I feel like life has got us sitting at a little bit of a crossroads right now. FullPlateDad and I have quite a few decisions to make, and while my instinct is to turn one direction, his is to go another. This is where having ten kids is hard. When you’re driving a large bus, making those kind of hard turns is very risky. You could roll the whole bus, and then where would we be?
FPD and I have been together since we were 16 and 17-years-old. At first, he was the risk taker. He didn’t plan a whole lot. He let me lead the way, and I liked leading the way. In our high school and college years, he was the one who pushed me to take more risks. He was the one who loved to travel, see new places, and to never have a real plan. I was the one who had life mapped out. We settled down, built a life together, and slowly we started to change, to reverse roles.
Yes, I was still the planner. I was the one to tell him it was time to buy a house. He said ‘we’re so young.’ I promised it would be okay. It turned out great. Then I told him I thought it was time to adopt. He told me ‘we’re so young’, and we were, but it turned out beautifully. Overall, though we were still living a safe life. We had wonderful jobs, stable jobs, safe jobs, and an average number of kids.
Then, Ghana came. It called me in a way that it hasn’t called him. It opened my eyes in a way that it didn’t open his. I’m not saying that he’s blind, but he had already lived a less sheltered life. He had already seen it in little ways every day. I never had. This was my first time really seeing the beautiful broken of a country that is still developing.
I was never the same. I started to change, to become the risk taker. I no longer want to live a safe life. Instead, I came home understanding that I get one chance at this. One life. And feeling like if I don’t grab onto it while I have it, make the most of it, move out of my comfort zone, that it will all be for nothing.
Poor FullPlateDad. I moved so fast from one role to another that he couldn’t keep up.
He quit the job he hated, with my encouragement, and took a risk he never thought he would take. He has no employer, I only have half of one. We both earn a wonderful income being our own employers, but there is no safety net anymore. We adopted three more children and he thought maybe life would return to whatever its new normal was. It didn’t. I kept telling FPD…”I think it might be time to *insert giant life change*…” and every time, he agreed. But, FullPlateDad has started to feel like we were climbing further and further out onto a limb that hung over a giant cliff.
Then China came.
Now life will really never be the same. Both FPD and I saw it. We both went there, but again, my eyes were opened and I came back with a renewed sense of wanting less and giving more. He came back feeling scared, like there is an ocean of need out there, and we are just one small speck of sand at the bottom. That there is no possible way we can make a difference. I vowed to show him that isn’t true. I have spent the last six months since coming home with Poppy advocating so hard for the kids who are left behind.
I did it to the detriment of my marriage.
I poured myself into something that he doesn’t understand. He and I will never see the world the exact same way. I can’t make him. Will it destroy us? No. We fight. We argue. We talk. We heal. The kids hear it, and hopefully, see the commitment we have to seeing each other’s point of view, to talking it through and staying when the other person is so angry they’re ready to throw in the towel (that’s all FullPlateDad, I try to give up ALL THE TIME).
We’re at this crossroads though. I feel life pulling me one way. He feels life pulling another. Hopefully, we can find another road that leads us somewhere together.
–FullPlateMom, who knows that this is marriage.