Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Adoption Journey - Ground Zero

“I want our adopted child to know my Papa, and Nana & Grandy.” Ash said in the car as we drove through the wintery flatlands of Nebraska. The statement was profound and we both acknowledged it with a brief silence as we passed through the frozen countryside. We were on our way back from Christmas with her family in South Dakota and it was 10 degrees outside. The wind was creating mesmerizing swirls on the road as it forced the resistant snow flakes from their comfy place in the fields and pushed them into beautiful waves, skimming over the pavement.

Ash and I have been married for 5 ½ incredible years. Even as we got engaged back in 2008 we knew neither of us were convinced we wanted to have kids – definitely not anytime soon, and perhaps never. Equally as strong was the non-desire for our own biological children.  Even if we someday decided we wanted kids, we reasoned, we wanted to adopt a child who faced the prospect of a long and difficult life without the support of parents who loved them unconditionally. So I got a vasectomy. I was 22.

That’s how we make decisions together, especially big ones. We recognize and trust we’re on the same page about something, and, if it makes sense, we act. No need to second-guess or get lost in endless ‘what-ifs’ that could dead-end in indecision or missed opportunities. This is how we turned in our application for Peace Corps three weeks after we got married. Or how decided to buy a house. It just made sense.

But kids, we thought, were different. For the first five years of our marriage, we were extremely unsure we’d ever want to be parents. We felt we weren’t mature enough, weren’t ready, were too selfish, etc. Yet, in the last few months, slowly, we’ve started to drop comments to each other that perhaps adopting wouldn’t mean the end of our lives. That perhaps kids, five years off of course, could be a part of our lives. So this slow acceptance of realizing that we perhaps did indeed want to adopt someday, combined with Ash’s statement yesterday in Nebraska, set off our minds and hearts.

And so it begins. True to our style, in the last 24 hours we’ve decided that we indeed would start looking into adoption, signed up for two informational sessions at two different adoption agencies, created a Google Spreadsheet to gather research in, and have narrowed our search to either a domestic Foster-to-Adopt program, or an international adoption from a Latin American country. We’ve known for a long time that we’d want to find a child who is probably older than 2 years old, and that we didn’t have a strong gender or race preference.

So the journey has started. I’ll do my best to chronicle our progress, our thoughts, our desires, our fears, our successes and challenges. We want to journey through this with our family, with our friends. So please join us.

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