Thursday, October 4, 2007

I was wrong. Adoption IS risky.

In the post "Is Adoption Risky?" I reflected on the risks involved with having a child by birth vs. having a child by adoption. I concluded that while the risks are very different, I am not sure that one is more risky than the other.

I was wrong.

Let me explain. Let's say a family has n children - remember, I am a math/science guy. Consider the following birth family conversation:

Wife: You know honey, I have been thinking.

Husband: Uh-oh.

Wife: No, really. I know we have n kids and all, but sometimes I think our family might not be complete.

Husband: Uh-oh.

Wife: Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have n+1 kids? Another child for our n kids to play with? I think it would be pretty special.

Husband: Are you crazy? We already have n soccer games on Saturday morning and I am coaching n/2 of them. Then there are the n*2 parent conferences each year, the n bikes in the garage, the n*10 shoes in the closet, the n future orthodontist bills, the n future tuition bills, the n . . .

Wife: Ok. Ok. I know. It was just a thought.

Now, compare that conversation to the following adoptive family conversation:

Wife: You know honey, I have been thinking.

Husband: Uh-oh.

Wife: No really. Do you remember Anna?

(Anna is a child the couple met through the first adoption process.)

Husband: Yes, I remember her.

Wife: I have been wondering a lot lately about how she has been doing.

Husband: Does she have a family yet?

Wife: No, she doesn't. The adoption agency has dropped her. They are pulling out of that part of the country.

Husband: They dropped her? They are pulling out?

Wife: What do you think her future looks like?

Husband: You know the stats. Things are pretty grim.

Wife: I wish there was something we could do.

Husband: Short of loading our family on a plane and moving to Ethiopia, there isn't much we can do. Unless . . .

I am struck by how easy it is to say no to a pre-conceived birth child. That child is an abstract idea, not a flesh and blood individual. But how difficult it is to know a child, to have pictures of the child, to have heard stories about what the child has been through, and to have knowledge of what the future will hold if nothing is done. Such a child is already here with us in the world struggling for life.

This is the risk of adoption.

It is nearly impossible to go through an adoption process for the referral you accepted and not meet another child - an Anna - in need of a home. For some reason you will feel connected with Anna. But you will dismiss the thought of adopting again as absurd. You will find out that other families have not chosen Anna. You will dismiss the thought again. You will walk by a room in your home with space for a bed for Anna. You will dismiss the thought again. You will find yourself counting out n plates to set the table and wondering why you are not counting out n+1. You will attempt to dismiss the thought. You will try to focus on utility bills, food bills, clothing bills, future tuition bills, your crazy schedule and other things that have helped you dismiss the thought in the past, but their potency will wane. Anna will always be on your mind.

Wife: Hon, our family just doesn't seem complete.

Husband: I know. I know.

Wife: It feels like she is already a part of our family, but that she is just not with us yet.

(long pause)

Husband: Ok. Let's bring her home.

Wife: I will make the call.

And so CrazyMom called. Anna is on her way. We are adopting again.


Kris Long said...

It is simply the best news I have heard in 6 months. CAN NOT WAIT! Congratulations!


owner said...

How Exciting!!! I can't wait to hear all about her!! Congratulations!!


Anonymous said...

Well, that put a grin on my face. A thousand congratulations!

mom to T, age 4, from Ethiopia

Renee said...


What a blessing!


Bingaling said...

Woo Hoo!!!
Can't wait to hear more!

Owlhaven said...

Congrats!!!!!!!! How awesome!!


Anonymous said...

Great you are blessed and so are those that know you

Julie R. said...

Wonderful news! How exciting!

chel said...

that is soo exciting (I am one of your lurkers from canada;-) I can't remember how I got a link to your blog, maybe Mary at owlhaven but i've enjoyed your blog and wish your family well. You are definately right in this post and you are far from alone. I have hear many simialar stories. funny how life works out, eh?

Anonymous said...

Wow! congratulations! We are beginning the process to adopt 2 (we, too, have 4 bios). One of the reasons for 2 is because I KNOW that if we adopt just one, I'll want to go back and do it again. So, what you're telling me, is that might not be enough?!
I love reading your blog and pray all Gods richest blessings on your family of 9! -Team T

momma m. said...

Congratulations!!!! What wonderful news!!!You guys are so blessed!!I can't wait until we adopt!!!
Blessings to you!!


thecurryseven said...

Congratulations! It's terrific news.


I loved how you posted about adopting again! I'm so wanting to do that again too!!! Only God knows best.
jen in MI

Anonymous said...

Congrats!!!! Loved the post!! I feel the same way you do. We have 4 children(3 that are adopted) and my husband and I have had very similar conversations. Can't wait to follow your journey as well as meet your family AGAIN!!

Sally(in MO)

james.k said...

I will be honest. That's crazy.
I mean your n+1 is 7!!
Although, that's because I'm thinking too worldly. Anyway, I am very happy for the kids though, because they are lucky to have to you guys as their parents. Once I become more mature, I'll think about n then maybe n+1. :D

Aves @ Call of the Phoebe said...


How exciting!!!


hmmj said...

Congratulations! I love your blog, though I haven't ever commented but this news is tooooo wonderful to read and not say congratulations! I'm so excited for your family! What a blessing you will be to each other.


MamaPPod said...

Woohoo!! Love to hear about someone adopting again! I look forward to the day when I can join your club!

Patty in Chicago (waiting on her-and family's- very first adoption from Africa)

Karen said...

Congratulations on making the decision! Looking forward to following your journey back to Ethiopia!

Innocent Observer said...

Is it really that simple? You just made a call and are moving forward?

CrazyD said...

Was it really that simple?

Yes and no.

As I mentioned in the post, I found myself walking around the house constantly thinking of Anna. I would also keep talking myself out of adopting again. But is seemed just like a shell game to me. I could read the writing on the wall and I knew what the end was going to be, it just took me a little while to come to terms with it. CrazyMom was just there waiting for me. So when I came around, then yes, it was that simple and she made the call to put into motion the long paper trail that will bring Anna to our home.

Erin said...

Huge congrats to your whole family. My husband likes to say "adoption is addictive" which I guess is similar to "adoption is risky". :)

Congrats... you guys are a wonderful family and I can't wait to hear about your sweet Anna.


Anonymous said...

terrific post. can't wait. and will anna be the only child on the blog with her real name? :-) jcn

CrazyD said...

When I started blogging about our family, I picked names for our kids. Since I had not met our adopted kids yet, I felt I could not pick a name for them. Instead, I used initials (F.G. and K.D.). Now I think the initials are a little impersonal and I wish I had just picked a name for them. So this time around I decided to use a name instead of initials. Anna is not her real name, however.

Emily said...

This was a wonderful post -- and wonderful news for your family. It brought tears to my eyes. We didn't meet anyone tjat is weighing on us on our trip to Ethiopiak to pick up our son, but the burden of having seen all those kids without families weighs on me. We have a big house, a big car and plenty of love. However, we also have four kids six and under (3 bio one from Ethiopia), so it might be a little while before we do anything about it. Congratulations!


Carissa said...

I read this again today. It still moves me to tears.

CrazyD said...

Thanks for the comment, Carissa. Now that we have Anna in our home, I get emotional thinking about this time in our lives since I was the one who initially said no to adopting again.

We would have certainly missed out on a very special blessing in our lives.