Should you adopt just because you should?

Last Wednesday, as Wren, Chickadee and I were getting ready to go on a walk around the neighborhood, I got a phone call from the adoption agency.  It was important.  It was the kind of call that makes you stop everything you are doing.

Mama Tee had given birth to a baby boy, and she wanted us to adopt him.

“Hold up!” I am hearing you all say. “Didn’t you just see her?  Did you know she was pregnant?”

Yes, we saw her back in February.  She was wearing a coat indoors which was a little strange.  While I briefly entertained the possibility of her being pregnant, the subject did not come up.  I figured she would tell me if she wanted to, and I left it at that.

Did I secretly wish deep down that she was pregnant and that we could raise him?  Yes.

So why did Okey and I respond no?  It’s complicated.

The reason I’ve struggled with writing this post is that I don’t feel it’s my place to share the details surrounding his birth.  I’m not going to reveal much here because I want to respect him and his family.

Like his sister, he was born early.  No one knew when he would be released from the hospital.  With my two little ones, I knew that I could not make the daily trips (80-miles one-way) to see him.  I felt strongly that he needed his mother to hold him daily, and I could not offer him that.

Okey and I also recognized that our girls have needs and fully deserve our attention.  I’m sure we could have made it work, bringing him into our family, but it would have been a lot of work.  We’re already feeling like a fragile ecosystem.

We spent days asking difficult questions.  We felt like philosophers by the end of the long weekend.

Does blood matter that much?  Should we adopt because it is the right thing to do?  How do we fit three car seats in the SUV?  Will Wren resent us?

We talked it over with our parents and some friends in the adoption world, and I’m so thankful for their support and perspectives.

The tug on my heart to hold him was there, but I didn’t feel a motherly love toward him.  When we got the call about Wren, we knew she was our daughter.  The bond with her was instantaneous.  We just didn’t get that same peace with him.  Maybe it’s because we weren’t looking to expand our family, or maybe it just was not meant to be.

Some Interesting Things

I was right. Things did get interesting last week.

For starters, Chickadee started to roll over during her diaper changes with glee. She knew what she was doing — making my task very difficult.

Then, later that same day, she got on all fours and crawled forward a few inches. Each following day, she practiced her crawling until this weekend where she showed off her speed crawling to her grandparents.

And then I found her sitting up. She got that way herself and seemed confused about it. But as she kept at it, she became more confident, and she loves her new ability.

My “sits there and smiles” baby is now a delightful handful.

So when we were asked this week to adopt a baby boy (oh yeah, that happened — I told you it was an interesting week!), we had to make the most difficult decision in our married life.

I’ll get to that in another post.

A Chickadee Update (Seven Months)

I’ve been told that I don’t write enough about Chickadee.  I responded along the lines of “well, she’s not very interesting.”  She’s a happy and mellow baby who doesn’t do much.  Seriously, she just sits there and smiles.

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I’ll admit I haven’t been as good at getting out the nice camera once a month to take her pictures as I was with her sister.  I could blame the cold and snowy winter, though honestly, it’s second child syndrome.  As someone who suffered from sixth child syndrome, I should be a little more sympathetic to her plight.  Case in point:  One of my infant photos I’ve come to learn is not of me.

So let’s see, what can I write about my Chickadee…

Chickadee doesn’t sleep through the night consistently, so she’s still in our room.  We are hoping to put her in the room with her big sister, but Wren isn’t sleeping through the night either so it seems like a pretty bad idea to do it now.

Chickadee is a pretty tall baby.  She’s all torso (like her daddy).  Her hair is starting to come in, and it’s blonde?  red?  I’m going to go with strawberry blonde.  It changes colour depending on the light, but there is always a hint of red.  Her daddy also had red hair as an infant (shocker) as did one of my sisters so I shouldn’t have been surprised, even though I was.  Her eyes are mesmerizingly blue.  I’m pretty confident that they’re not going to change.

I can count  on one hand how many times Chickadee has rolled onto her back from her tummy.  On Friday, she finally rolled from her tummy to her back!  Without using words, she cried “I have made a terrible mistake!”

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I don’t know why she doesn’t like rolling around.  She is pretty strong and flexible.  In fact, her daddy’s nickname for her is Pretzel.  She can still wrap her legs around her head like some acrobat.  And when Chickadee is made super happy, she folds to her side.   So I’m pretty sure her desire to crawl will trump all in the end.  She doesn’t mind tummy time and can get into the crawl position easily.  She started rocking a few weeks ago, and so it’s only a matter of time before things around here get real interesting.

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