We raised almost $500 for Reece’s Rainbow with our little beach bag giveaway. Thank you to everyone who messaged and emailed to say they had donated. You all can comment, you don’t have to be embarrassed. For those who did comment, you had VERY good odds of winning. I love that!
When we were bringing home Mighty I had this really peaceful feeling about his whole adoption. FPD was going to travel to get him, so no stress there, and his adoption was by far the easiest adoption we have ever completed. It was our second adoption from China, where the process is very linear and easily understood. I relaxed and told myself to enjoy what is usually a stressful process, but was this time just…nice. For the most part, I did enjoy it. It was all just peaceful.
When we brought Mighty home, his transition was excellent. We’re almost six months in, and his transition is still beautiful. He was so ready for a family. He opened his heart and loved us fearlessly, even though he had been rejected before by so many people. Mighty is the perfect example of true bravery, never afraid to love even when you might be hurt.
So, when Mighty came home, I very carefully announced that we were done adopting. Mighty is the cherry on top of the sundae that is my very amazing family. He is the completion. Or, he was supposed to be.
His amazing transition made me wonder, could we do this again?
I thought it almost immediately after Mighty came home, but pride got in my way. We said, well, I said, we were done. We have NINE children. That’s an insane amount of kids, more than three times the average number. We should be done. Shouldn’t we? I’ve wrestled with it for months. I’ve wrestled with pride and fear. I;ve wrestled with the fact that I had lied to myself.
I’m not done.
When I mentioned it to FPD he reacted the same way he has every time, with disbelief. We can NOT do this again. It causes strife every single time. I feel strongly that we get one chance on this Earth and we should live out loud. FPD would like to enjoy life’s finer things. When you have nine children, the finer things include going to the bathroom alone. He would like to do this, and a few other things with his remaining years on Earth. So, I let it go. I won’t push him into it. Then he brought it up, and it turns out, he’s wrestling with the same things I am, pride and fear. Living this way is insanity…right? We’d be liars if we denied it.
Maybe we’re nuts.
We began to open the discussion with the kids, the way we have every single time we’ve thought about adding a child to our home. They had questions. Would the child be sick like Dolly? Maybe. Maybe we would want to provide the same miracle for another child that Dolly has been gifted. Good health care is a true miracle when you’ve come from a place where there is none and you’re dying. Then, one of the children, for the first time ever, said no. This child said “I’m done.”
After wrestling with that for awhile, we, as parents had to decide how much we were going to force the issue. We are the adults in this situation, but our kids need to have some control over their world too. I worry all the time that they will feel like their lives were never their own and that we never consulted them before diving head long into mega family status. So, we told this child that, ultimately, the children in our home are our priority and nothing would be done unless everyone was on board.
But, this child tugged at my heart. I asked for a medical update and when it came in, it was so much better then expected. I went to FPD and told him. We spent the next 48 hours wrestling with what we wanted. Then, we decided to speak privately with the child with hesitations. We explained that the medical outlook was very good, and we watched, in shock, as this child, who is usually so stoic, dissolved into tears. You see, this child wanted another child so badly, but was very concerned about facing the prospect of loving another child who might die. He had lied to himself about not wanting another sibling, and he had lied to us about how scared he is. My heart is broken for him. What a frightening way to live at such a young age.
I had lied to myself when I thought that all the medical trauma with Dolly had no real ramifications for the other kids in our home. Truth is, it has had a major impact on them. Some of that impact is negative. Frankly, after coming from such a sheltered childhood, I can’t imagine what they must be going through. The possibility of losing their baby must be so frightening. We have now begun to discuss this openly, and so much good has come out of no longer living with the lie that none of us are afraid. At the same time, what they’re living through has made them better people then I will ever be. They have such a mature, broad world view because of the crazy family they’ve come from. How they will feel about that crazy family as they reach adulthood remains to be seen. For now, the only emotion any of them have expressed to us over the past few days about our size extra large family is pride.
Well, and the want to add another child to our family.
So, I think, here we go again…
–FullPlateMom, who feels a paperwork headache coming on.