I have been thinking about adopting a child lately. I always thought I wanted to adopt some day, since I was ten or so.
The last few months, I kept noticing how perfect our family feels. But I was not convinced about anything: remaining a family of three, getting pregnant again, or adopting a baby. I was so conflicted about Amor Chiquito being an only child, among many other things. I figured I would do my best to avoid thinking about it. When it is the right time for us to decide, we will make a decision together and we will be happy with our decision. That was until… Two days ago?
I don’t recall how it all started. I take that back… I started thinking about adoption after the Haiti earthquake. A few days ago, I don’t know if I was dreaming, somewhat awake, or what… All I know is it felt as though something clicked. The idea of adding one member to our family, an adopted child, felt right. I got an indescribable feeling on my chest. Just thinking about it made me smile. It was strange, but a good feeling.
I decided to do some research and talk about this with Mr. Geek!
What I have learned thus far:
We could adopt through the local department of children and families. It would be free. But it would take years. Most importantly, the state removes the kids from their homes. The battle between the parents and the government lasts years. The adoptive parents-to-be just sit and wait. We might be told “Here is a child. She is a foster child now, but you will be able to adopt her in a year or so.” Then, six months later, a judge decides that child is going back to mom, who may or may not be in a good position to be a good mom to that child. Meanwhile, my family will be heartbroken. I have seen it. I have lived it. My aunt adopted four kids that way. Time and time again, I got attached to kids, loved them, helped her take care of them. Now, we have no idea where they are or how they are doing. The emotional price is incredibly high. We could do that, knowing what to expect from day one, but would it be fair to our Ari? Should I expose her to that? I am a grown-up and I can figure out how to cope, but what about her?
Another option is domestic adoption through a private organization. The expected wait time is nine to eighteen months. (We could have a newborn in our home in two years tops. Ari would be 4.5 years old. It would be perfect.) The birth mother decides that it would be best for her child to be with a different family. She picks the adoptive family, while she is still pregnant, in most cases. Four days after the baby is born, s/he comes home. But… There is always a but… The fees range from $32 to $42 thousand dollars.
I spent close to an hour reading the frequently asked questions on an adoption agency’s website. I was so happy. It sounded great. Then… I talked to the director and she gave me the news. What can I say? I wanted to cry. We don’t have that kind of money. We will not have that kind of money any time soon, unless some sort of miracle happens. Like the woman said to me, if you can have babies, you could put that money towards your daughter’s education.
Why adopt? I would most likely get pregnant easily. I had a perfect pregnancy. I am aware of my body, so, most likely, it would not take long to conceive.
My response: why not adopt? There are children already in this world. They did not choose to join us. Their parents are caring, kind and responsible enough to know that their children would be better off with a different family. We could be one of those families. Our home is full of love. We have so much to offer to one of those precious babies… For what it is worth, adopting feels right. It is what my heart, gut, whatever you want to call it… is telling me…
To conclude, I will continue my research and we will continue talking. We have not made a final decision. But this is what is in my heart today. If only we had thirty-something thousand dollars!