I am Mrs. Something, almost thirty and married to my college sweetheart for almost three years. Barely a day goes by that someone doesn’t drop the “baby” hint my way. Close friends, family, colleagues… It amazes me how presumptuous people have become about the topic. The very first morning of our honeymoon, the woman serving us breakfast left us with a, “Come back next year with your babies!” No matter where it comes from I always laugh it off with a comment about my house being full enough with two cats and a dog or the standard, “We’re in no hurry.” Then follow it with rant to anyone that will listen about the rudeness, in my opinion, about the questions and comments. “What if we were trying and couldn’t get pregnant? What if I had just miscarried? What if we don’t plan on having children?” After being on the receiving end of it I now hold asking someone about future children in the same light as asking a woman, that you don’t know, when she’s due. You don’t go there because you just don’t know.
The truth of the matter is that the idea of having a baby has never taken root within me. I’ve always seen children in my future but I could never picture myself pregnant. I don’t gush over pregnant women and insist on rubbing their bellies and when the newborns arrive I’ve never jumped up to get in line to cuddle them and exclaim over their tiny fingers and toes. Babies don’t do it for me. With thirty approaching, of course, I’ve been thinking about the whole mess of it. When I have shared my misgivings about getting pregnant I’ve gotten one extreme answer to another. “No one is ever really ready, you just have to go for it!” to “You shouldn’t get pregnant until your body is ready to nurture and mother. It’s not fair to bring a child into the world if you don’t already feel that maternal instinct calling.” I have tended to side with the latter of the two opinions, but that’s also the opinion that keeps my world safely the same and doesn’t involve everything that comes with babies. Besides if someone was looking for advice about marrying someone, people wouldn’t say, “It’s okay if you don’t really want to marry him, you just have to go for it!” Why is that okay when talking about bringing another human being into the world?
Conflicted. Waiting to hear a clock ticking or a gush of baby fever at the sight of a newborn. Nothing.
I often shared this sentiment with my husband. He is amazing with children but once upon a time when he was in high school and we started dating he didn’t want kids. He later joined me on the “kids someday” boat but someday wasn’t getting any closer for either of us. In the same way we would have conversations about just spending our life traveling the world as DINKs (double income no kids) I tossed out the idea of adopting a baby instead of having one of our own. Maybe a baby from another country (oh how trendy) the idea of bringing another culture into our family was intriguing to me. It was thrown on the maybe someday pile along with having children of our own and we’d go on with our lives. That is until about a week ago.
I am a self-professed internet junkie. You could throw out my TV and I might not notice for days but if the internet goes down I’m a lost puppy. I enjoy “putzing” through blogs and websites. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Realtor.com, PetFinder… the list goes on and on. A little over a week ago I once again found myself on a website about international adoption, scanning lists of countries and imagining all the maybe somedays. Something made me adjust my search to domestic adoption, another maybe someday, why not? But I soon found myself browsing page after page of smiling couples asking to be chosen as adoptive parents of newborns. Stories of innumerable miscarriages and infertility accompanied by smiling hopeful photos of happy couples with their arms around each other and I felt like a complete jackass. Mr. Something and I have never tried to get pregnant so I am only left to assume that we are two fertile people. If that is the case, who am I to swoop in and post my picture next to these couples that are willing to do anything to get a baby. The domestic infant adoption maybe someday quickly got removed from the pile, but I was okay with that, babies don’t thrill me anyway, remember?
Feeling like a greedy baby-snatcher I steered my internet search to a different type of domestic adoption, older children and, surprisingly, a new maybe someday blossomed. There were photo listings of thousands of children in the foster care system in need of families. They ranged from three years old to eighteen. Many had severe special needs, all had emotional trauma (well understood, children are generally taken from their birth parents for various reasons and put into foster care.) Their profiles said things like “…hopes to go camping someday…” “…would love to have a family with a dog…” My heart swelled and before I knew it I was swooning. Swooning like those women I always watched from afar as they cooed over each other’s babies and talked of their ache for another. Why couldn’t we be the forever family that keeps that five year old from becoming an eighteen year old in the system? I was captivated. Here was a maybe someday that didn’t feel so maybe, was it a definitely someday?
I sat on the idea for two days before bringing it up to Mr. Something. Even then I had barely thought of anything else and was giddy about the idea. It was over dinner on St. Patrick’s Day with a glass of sangria and a margarita between us (the wait was shorter at the Mexican restaurant.) I tossed it out casually to test the waters but it quickly evolved into discussion, serious discussion, and excitement, serious excitement. Determined not to get my hopes up I let it simmer for a day but the discussion came up again and again.
He was on board. It felt right. More right than any other maybe someday ever had. For the first time it was a crystal clear future and we were making a plan. I was given full permission to research the process to my heart’s content and we set a goal… one year. One year to think on it, one year to replace an old car and take care of career goals. One year before the next move. Classes, homestudies, approval, all of these steps that I am just now learning about can be taken without committing to the idea. We have time, we’ve always had time but now we have a definitely someday.
I have always been a private person and knew that I’d never be one to advertise “My husband and I are trying” or “I found out I was pregnant today!” Because anything can happen and why would I possibly want to drag my circumstances, good or bad, across everyone else’s filter. I didn’t want to advertise this idea quite yet. It has only been a week and day, but since it has come up on a daily basis my husband has deemed it the Tiny Human Project or THP. There’s something comfortable about saying, “So I was thinking about THP and…” or when we shared a particularly touching moment with a friend’s four year old we secretly high-fived to THP, taking each good moment as another checkmark in the “pro” list.
I am Mrs. Something, for now, quietly reaching out into the endless sources of information on adopting children from the foster care system. I am hoping this blog will help to connect me with others considering this choice and those that have pursued this path. 357 days left to know for sure but tonight, on day 8, maybe has been kicked to the curb and there’s a beautiful someday on the horizon.