People often ask us "why Ethiopia?" but they rarely ask "why adoption?" Most likely they just assume a reason, or they don't want to be rude. It's not like it's a question I won't answer, so long as it's asked politely.
Hmmm, why did we want to adopt... well, we've both always felt pulled to adopt. From the time I saw a video on Romanian orphanages in high school that made me cry... and my husband with his fear of overpopulation... But that's what made us open to it, what made is want to do it some day in the future.
What made us totally thrilled with the idea of adoption, to the point that it was preferable to continuing to try for a biological child via fertility treatments?
Something about us, something about the way our minds work or the way our hearts work or something, well, it just clicked. We were supposed to adopt and we did and we have an incredible child to show for it.
I think there was a defining moment, though, a realization, an "ah hah!" The same realization I had the first time around that I'm having this time around.
I visit web forums a lot. Like, more than a daily basis. I used to be a part of epregnancy. I used to chat on the TTC group and wish and hope and pray and pine away hoping for a pregnancy. But... see, people kept getting pregnant and having babies and I just... didn't feel like a part of that. I was happy for them, sure, and I was touched by some of their stories. But it didn't seem like where I was meant to be, and it really didn't thrill me. Someone would announce their pregnancy and I'd let out a small smile, no jealousy felt, and congratulate.
Then I started to research adoption and started to visit adoption forums. That's when it happened. "She's coming home!" I'd read. "Out of PGN!" "We got the call!" "We're on our way to meet our son!" Just writing those words makes my heart clench and tears well up. My God I cannot explain it... while the news of a pregnancy just makes me nod and smile, the news of adoption makes me all out sob in utter joy. I'm thrilled to the core by adoption, by the joining of lives to make a family. I don't just accept it, I'm not resigned to it, and I didn't settle for it. I'm thrilled by it. I prefer it. This, to me, is the perfect way to build a family.
Today the Babies! post was put up on ChinaAdoptTalk. I have no desire to adopt from China anytime in the near future, and we are far to young to even be considered as potential candidates. And yet... reading the posts, seeing people praying and hoping and waiting month after month, knowing that there are children being left on the streets and raised in orphanages, and then to see the families so gladly and tearfully announce their new children... I cry every time. I pray with them. I hope for them. I get angry along side them. Sure, it's secretly and lurker-ly, but who cares? I feel for them, far more than I feel for a person going through fertility treatments and far more than I feel for a first time TTCer (though, remember, I DO care).
Someday, maybe, the thought of a pregnancy will thrill me. It's certainly still a possibility, one Nik and I still entertain, and I wouldn't see it as second best to adoption just as I don't see adoption as second best to giving birth. We'll just have to follow the road layed out before us, no matter how dim our vision, and trust that tomorrow will bring us great joy, one way or another.
Lily in a loafing barn
10 months ago