I realize that we will be asked many times by family, friends, agency employees, state employees, strangers, school employees, church members and more why we made the decision to foster and adopt. While that decision is complicated for many, it isn’t really complicated for us. We have learned throughout our lives that it doesn’t take any genetic relation to make a family. And just because you are genetically related doesn’t mean you’ll be one. We both went through this on our own terms, with our own families, and circumstances with our own family has made fostering and adopting a precious reality. And we are thankful and hopeful. We feel that we are in a very unique place to make a profound difference on children’s lives, including our own. And they will certainly have a profound affect on us! If you would like to know more about our reasons, here they are!
My husband is the only child of his parents, who were both under twenty when he was born and they were married only a year. Both sets of grandparents were very influential in raising him. He has a half brother through his mother and a step-sister through his father’s now twenty-five year marriage with his step-mother. His mother has been remarried as well. Her current boyfriend is wonderful and we hope he’s soon part of the family (wink wink!). When I met my husband it was so difficult to learn the family dynamics and who was actually related because they are all so much like siblings, and his entire extended family gels together and grew up in close proximity to one another, I had never experienced family like that. While my family is loving and close, we’ve never been close geographically. So for me, this was a new thing to learn, when all cousins and second cousins have the same teachers and coaches and they grow up almost as brothers and sisters. I have trouble keeping track of who is a cousin, second cousin and who is on his mom’s side and dad’s side because they are all friends and neighbors and the families have been friendly for generations. The true meaning of family. My husband also has “cousins” (second cousins) that were put into foster care and split apart, as per their mother’s wishes. He is in contact with one of them and they are still trying to find one another to this day, and my mother in law is trying to help them find each other.
I have a small family, it’s just my sister and I. My dad is one of four and my mom is one of seven. We always wanted more kids around. We grew up far from our cousins but in a loving extended family. We saw everyone when we could, mainly at holidays. One of my cousins was adopted from foster care when he was 2. I was 13. I don’t really remember thinking it was strange or novel, just that he was the cutest little toddler. And he’s still the cutest little (or not so little) teen now. He’s always been a big part of the family (us girl cousins always need him to round out the estrogen). My sister and I learned when we were 26 and 28, respectively, that my mother was born out of wedlock in the 50s. Talk about a shocker! I love my grandfather and he will always be my Papa, but it is a strange feeling to learn that he is not my mom’s biological father. (Especially at 28!) We don’t talk about it, and my extended family doesn’t talk about it, so I don’t know if I will ever know the details or who that man is. But her family of seven children is truly blended: the eldest two children are from my Papa’s first marriage. Then she is from my grandmother’s first “relationship” we’ll call it. Then the next four are from my grandparents marriage. Growing up, I didn’t know that they weren’t all related. Does it matter? They are family and they have all stuck together. They help each other out and lean on each other when they need to.
So, if you’re still following (phew!), you can see that we both have backgrounds in diverse familial relationships! To put it mildly. We both would like a large family. We have a brilliant and hilarious two year old daughter and I will write a separate post on this at some point, but that pregnancy was a huge surprise! If you’ve been reading the blog you know that we had a miscarriage this Spring. We’ve also had a few failed attempts to get pregnant since then. We will still foster/adopt whether we have another child, it just adds fuel to the fire when we are unable, if you know what I mean! We definitely do not want an only child, and we prefer a larger family. Plus, we are both over 30 so I know I can hear my husband’s clock ticking! Haha. I have also hinted that I am on medication that I need to stop prior to and during pregnancy. So when we are trying to get pregnant I have to stop. And every time we don’t get pregnant I have to go back on it. And truthfully, the whole yo-yo affect is really making me a cranky person. So I am very much looking forward to our first meeting with the agency and getting this whole show on the road!
I hope that you enjoyed a little peek into our world and why we have chosen this path. I know that this choice is not for everyone but for our family we know that this is the right way for us to go!