her Mimosa, finally giving Hollywood a buddy. Sometimes we just need to revise the plan, and that’s okay.

Soul Searching

So, I’ve been completely MIA on the blog for a while, but I’ve been busy soul searching. This is exactly when I should have been writing everything down but – instead – time gets lost in thought and emotional exhaustion. Some updates: I turned 30 (and the world is still humming about as if nothing has changed!), I started a new job, and I am still Keeping up with the Kardashians even though I know I should value my time more than that.

While I am contemplating how to extract the most positivity from my days, they are passing like wildfire. Here are some things I’ve learned in the last few months.

1. People don’t care what you do. They care about you. And, that’s it.

2. People are nosy. They can’t help but feel entitled to all your happenings.

3. People don’t need to know all your happenings. You still have a choice whether to tell all.

4. #3 is only true if the people in question aren’t your life preservers. The six or so closest people to you need to know everything in order to help you (and, refer to #1).

5. Rock bottom is a dancing line. It changes positions as you get stronger.

6. Your body really does protect and feed off your mind. Sickness & sad vibes go hand in hand. Protecting your soul will protect your body’s health (and vice versa).

7. A little sunshine and great friends will go a looongggg way.

Well, those thoughts aren’t mind-boggling, but sometimes your life gives you proof that cliques are usually true – and it makes you feel like you are relearning everything you already knew.

Be gentle. Be kind. Move your body. Drink red wine and dark chocolate and tell yourself it’s healthy because of all of those antioxidants. Serve others whenever possible.

I don’t know what my life will look like in a week, a month, or a year. This planner is out of her element, but I’m learning to ride the waves better than previously. I am growing, however challenging. I also am counting my blessings.