Last week I turned 27, which – for some unknown reason – I’ve always considered the “grown-up age.” It’s fitting, then, that we also recently decided to become parents, the ultimate grown-up act.

No, I’m not pregnant, but feel free to treat me like I am for the next 6-15 months, the amount of time we’re told it typically takes to adopt a child through our agency. By that, I do not mean touch my belly. Just think of me – and Darwin, too – as “expecting.” Because we are – we’re expecting a child who is a complete, thrilling mystery to us as to gender, race, age (we specified up to age 2) and every other possible trait.

When we were newlyweds, in those blissfully ignorant days before we found out for sure getting pregnant would be difficult for us, we enjoyed talking about what our biological child might look like – genetically it was impossible for him or her to have brown eyes (we both have blue/green); our dads both have black hair, so we could have a black-haired child; or he or she could have red hair, like D’s grandmother; he or she could have Darwin’s gorgeous smile; I hoped he or she would take after Darwin in the body shape department and not inherit the Fat Arms of Destiny from me.

The hardest thing about deciding to adopt has been letting go of that imaginary child. We comfort ourselves on that front by saying we’re not ruling out having a biological child in the future. Maybe I’ll be more willing to undergo invasive fertility treatments and month after month of possible disappointment once we already have a child … there will be less riding on it then.

We’ve been debating adoption for a long time, years even, and we are both relieved to have it decided. More than the relief is the excitement. I didn’t expect to be this happy just to have made the decision; I didn’t expect to feel this light, this hopeful, this certain. I expected the adoption process to make me a bundle of nerves, and maybe it yet will, but for now there is such a feeling of rightness about it. The long stream of paperwork stretching out before us doesn’t freak me out; it feels manageable. There are steps that we will plod through, applications to fill out, forms to get, life stories to write, fingerprints and background checks and home visits. But they are steps I can control somewhat, more than I could control whether my body released an egg or not or behaved in any way like it was supposed to. I can check them off a list, and each check mark will bring us closer to a child that will, somehow, miraculously, become ours.

This is not to say I’m not terrified. Let me just say it – I am ter.rif.ied. Darwin, too. We’ve never been parents before. I looked around this big, old house this morning and thought, “How on earth are we going to take care of all this and a kid, too?” I think about flying to another state to pick up a newborn and bringing that child, that strange, squirming, possibly screaming child, on an airplane full of irritable strangers. I wonder how I will get any work done at home with a kid demanding my attention. I wonder if I will be patient enough, firm enough, calm enough.

But I’m told these are things all future parents feel. No change this huge can come without a little trepidation, right?

And I’m working on simplifying, decluttering and finishing projects to make this house a place of peace – not stress – before we bring a new little bundle of mess and chaos into it. We have a driving force now! Motivation! No more laziness allowed! And because I can never have too much motivation, I’ve been watching Clean House obsessively. Last night I sorted through my vast collection of shoes and found at least 20 pairs to donate. (You know this is serious when I’m parting with my precious shoes!)

Our wait for a child could be a long one or a shockingly short one – our agency has tales of parents matched as soon as 24 hours after completing their home study – so we’re mentally preparing ourselves for a long one, while physically preparing for a short one. Either way, we want to be ready! As ready as we can be anyway … I’m sure there are nothing but surprises awaiting us.

posted by K | filed under Adoption, Family, Simplify, Wishing | 17 Comments


17 Responses to “Grown-Up Time”

  1. Emily on July 23rd, 2008 11:48 am

    Good for you! I am so happy that this decision feels so right for you guys! Congratulations, and I am wishing your guys a short wait!!!!

  2. halloweenlover on July 23rd, 2008 12:39 pm

    I’m so happy for you! What fabulous news!!!

    Just use the old nesting excuse and finish the whole house in the next 2 months. I could happen, right? And when you finish, come over here too!

    Congratulations for making the decision. It is going to be amazing.

