Monday, January 5, 2009

Dilemma

Tomorrow is supposed to be the day I call our foster care worker and tell her we're ready for a new placement. But Saturday morning I went to my beloved yoga class and I cleared my mind and focused on breathing, and into the stillness came the realization that if we adopt a foster daugher now, I will probably never get pregnant or have a baby again.

Because I'm 37 and my days are numbered. Because our family is definitely reaching maximum capacity in terms of temporal and emotional resources. While it's possible that one day down the road we'll feel there's room for #7, don't bank on it.

Mark and I both feel strongly that we need to adopt another foster daughter. So Haley will have a sister. So Haley isn't the only adopted child, the odd one out. So Haley can be the mentor. So the boys don't see girliness as a disease specific to Haley. Our overall family dynamics need another girl. (And with our current record, I feel zero confidence in the probability of our producing a girl the old-fashioned way.)

As Mark hastens to point out, there has to come a time when there are no more babies. True 'dat. But to me, having a baby is about the most fun, beautiful, fulfilling thing there is. And I guess I'm realizing that being in the active child-bearing stage of life is a big part of my identity. Closing that door feels like a very, very big deal.

7 comments:

  1. So what's the decision? You are leaving me in suspense. We are going through a very similar circumstance right now. We are ready for another child, and have been working towards foster/adoption for over a year with zero results. We are starting to wonder if we should just have another one the old-fashioned way. I am even hoping we can pull an "Angela" (get pregnant, and then get a foster kid). I just can't seem to be able to figure out if we need to get pregnant, or just be patient and wait

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  2. Closing that door is a big deal - but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It's true that the stage must end. And now you get to move on to the wonderful "teenager" phase (only a little sarcasm there). Another girl does sound like a good plan - as does another foster child. If both of those things could be in one child that would be even better! So, I guess my advice is to do some more yoga and some more praying and see what you think. It'll only affect you and your family for the rest of eternity!

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  3. Jeez I hear you on this. Now that we have had this (final) installment with still so many theoretical years left of fertility, I have a hard time saying "done." I have SO enjoying mothering as I have gotten older that I can only imagine that it would get better. But yeah, no on the total sum getting bigger.

    But, just as with money, there will never come a time when we have enough so we just have to figure how many more arrows the quiver can hold. FYI your arrow can hold at least 5+ more peeps.

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  4. Thanks for your comments. Nanc, I think you're right that the sad feelings don't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. Lee, I never thought of it that way before--that it's like money and you'll never feel like it's enough.

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  5. Closing that door is hard and sad. I know, I've done it. One of the things that made it much easier for me was knowing at the birth of our last that he was the last. I've been able to treasure up those "last" moments as they have come along and feel at peace with it all. It's amazing how my patience level has grown. You probably haven't done that with Jesse which, I'm sure, would make that door closing harder. Isn't it great you have the wonderful resource of prayer to help you with this?

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  6. What interesting thoughts! I really don't know what to say other than even when the door closes in this life, there is life beyond this one, where our joy (aka children) continues...

    I loved being pregnant, albeit just once, and I can't stand the thought of never being pregnant again. But I'm kind of on the other end of the spectrum since we've just begun our family.

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  7. In reading back through your post and my comment again I realize that I really do look forward to the "teenager" phase of child-rearing. It seems like maybe that part of parenting is a little more often about coaching from the sidelines than playing with them. And while I'm sure that's really hard sometimes - it must be nice sometimes too. No little babies crawling on you during Sacrament meeing. You can grocery shop by yourself without having to make arrangements. You get the day-time when the kids are at school! You get to NOT be the mother-of-little-kids. The more I think about it the more I think that could really, really be a good thing. - - But I also realize that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. And maybe that phase only looks so good to me because I am years away from the fence still.
    I'm sure I'll miss my "babies" - but some days (like today) I also think it would be really nice to NOT have them.

    *sigh* Can you tell it was a tough day? Should I even hit "Publish" to this cynical comment?

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