Monday, February 22, 2010

Thoughts on adding to our family....

I had my first child at the age of 32 and my second at the age of 35. Both are happy and healthy kids that I love dearly. After becoming a stay at home mom I often thought about whether we were done adding to our family. I knew I wanted more kids but struggled with the idea of taking on more responsibility/chaos. However it just felt like something was missing. If we were blessed with another baby I wouldn't have that one-on-one time with Jax that I was looking so forward to once Brett went to school. I would miss out on volunteering at the boys' school. Our activities would once again be limited until the new one got to be about 2 or 3, which would mean Brett would be almost 10. It just seemed that to have another family member meant giving up a lot too. I think there are always trade offs but with me being 38 and already having 2 beautiful/healthy children was it worth the risk? Then one day I was watching "Adoption Stories" on TLC. A couple was adopting an infant from Guatemala. Joe was working from home so I peaked my head in and said..."What do you think about adopting a baby from Guatemala?" His response was..."well I don't know about Guatemala but how about Russia? We could get a basketball player!" Not an odd response at all if you know Joe. So that was all it took, the ball was in motion. I started researching agencies. Road block #1: The cost to adopt a child from Russia can cost between 45k - 55k. How would we ever afford that! Well the wheels in my head started spinning and I came up with some ways to bring that cost within reason. Road block #2: Convincing Joe we should do this. Russian adoption seemed like the perfect solution to my struggles to add on to the family. I wouldn't have to go through pregnancy, we would have insight into the health of the child prior to adoption, the process takes about 18 months to 2 years which meant that I could still have the one on one time with Jax which was so important, I could have a daughter which was very appealing, and she would be almost 2 before we brought her home which meant that within a year she would be ready to roll with these active boys. Initially Joe's reservations were around the financials of adopting then changed to concerns about Russia's corruption and our family's safety and lastly (and by far the biggest) the health of the children. Which leads me to our third road block and where we are today... the health of the children. There are so many health issues that institutionalized and adopted children face. Here is a link to a list of health issues Internationally Adopted Children can face In addition, the children can face attachment issues. If you can imagine bringing home a 2 year old from the local daycare and trying to form a bond with them? It's even harder for an institutionalized child because they've never had a bond with someone. They have never been held while being fed. They were never rocked to sleep. And I can't talk about health issues without mentioning Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which for me is the biggest road block in this entire process. I'm planning to write an entire post on that alone.

With all that being said, It has been 5 months now since I started my adoption research and I feel that I have grown as a person. Even if we never adopt I'm a better person for having gone through this process and educated myself. I will be a more giving person with a calling to make a difference in one way or another.

So if we don't proceed with the adoption, where does that leave us in the decision to grow our family? I will give my thoughts on this in another post.

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