Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It will happen ...

Just when you think you have everything figured out and planned, life happens.

If I wasn't writing for a mass audience that probably has a higher regard for the English language and preference for a PG-rating, then I'd use a different cliche in the second clause of that first sentence.

For anyone who knows me well, you know my biggest challenge as a parent -- aside from patience -- will likely be watching my foul mouth. So, that was my first attempt at curbing my profanity.

But Sarah and I have literally been through a whole lot of it. And we've only just begun the adoption process.

I'll be the first to admit I don't have faith in much, but this adoption is the one thing that I have faith is the right decision and is meant to be. And this is coming from someone who up until two years ago steadfastly preferred to not have children. I didn't dislike children or fear them, I just didn't see myself living up to that enormous responsibility.

After all, just when we think we have our life in order -- moving back to Kentucky, changing careers, buying a house, adoption -- something always comes back to bite us in the ass, whether it's the job we moved here for not working out, the company I work for filing bankruptcy, or the very reason we want to adopt precluding us in the eyes of others. Truth be told, I can't say with 100 percent certainty that the company I work for will still exist this time next year, or that my employment will be retained. I'm very skeptical of the prospect of its acquisition and what it entails for myself. Talk about fear of being able to provide for a family ... but it's beyond my control and not something I'm going to allow circumvent my plans for my family.

Seeing Sarah teach, nurture and love a bunch of 4-5 year olds every day makes me realize what we're missing. And I can't imagine a better person to mother and raise a child, and I can't imagine living the rest of my life without what she experiences every day but on a much more intimate level.

Of course, Sarah's used to disappointments and struggles. She's lived with a disease that doesn't rob her of her physical ability, but it does rob her of time and being able to live life to the fullest. Diabetes doesn't necessarily preclude her from birthing a child, but we came to the decision to adopt at my urging and Sarah's blessing. I will love any child that calls me father, but I will not do it at the cost of sacrificing its mother's health. While a son or daughter will complete our family, the prospect of shortening our time together because of a complicated pregnancy is not worth the higher risk a birth might have on her body compared to a woman without diabetes.

So, we've opened our hearts to the challenges and unknowns of adopting -- because it has its own different hurdles and speed bumps -- which are the hardest thing for us both. There are many unknowns with any pregnancy, but there is at least a timeline, even inadequate parents can birth, and besides some rare and unfortunate health anomalies pregnancies are, for the most part, predictable. But everything from the timeline, to the cost, and even the approval of our ability/capability to parent is completely unpredictable in adoptions.

We've already had a couple set backs: the original adoption agency's rejection, not being selected by a young birth mother in Lexington last week. I'm sure there will be a few other impediments along the way, but we're fortunate enough to have two sets of parents who are supportive, excited and go above and beyond to help. Thank you, mom, dad and Wendell and Alice.

And we're fortunate enough to have all of you who have said so many kind words of support so early on or even been able to share experiences or advice through channels or friends.

Tonight we sent off our application to Holt International, the one agency we could find in the entire nation that assured us that the Korean agency they work with would be accepting of Sarah's medical condition. We've already sent her medicals to them to have them pre-approved. The hope is that everything else will be approved and that within five months we'll have a baby referred to us for acceptance and maybe by the end of the year have our family completed.

Then, life really begins.


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