For some odd reason, I wouldn’t have asked if we could ‘make’ a baby, yet I found it important to pause our adoption plans to find out what our daughter (aged eight) and our son (aged nine) thought about having a new sibling. Thankfully, they were ecstatic! Our girl was so excited, she wanted a “little sister like Audrey at church”, while my son just loves babies anyway! Whew! No reason to have worried then! We could cheerfully move on.
Other decisions then hung upon the fact that we had biological children of their specific ages. As a childless couple, we would have adopted a child of any age and from any background, but with these two young ones, and not knowing the background a child might have come from, wondering if they’d possibly come from a morally broken home, we felt the younger, the better. Some learned behaviours take time to undo and we didn’t want to risk harming the psyches of the children we already had at home.
Our children changed how we would make our adoption choice
Our first two children also changed how we’d have make other choices. One major decision was that regarding disability. Adoption is fraught with uncertainties. If our children were already teens, we’d have had absolutely no qualms accepting a child with disabilities, but with them still needing attention, and me being their homeschool teacher, I needed to be able to give all the children the amount of attention they needed. So, sadly, we felt we had to scratch any life-altering disability off the list. It would be not only unfair on the first two, but unfair on the little one who would need me a lot more than I could be ‘present’ for them. It’s not like we have a domestic worker or helper – everything still hangs on me.
By the end of filling in all the daunting forms asking us why we wanted a child based on our specific choices, and an interview where we verbally went through expectations and desires, answering tough questions like: “Are you SURE you want a child who has been abandoned, whose mother’s diet and health status you don’t know?”, we were ready. A baby girl it would be. And the excitement started to build up.
Our children wanted to shop for her every chance they could get. We started with little things like gripe water, nail clippers, pillow, a pram, some baby outfits … And then we got stuck a bit. Which was great timing because somehow, someone somewhere realised what my love language was. Gifts! I absolutely love gifts. And these strangers from an adoption Facebook group saved the day. My first baby shower ever! Ever! People from out of province also chipped in. That was the most humbling and awesome experience ever.
You hear of others receiving baby gifts, you get invited to baby showers, your husband’s colleagues get them, but when you’re adopting, you never think of it ever happening for you. Let alone from absolute strangers, people you’ve never met in real life. Talk about support. Our children were blown away. There was no jealousy, just pure joy that “people are so happy for us!”
A blessing for all of us
Through it all, our children have been rock stars. They couldn’t wait for their sister to come home. Not only are they enjoying being extra hands for me, they are extremely excited about adopting a little brother too. Adoption has been a blessing for all of us. What a relief! I know they’ll look back with fond memories, though with less emotion than I have, upon the day we met their little sister.