Three years ago today we chose adoption.
We tried to get pregnant for fifteen years but the tests kept coming back negative. I remember thinking, “What were we doing wrong?” We had tried everything. Candles, soft lighting, instrumental soundtracks, romantic comedies, hanging from the ceiling. I eventually realized the reason we weren’t getting pregnant was because we were both guys.
We were not the first couple to find ourselves in this situation and while I am being facetious I am by no means making light of infertility. My point is when you want a child it does not matter if you are gay or straight, male or female, single or married, you just want a child; how you get that child is irrelevant.
For people like my husband and me (GAY!) who couldn’t have children the old fashioned way, we were forced to be creative and consider other options. As I meet and talk with more and more couples who are “just like us” (GAY!) I’ve come to realize that many same-sex couples are opting out of adoption and instead choosing to use a surrogate or attempt IVF, but for us adoption was always a first choice. And not the get-on-the-plane-and-fly-to-Malawi/India/Russia kind of adoption, but the look-in-your-own-backyard and adopt any one of the more than 100,000 foster children in the good old US of A kind of adoption.
You want a kid. These kids need a home. It’s simple math.
From the beginning we understood that our decision to adopt, specifically our decision to adopt domestically within the foster system, meant that we most likely would not raise a child from birth but we didn’t need a newborn any more than we needed to have a biological connection to our child. The fact is our child would be ours whether or not he shared our DNA. The fact is you become a parent the moment you see your child for the first time.
Still, adoption is not for everyone. If you need a child to look just like you then adoption is not for you. If you need to have a healthy white newborn baby then adoption is probably not for you. If you want a perfect child then adoption is definitely not for you.
But if you want to make a difference and share your heart and change a child’s life and in the process have your life significantly changed then adoption is absolutely for you.
Adoption takes time. It requires patience with an imperfect system. It demands that you be honest with yourself (and with your partner). It will make you wait and while you wait it will crush your soul and make you feel absolutely inadequate until the day you finally meet your child and you realize it was worth every minute, every frustration, every feeling that you just don’t measure up.
Our journey to parenthood took longer than nine months. It did not begin in a bedroom or in the office of a doctor. Ultimately it didn’t matter how we got there because we did get there. We now have two children. We adopted them when they were five and seven.
Adoption changed us. We used to be two people who wanted a kid. Now we’re a family.
Which One of You is the Mother? is available for pre-order on Amazon: Buy Which One of You is the Mother? here. No seriously, buy it now. It’s only $4.99 for the Kindle version and $9.99 for the paperback edition. A venti Starbucks Frappuccino costs more and unlike that Frappuccino this book won’t make you fat(ter).