Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Big Question

Okay so this is really a personal dilemma and one that I'm sure we'll figure out eventually, but since I've been stewing about it for weeks, I figure I'll go ahead and post it, at least that way you'll all know where my head is at when I start to wax poetic and get weepy over the next few weeks.

Gideon will be a year old soon (don't get me started on how fast my baby boy is growing up, I'll vent about that in another post.) So technically this means, we could begin paperwork again for another child. We always said we'd like at least two. And we always said that we'd probably start the process again as soon as we were able.

But now that we're at that point. I kind of don't want to.

Please, read the rest of this before you start judging me.

I love my son more than I ever thought possible. It's true what people say when they tell you that you'll love your kids in a way totally unprecedented by anything you've ever experienced before. He is honestly our sun, our moon and our stars. He was totally worth everything we went through to get him. In retrospect, we really got off easy. Aside from the ten days when his birth mom took him home and kept moving the placement date, things really went so smoothly it was almost ridiculous.

Even so, adoption in general (even an "easy" one like ours) is not an "easy" process. Anyone who says it is, hasn't experienced it. Before Gideon we just jumped in with both feet. We did everything we were told to do with a sense of urgency because we felt like something was waiting for us. And then 2 1/2 years later we were blessed with the most wonderful baby boy on earth. (Clearly we felt the urgency, but Heavenly Father, didn't.)

Having been through it all once now though, makes me wonder if I have the strength to do it again. Oh believe me I know it will be worth it in the end. But still, the thought of it just makes me ill. The mountains of paperwork. The invasive home studies. The exhausting interviews. Opening up my life once again so that someone else can determine whether or not I'm fit to be a parent. I just don't know if I can do it again.

And then there's the part after that. The waiting. The part where we do everything in our power, but still have to acknowledge that it's out of our hands and may not be enough. We had a few potential adoptions fall through before Gideon. It was devastating. In retrospect, I don't know how we survived. I don't know if I can do that again either.

And then there's the question of our age. It's no secret that young and cute couples get babies first. Maybe that doesn't seem fair, but that's life. Travis is 37. If it takes another 2 1/2 years to get a baby, he'll be 40. And let's say we don't get one by then. Our probability of getting another child once he crosses that threshold, drops drastically. And will we really have the energy to keep up with babies at that age.

Which brings me to my next point. I'm exhausted! Gideon is the most active kid I've ever met. He won't just sit still. Ever. (Yes, I've tried Baby Einstein movies. No they don't work. They just serve as background noise for his latest path of destruction.) Don't get me wrong I love that he's so smart he wants to be into (and on top of and underneath and around) everything. I love that he's so strong he can hang onto something he wants and it takes both parents to pry it from his fingers. I love that he's curious and talkative and active. I even love that he's not really entertained by TV (I'm hoping that means he'll be more interested in outdoor activities and reading. But hey that's just me.) But honestly, it's exhausting. I don't know how I'd take care of a newborn and chase him around at the same time. (I have new respect for my sister, Shiloh and all of you who have children close together in age.) It's hard enough just getting myself ready for the day because he's either tearing apart the bathroom, or tearing apart the living room or tearing apart the kitchen. How would I do that and have a baby?

And then there's the fact that I just don't feel that urgency. Before Gideon we felt incomplete. We knew something was missing. And we just don't feel that right now. We feel happy and content with just our baby boy.

Still I can't help but wonder if this isn't just selfishness. I never intended to have an only child. You all know (or can tell from my blog) how close my family is. It's easy to see that my siblings mean a lot to me. I don't want to deny my child the opportunity to have that same relationship. To feel that special bond that only siblings can share and understand. I don't want Gideon to grow up without that. I think he'll be an awesome big brother.

But yet no matter how I try, I can't seem to get myself excited about it. I've picked up the phone to call our caseworker about a dozen times in the last two weeks, but every time I do, I just break down into tears.

Travis for his part, is much more ready to begin the process than I am. (I think he's feeling the urgency of his age.) He keeps saying that we don't have to rush through everything like we did before. We can take our time with the paperwork. We can spread out the interviews and home studies.

