Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Decision Has Been Made

As I assume all beginning bloggers must feel, I begin this blog with the assumption that no one is actually going to read it. I am okay with that because I think the real reason I want to write a blog at all is to have some place to put all of the emotions that I know will come to me throughout this process of adoption that we are about to begin. If someone happens to read it, if someone happens to have experienced the same things, if someone happens to be able to offer some words of wisdom, well then that is just a giant bonus.

So, I suppose I should begin by explaining how I got to this point in the first place. Let's see...okay, three years ago is as good of a place to start as any. Three years ago I met the love of my life. Carla and I met online, yep, it's true. We are one of those success stories that talks about in their commercials. We have spent the past three years falling more and more in love with each other and building a life together that I am truly proud of. In October, we will be getting married. Twice! Since lesbian couples cannot legally get married in Illinois, we will be traveling to the beautiful state of Vermont to have a legal wedding at the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory (a good consolation for not being able to get married in our home state) and then we are going to come home and have a big ceremony and party in Chicago!

Anyway, for as long as both my partner and I can remember, we have said that we don't want children. We both had very different reasons for this. For me, I spent most of my life believing that I was going to be alone for the rest of my life. It took a long time for me to come out and a long time to believe that I could ever be in a healthy, stable, long-term relationship. And then Carla came along and my whole world changed. All of a sudden, I began to imagine a future for myself. A future that involved someone else and a future that was going to be filled with love instead of loneliness.

And then, my nephew was born. I have to say that this was the first time in my life that I actually loved a newborn baby. And things began to change. I didn't really think about what was changing, but I knew that it was there. And then one day, while we were driving to see my nephew, Carla brought up the subject of children. We both admitted that we had started to change our minds about wanting a kid. And by the time we arrived at my sister's house, we had come to this amazingly huge, amazingly new, and amazingly terrifying decision that we wanted to adopt a child!

Over the next few days, we spent a lot of time researching adoption, gay and lesbian adoption, adoption agencies, etc. Some of what we found excited us to no end and some of what we found terrified us. We learned that international adoption was pretty much not an option for lesbian couples, but we also learned that domestic adoption had actually become easier for gay and lesbian couples over the past few years. We learned that adoption is incredibly expensive and that heartbreak is almost guaranteed at some point along the way. But we also learned that if you can tough it out, if you can wait the average of 18-24 months, then you have the possibility of having this amazing new life added to your own and that you have the possibility of welcoming this new being into your family. And somehow, that makes it all seem worthwhile.

So, we are still in what I tell my students is called the information gathering stage. We hope to talk to some people who have already been through the process. We are slowly sharing our new decision with friends and family. And we are having a lot of discussions between just the two of us on how we are going to make it through this whole thing.

Right now, I alternate between being unbelievably excited and unbelievably terrified. There is so much about this process that scares me, but the end result makes me want to do it anyway. So, should someone happen to see this post who has been through the adoption process already, any words of wisdom or advice would be much appreciated.

Until then, I hope to use this blog as a place to put my emotions down as we go through this process.

Here's to mommies and here's to babies!

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