Monday, August 23, 2010

To adopt, or not to adopt... What exactly is the question?

Hubby and I are faced with what will likely be the most important decision of our adult lives: Whether or not we should adopt the two babies we’ve been fostering since January and February. Today, the birth mom told the caseworker that she is considering surrendering her rights. We think she’s pregnant again, which is why we think she’s considering surrendering—if she gets social services out of her life, she has a better shot at keeping number three.

Reasons aside, how do you know if you’re making the right decision? Hubby wants to sit down and do a pros and cons list, and have a conversation about it. I know we need to, but when I think about making this decision, all I want to do is cry. And I don’t know what that means.

I’ve always been a “gimme a sign” kind of girl. We have known without a doubt that we were supposed to adopt every other time we have, and I’ve been praying and hoping for the same clear signs this time, but so far, nothing. And I don’t know what that means.

When I think about the future with these babies—as little kids, as pre-teens, as teenagers, as young adults—and I see three very different paths. I see them with their bio mom. I see them with us. And I see them with someone else—usually, in all honesty, someone who looks more like them than we do. People younger. People less jaded.

I think of how hard it’s been with Marie and Dawn and Danae and Leigh, and I wonder what impact that has had on the babies, what impact it would have on them in the future. I know Leigh is a horrible influence, and that Danae would be devastated if we don’t adopt. And I still can’t decide.

I think of their beautiful big brown eyes and their faces smiling into someone else’s face and calling someone else mom. And I cry. Then I think about getting to pick them up and take them fun places on weekends as grandparents and I don’t cry as much.

I think of all the time I spend with them, that I spend doing for them, and wonder what I did before, and what I would do after, if they leave. I think about their bio mom crying, looking at the photo album we gave her and her saying, “They look so happy.” And I wonder if them being adopted by someone else would ruin the happiness we’ve worked so hard to help them find.

Will they remember us five years down the road? Ten years? Twenty years? Or will we be there with them, at our own retirement ages, as they graduate and go to college. I can’t decide which picture has the stronger pull, and I don’t know what that means. Or if it means anything at all.

Sometimes, I think the fact that I’m even struggling with this decision is a sign. But a sign to keep them or let them go? Are we being selfish to want to keep them? I know there are hundreds of young couples who are where Hubby and I were ten years ago—eager and breathless and full of hope and anticipation, waiting for the phone call that is the beginning of labor pains for them. But then I wonder if maybe the dark road we’ve traveled with our four older girls has been a test, and the babies are the reward.

Are we being selfish to consider letting them go? I miss my husband, and the marriage we had before we had kids. I miss spending time with him without kids around, and we have reached the light at the end of the tunnel with the older ones, and we starting to plan on what to do with the extra space in our empty nest. Plus, with Leigh being so completely special, we need more time with her. But what impact will it have on the babies if they leave us for another family? What impact will it have on the four who are already ours?

And what does it mean that I can’t answer a single question I’ve posted here? And that I don’t know what any of it means? And that I’m crying as I type, with no clearer perspective?

And I still don’t know which one would hurt less.


  1. Random stranger answer...if your mind doesn't say, without any doubt at all, adopt, I think you should try to get a grand parent role instead. I don't think it's selfish to want to be a wife...that's why you married :)Your heart isn't always the right answer, of course you love them! That's what makes you good at what you do! And you will probably have horrible guilt at letting them go, again, that's what makes you good at what you do. BUT loving a child doesn't mean you are meant to be that child's mom. In my opinion I feel you would like to see them going to a loving family while you finish yours and the guilt is eating you up.

  2. Oh my ! Hugs and love and prayers go out to you. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I don't. All I do know is that I think that it is Ok to not have all the answers. Sometimes you just might have to leap.

  3. P.S. I didn't adopt (although my husband was adopted) but there are plenty of times when I wish that I could go back to the 2 of us and focus some time on me,us, and our marriage. I think that that is only natural. And then I remember that THIS, THIS right now, the insanity that is our every day, IS us and IS our marriage and family.It is our life journey,and it is not like anyone else's. Are there days when I want to kill? Yes. Are there days when I have to make a conscious decision to love members of my family despite the fact that I want to hurt, kill, or hate them forever? Hell, yes. I think that you are perfectly normal to have each and every feeling that you described and then some. I think you have so much courage, and you inspire people like me to bring up the adoption idea in my own family. :) Love and hugs again. . .

  4. either decision will hurt. either decision will leave you with what ifs. either decision is the right one. i love you.

  5. Aw, sorry you're faced with such a tough decision. Seems like you could still enjoy them and monitor their lives in a grandparent situation, though. Is there anyone (professionally?) who could help you make this monumental decision? Hugs to you.


If you are an adoptive parent or have one in your family somewhere, talk to me. I could use some insanity that does NOT call me mom!!