  3. Leah on July 23rd, 2008 3:40 pm

    this is awesome news!! i’m so excited for you guys. people who choose to adopt are the bravest, strongest people in the world – i hope to join your rank some day! there’s nothing like expecting a child (be it biological or otherwise) to get you motivated. we got our C.O. 3 months before bringing home our first child. if we didn’t have that motivation, we’d probably still be bunking in the dining room with an unfinished 2nd floor ;)

  4. Jordana on July 24th, 2008 10:08 am

    Congratulations! That’s wonderful news and I hope you manage to whittle down the house to-do list quickly.

  5. maggie on July 24th, 2008 11:01 am

    oh my gosh oh my gosh! that is such great news. we were you guys 18 months ago. doing the home study, decluttering, preparing. it’s the most exciting thing we’ve ever done. and when you get that phone call about the little one – you will get chills. it’s awesome. :) sending good thoughts your way. ~maggie

  6. Stacie on July 24th, 2008 11:22 am

    Congratulations and best of luck to you both!

  7. Tish on July 24th, 2008 7:43 pm

    Congratulations! What exciting news! Also, Happy late Birthday!

  8. Deborah on July 24th, 2008 8:55 pm

    Congratulations! As a mom of six (two of whom were adopted)I feel like I can safely say adoption is the best and hardest thing I ever did. Enjoy the journey!

    BTW, our babies came to us 5 weeks after our hs was completed :)

  9. natalie on July 26th, 2008 12:37 pm

    I am so excited for y’all!! My heart just burts with happiness for you. Adoption is such a beautiful thing. I know I commented before and said as much, but I’m adopted (private-closed domestic adoption at 2 days old) and if you ever want to hear an adoptee’s voice about anything or an adopter’s (I can ask my parents)…please let me know. My mother says all the time there were things she wish I could have told her before I came along–if that makes sense. :-) Again, I am so happy for you and good luck and God bless!

  10. natalie on July 26th, 2008 12:37 pm

    Oh, and my email address is

  11. Jill A. on July 26th, 2008 7:28 pm

    Congratulations on your decision. Adoption is a beautiful experience — we were foster parents to a newborn baby who went on to her adoptive home at 5 months old. We feel so blessed to have been part of her journey and amazed at how perfectly she fits with her parents — like they were made for each other from the start. All the best to you & Darwin during your expecting period. May it be short and may you soon be snuggling your child.

  12. kelly on July 26th, 2008 10:10 pm

    I’m gonna be an aunt!

  13. kelly on July 26th, 2008 10:10 pm

    the cool aunt

  14. Lenise on July 28th, 2008 1:40 pm

    Congratulations!! Adoption is a wonderful wonderful thing. May your journey be a profound blessing to you both and to your future child. If we lived closer, I’d be pushing my baby stuff on you. As it is, it’ll probably end up at Goodwill =]

  15. Kristin on July 29th, 2008 11:25 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are so excited, and having such great support makes is all the better! :)

    I’m looking forward to yard saleing for cute baby stuff. :)

  16. Catherine P on July 29th, 2008 2:58 pm

    Congratulations to both of you. Just so you know, you never know what may come along. I tried for years to get pregnant with my ex husband. it ruined my marriage and turned me into a bitter person. Two years later I married a man with two kids. I had been told that I would NEVER get pregnant without invasive procedures. Guess what….Here it is now…ELEVEN years after I started trying, I am pregnant. It was a WHAT!!! moment. I figured it would never happen and the second it was out of my mind and actually didn’t want a baby (my step kids are 10, and 11 and DH is 42!) But like I never know what’s going to happen. Good luck!

  17. Cami on July 30th, 2008 4:35 pm

    Congratulations! As an adopted child myself, I
    can tell you it was the best thing for me! Privately adopted at just a day or two old from back in the day of matching babies to the profiles of adoptive parents by an agency. My parents went on to have a baby themselves a few years later, again a story of “never going to happen” but did. When the 3 of us are together, mom and I have the same voice and people don’t believe that we don’t share genes. It isn’t in the genes, it is in the mom who is there at 2 in the morning.

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