Freshly married, Dan and I were sitting at the kitchen table when I sprung it on him: “I’ve really been feeling like we should reconsider the timeline we’ve talked about for adopting. I think we should do it soon.”
I’ve always felt my primary ministry in life was to be a mom to adopted kids. Even above being a mom to biological kids. I had previously sprung the general idea on Dan after only two months of dating, when I asked if he would be willing adopt in the future and if he was interested in adopting before choosing any other method of becoming a parent. He was completely on board, and I had fallen fast for this guy.
I’m the dreamer of the two of us. I regularly picture little scenes in my mind that I end up truly believing are a glimpse of our future. Walks with my husband, with kids riding ahead of us on bikes along tree-lined streets at dusk. All my kids dancing with Dan in the kitchen while indie and classic rock records play. Baking sugar cookies with my girls with flour on our noses in matching aprons from Anthropologie. Dreamy stuff like that.
Dan is the realist of the two of us. He considers the logistics of attaining goals and making plans. He puts my dreams into motion. If you hadn’t guessed, he’s kind of great at budgeting our money.
When adoption actually came up as something to do right now, we jumped fully and stubbornly into our primary roles as a dreamer and a realist. I could not have cared less about the logistics of income and marriage length and a husband in med school, as they related to adopting. Dan couldn’t have cared more about those things. I cried and shut down when he brought up how we’d pay for it. Lesson learned: Clue your husband into the fact that you want to start the adoption process much earlier, before you aren’t ALL the way set on it.
We prayed about it a lot. We prayed about it a ton. We talked about it later. And we talked about it again even later. And more tears were had. Nothing like working out the kinks in the communication habits you’ve set during your few months of marriage by talking about the pros, cons, possibilities, and logistics of adoption. It’s my understanding that adoption becomes the only option for some people. They want children badly, they’ve waited a long time, and it’s clear what they need to do. For us, we had other options. Good options, even.
Because we so strongly desire to adopt, we soon realized it was a matter of doing it now or doing it later. We sat down with a green Moleskine — again at the kitchen table — and I wrote boldly at the top of the page: NOW? Pros. Cons. We threw out everything we could think of while I jotted it all down. When we finished, it was so dang clear: Now was better. There were a few logistics to look into more closely, but it was absolutely doable. We’d felt that tug from God, for sure, but making that silly pros and cons list gave us the extra confirmation we needed.
We made dinner. I sat across from Dan on the side of the table closer to the living room, like I always do. “So we’re gonna do it?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said, smiling nodding.
And yet again, the tears started to well up.
Hi, I’m Natalie, and I’m 24 years old. My husband is a med student, and he plans to be an ER doctor. We got married in December 2011, and we started the adoption process in May 2012. We set out to only adopt one baby, but we recently and joyfully accepted a referral for twin baby boys from a big country in Africa. Some may say we’re crazy, but all I can say is: God is good. I’m also social worker doing foster care/adoption work while living in St. Louis. I like film photography, trying to be crafty, Google Reader, new music, Real Simple, and road trips to new cities.