My husband and I are both big planners. He’s an accountant and the type to make plans far into the future. I like to know what the next step is, where we’re going from here, and what to expect.
Long before we were married, we talked about our desire for a family. We both wanted kids and we both wanted to have some through adoption. It was one of the many reasons that he seemed perfect to me when we were dating. Then, when he found out he had testicular cancer and would need chemotherapy, it made even more sense.
“Of course God has laid this desire on our hearts. Adoption could be the only way we’re able to have children,” I thought to myself.
I still hoped and prayed for us to be able to have at least one child biologically so that I could experience pregnancy and childbirth. I figured at most, we would have to go through the fertility treatments and IVF one time before conceiving and then we could adopt the rest of our brood. Perfect plan!
First comes love, then comes marriage, and very quickly came that baby in a baby carriage. Our first bundle of joy arrived three weeks before our first anniversary. She is my little clone, my mini-me. She looks and acts just like I did. Now that we knew we didn’t have trouble conceiving, we made plans for when the next one would come.
Two years and three weeks after our first came our second daughter. She looked like her daddy and was a ball of lovable squish. We debated for a while on whether to adopt or try for another.
Baby Fever struck and we had our third daughter a little over two years after our second. We settled into life and before we knew it, our baby was two, the age at which we had discussed beginning the adoption search.
Occasionally I got on the local websites to see the “waiting children.”
I called people about doing home studies.
We went to the first class required by the state to get information about adoption.
We had a meeting with an agency I loved and I felt was going to be our best option for our family.
And we told everybody. It had been our plan before we were married. We spent years answering the question of “Wow, all girls! Are you going to keep trying for that boy?!” with “Well, we’ve always wanted to adopt so we’re just going to “cheat” to get the boys.”
Our families knew.
Our friends knew.
Heck, I even talked about it on Facebook so things were pretty official.
But as time went on, we didn’t get any further into the adoption process. Oddly, neither of us were rushing or pushing things along. Mothering three kids was harder than I expected. It exhausted me like I never thought it would. It showed me my limitations and how easily overwhelmed I could be.
How could I possibly handle two more? I wondered.
I think my husband saw that for me, as well. I sometimes feel like he knows me better than I know myself, and he sensed that I was at my limit. But more than the fear of being more overwhelmed was the feeling that our current family—husband, wife and three girls— feels right.
As planners, changing the plan we had had for nine years—the plan to have a kid (or two or three) and then adopt a sibling group, the plan we told our families and friends and Facebook about—was hard.
It was hard to tell our girls the plan was changing. Our girls had talked about “their brothers” for years so we feared it might crush their little hearts. But when we explained our hearts and told them that Mommy and Daddy felt like our family is complete, they seemed to understand.
Changing our plan didn’t mean the original plan was bad or wrong, but it just wasn’t the best plan for our family. We adore our little party of five and, despite the fear and stress in changing the plan, there is peace in feeling whole.