I am sure I will share more as time goes on, but I wanted to quickly share how our family came to be with those who are just joining us. Harry and I have been married for eleven years and we are the very proud and thankful parents of three kids.
Our plan was to adopt. It had always been my plan to adopt and I think I knew Harry was ‘the one’ when he responded positively to the notion of adopting children for choice rather than a ‘plan B’ when I mentioned it before we were even engaged.
When we had been married just over 5 year we started the adoption process with a small adoption agency that was honestly picked simply because it was close to our home. We were totally open to any country – but we felt called Internationally. We wanted to adopt a toddler, but we were open to either sex and many special needs. We were accepted by the agency and they sent us a huge packet of paperwork to start our homestudy. We were super excited!
And then I got knocked up. Doh! This was never in the plan. We were planning on adopting all our kids, or at least adopting first. So we put our adoption plans on hold while we prepared for our little girl. I should admit I was not a happy pregnant lady. I have weird issues with my body anyway, so being surprised by a pregnancy and then my body growing in every which way was not my favorite. I felt nauseous from day one to the end. Oh, and I had the bright idea to cut my hair REALLY short right before I found out I was pregnant….. it wasn’t a great look before, then as I swelled up it was less cute. All those issues combined meant I didn’t enjoy it and embrace it like I wish I had. I wish I had taken more pictures, I literally dodged cameras. My husband knew how uncomfortable I was so he didn’t ask to take pictures…..and now we have like three and that time is gone. I wish I had a different attitude when I was pregnant, but I am pretty sure I never want to do that again! Some ladies love it, me, not so much.
But oh how sweet it is to have a surprise mini us! While my pregnancy was terribly uncomfortable, other than anemia, I had a fairly healthy pregnancy and J was born right on time with no complications. We prayed that she would be healthy, and when we found out she was a girl, we prayed she would have my nose – other than that we weren’t too specific. She was healthy, strong, and had my nose – and we were thankful. She was the first grandchild on my side and was every bit the princess. Grandma & Grandpa could not come over to visit without a new outfit or toy.
(Above is where the love of horses began….)
Many people thought that once we had ‘one of our own’ we would not go back to our adoption plan. If anything, having a newborn that we cared for from day one burdened us further for those who are not having their needs met. I was painfully aware that while I was struggling to breastfeed (which I gave up way too early on), that there were millions of babies who would never get this opportunity and may never even have formula. When she would get a rash and I would do my best to shorten the rash and make sure it never comes back I would randomly cry for babies I knew hadn’t been changed that day at all, because the resources weren’t there. I wanted every kid to have the opportunity to do fun things like our little girl was doing. I cried for big kids that had been bounced around to different foster homes or who had been in orphanages for so long and never had someone cuddle them when they woke up with a night terror.
Our agency told us we could start our homestudy when J was a year old as long as we felt ready. We were told we “needed” to adopt in birth order and that they would only place a child younger than J in our home. We were told once we were done with our homestudy it was typical to wait 6 months to a year (perhaps more) for the referral of a child. It could go faster with some countries – but our situation was different since we would be required to request a child under 18 months – so we were limited in the countries we could be submit to. We didn’t care what country we adopted from, we simply wanted a true orphan – a child who’s parents were not living, unable to care for them, or chose not to care for them and wasn’t coming back.
At the time did not want to adopt a domestic newborn. We knew so many families struggled with infertility and were adopting because they wanted to grow their family and adoption was perhaps their only option. Many families wait years to adopt a baby. My body can *somewhat begrudgingly* make babies, this wasn’t our reason for adopting. Our agency really tried to talk us into this option a couple times, I think it was just easier for them if we had adopted a newborn in a private adoption, but we insisted that wasn’t for us, that we were willing to wait if necessary – I mean, we didn’t want kids that were only a year apart or anything crazy like that!
Because babies 1 year apart would be crazy right? …….. (read Our Birth & Adoption Stories Part 2 Here)