I have long been adamant that my children won't be close in age if I have any say in the matter. Many of my friends and family members have or are parenting children whose birthdays practically overlap with less than a year or two between them.
I'm Type A, a planner, and someone who thrives on moments of peace and quiet. I have had that so far. My daughter is predictable and seemingly also enjoys the environment of steady bliss that radiates in our home. Cozy. Easy.
Society speaks one message but lives another. Society speaks that women CAN have it all---a full time job, a ever-happy marriage, great relationships with their children, a clean home, extracurricular activities, a stellar spiritual life/understanding, and more. But the reality is that this isn't possible---that something's got to give. The most we can have is 100%, and the division of efforts is never equal or balanced among all the categories or roles a women has.
Society also speaks that women can be blessed with loads of children and be truly happy---thus the infiltration and popularity of shows like 18 Kids and Counting and Jon and Kate Plus 8 (which yeah, didn't turn out so well, did it?). But those shows just give me anxiety, not a baby itch.
Despite the happy-happy facade that brims from celebrity magazines (another person having twins?) and mommy "how to do it all" manuals, the truth is that if the kids have it all, the woman loses something---either her physical health, her mental stability, her marriage, her career, her emotional balance, or something else.
So knowing what I've seen, and knowing my own personality, I long ago took a stand: I wouldn't have multiple children close in age. Call it selfish (I want time to write, to work part-time, to enjoy each child in the stage he or she is in) or call it crazy (don't you want to just have a ton of kids and get the diaper stage over with?), but I call it reasonable and smart.
Last week I got a text from a friend asking if I was watching the adoption special on television. I didn't know anything about it but I am always up for a good adoption special. :) We turned it on and watched the remainder of a one-hour special called A Home For the Holidays. Much of the show was scripted and honestly, hokey, and I have also been long determined to only adopt infants, not a child stuck in the foster care system. But after watching the special, I dashed to my office and found a national photolisting of children available for adoption. There are 100,000 children ready to be adopted in the United States.
I searched a few times based on age, race, and state. Sometimes I would click on a photo and up would come not only that child's photo, but the photos of the child's multiple siblings. Understandably, children do not want to be split from their siblings. But we live in a three bedroom ranch with no indication of moving soon.
Then I found her. Little R. A three year old residing 1000 or more miles away. Her eyes penetrated mine. Her profile description made my heart leap. Could this be our child?
I sent an information request. The next day, Christmas Eve, I received a phone number for R's social worker. I called but just got a voicemail. After we returned from a long holiday weekend, I called again. Voicemail. I called an hour later. This time the social worker picked up.
She could tell me very little about R due to confidentiality laws. But she said I could send in a copy of our homestudy for review. If the "team" (whoever they are) decided we might be a good match for R, we would be provided more information.
Honestly, this is scary stuff. Domestic adoption through a private agency, which is what we did with our daughter, is completely different. This is state-stuff. The government. Traveling 1000 miles away. A homestudy update.
As I write this, I am very conflicted. Last night I wrote a short letter to the social worker, complied our homestudy and homestudy update, and typed a fax cover sheet. At this moment all the documents are with my husband at work, ready to be faxed.
I didn't sleep very well last night. I can't figure out this ball of emotions, rational thoughts, irrational thoughts, and God's plan.
What I know is that adoption is NEVER smooth sailing. There are always bumps in the road. A friend suggested that it wouldn't hurt just to send in the homestudy and get more info. A nurse we know said the medical needs R has do not sound severe at all. Another friend suggested to pray our way through each choice, and whatever God wants will work out.
I feel strongly drawn to this little girl. Perhaps that means she will one day be ours. Or maybe it means we'll open our hearts to adopting from foster care. Or maybe it just means I need to pray for her and that's as far as this will ever go.
I'm confused. I don't know what to do. I want to send in the homestudy. I want to know more. But I'm not sure that is right.