Still as much as he tries to reassure me, instead of excitement, I'm filled with dread. Dreading what I know comes with the territory. Dreading what I know will be required of us. And dreading what might or might not be.

I don't know what's wrong with me. Travis won't ever rush me, I know he'll wait until I'm ready (he's told me so) but still I feel like a bad wife and a bad mother for not wanting this. I know I want two kids. Since I was a little girl I've wanted two kids. I know that it makes more sense to begin now because it is a long and arduous process. And yet I can't make myself do it. I guess on some level I'm just hoping that somewhere, somehow, someone will contact us and tell us that they have a baby for us. That way as we're doing the paper work and the home studies it won't seem so hard. We'll already know that we're going to get another child. There won't be that big unknown question mark in our lives.

The funny thing is, that question mark was there before. It was there the first time. Only then, it seemed exciting. Right now, it just seems terrifying.


Angela said...

I didn't want to get pregnant a second time. I knew how horrible the first time was and I wasn't ready. It wasn't until I was prompted and then had that confirmed and then had my most amazing experience with prayer that I was ready (and excited). I know our situations are not the same. But I get the emotion of it and you are NOT a bad wife and you are NOT a bad mother. There is balance in life and this is huge! You have to be able to handle it (the process not the kid b/c I know you can do that) and you have to be "there."

Just do your part to get there and you'll be there eventually. I want to say don't stress but well I have a feeling you will. :)

*~*kamie*~* said...

In a way I can totally relate. Of course, we haven't had a successful adoption yet, but when the time comes for the second one... I honestly don't think I can do it again. Everyone says I will change my mind once we have a baby, but I honestly don't know. We did want quite a few children, but we have now agreed we only want two. But I am already anxious about starting again and I haven't even adopted one yet.

I think you guys are amazing parents and Gideon is such a cute kid! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It make me feel not so crazy that this whole process scares me a little. :) I am sure that if Heavenly Father has more children in store for you, your heart will know it and you will be comforted in it all.

Lots of Love!!

Darryl and Cindy Cunningham said...

You will know without a doubt when the time is right for you to pursue another adoption. Now is not the time for more reasons than the ones you just stated. Stay prayerful and you will know.

Ron and Jessica said...

I'm soooo with you. Yes, it's worth it, but even with a three month old I find myself asking the same questions and feeling the same feelings as you. I don't think it's selfish to consider everything before jumping in with both feet again. :) Jessica

Cathy Shields said...

All the things you have mentioned are valid and real feelings that are perfectly normal to have. You and Travis have something wonderful that you can rely on for the right answers and that is the personal revelation you can get through prayer. You have the opportunity to know and not wonder what is the right thing to do. And if there is another child up there waiting to come to you and Travis then somehow without understanding by what means, you will find the strength to both go through the process and go through the parenting. I am as sure of that as I am that I am sitting here. If it means you aren't to have another, you will find the strength to deal with that too. I love you and know that through prayer you will get your answers for confusion is not something the Lord wants for you.

Ashley said...

Okay, de-lurking here.

I am fully. And completely. There.

We have a 14 month old. Our adoption was also easy. As easy as it can go.

We're doing fertility treatments now

I hope they work

but a small part of me is like,

"I'm so happy with just Julia. She makes me happy and I'm frigging TIRED."

It's HARD.

You're not alone.

Brenley said...

I am struggling too, but I am struggling with not getting the answer to when and how to bring our next child into our family. But I know how you feel, being really content with your one little one, because I totally am...but I am totally freaked that I am going to drop the ball on Heavenly Father's timing for our next.

Stephanie H. said...

I know that you never know with the timing of how long the adoption process will take, but I just wanted to to let you know that Benjamin was my whole world and I didn't even think about having another one until he was 3 years old. By then he was talking well, potty-trained, etc and I started to miss the baby days. I love your mom's comment, you'll know when you're ready and the time is right. Is Travis back to work?