Since we are starting the adoption process again, I thought I'd jot down some daily thoughts and feelings about what it's like. I did not do this, at least consistently, when we adopted Daniel and I wish I had. The biggest struggle this go round has been deciding which route to take--international or domestic, toddler or infant, boy or girl... Many of my friends have told me that I wouldn't get to choose gender or age normally so not to worry about it--but I do. Adopting Daniel at age 2 had its own set of challenges ("just add water and you have Insta-Tantrum!") but I did not go through the sleepless nights, colic, bottles, formula and the responsibility of a human being that cannot transport itself from point A to point B.
Yes, I'm a parent. Yes, my maternal instinct is in tact and in full use...but it would be a whole different ballgame with an infant and, truthfully, it's a little scary. Something in me doesn't want to be branded a "first time Mommy" as I bumble with how to care for a baby--because I've already climbed talk-back mountain (no relation to brokeback), tantrum hill, and a variety of other landscape features dealing with the ups and downs of toddlerhood. Shouldn't I at least get a T-shirt or something that says "yes, I look like I don't know what I'm doing but ask me how to fix a broken Wiggles guitar"? My learning curve would go right back to start--am I ready for that?
I'm all for "letting God decide" which is the child were are meant to bring into our home; however, we do have to make some decisions that would chart that particular course. If we go the domestic route and use one agency, they only place newborns from unwed mothers in Alabama. If we take another path, then we get into the foster care/state system and I think we've both decided we couldn't risk the child being with us and then taken away. Then there's international. We will not do Russia again...not right now with the adoption law changes and increased waiting times... China would probably be at least a year but probably longer and I don't know much about other countries like Guatemala, Korea, etc.
As for gender, Daniel has stated, quite emphatically mind you, that he wants a "bruh-der." We have explained that we might be getting a brother or a sister to which he replies, "ok, we'll get a brother AND a sister." (whoa, there partner....) That is one decision that we will leave in God's hands if we go the newborn route. We're open to either and I'm sure Daniel would be a tormenting (er, I mean great) big brother no matter what gender we are blessed with.
Today, I am mailing in our application for a home study along with the first payment (half of the $1200 fee). Thankfully, we have the money to get through this stage and will continue fundraising as we go along. It may be a long journey--or it could be shorter than we think.
For those of you who went through the last process with us, you basically know what to expect. For others, put on your seat belts and hold on...it could be a bumpy ride. :-)
Here we go......................