Monday, July 23, 2012

This or That?

This post is a long-time coming. In fact, I started talking about it these posts and then left the topic for, what, almost a year?

Well, it's time to revisit the adoption topic and add a bit of a twist. It's been (mostly) decided that we want child #3, the question that remains is - how?

When I say mostly it's because Bryan still has a few reservations about adding another to the brood. One more child means a bigger car (can't fit 3 car seats into the RAV4), a bigger house (can't adopt while we live in this house, and 3 kids sharing one room is a bit much), and the other financial concerns. His concerns are valid, and someone has to be thinking about practicality (not that I'm impractical, but I do think about this topic with a little more emotion than reason).

But he knows how much I want a larger family and he's willing to compromise - I wanted 4.

We're not in a place to either get pregnant or adopt at this very moment... that will probably happen next year. But I can't stop thinking about it. And I need a place to record my thoughts, which is why I have a blog - n'est-ce pas?

So, here's what I have rambling around in my brain.

Age Differences

If we were to have another baby, the very earliest that I could give birth would be when Griffin is 4 and Penelope is almost 5.5. The gap in age isn't huge, but nonetheless, I do have a few reservations about such a gap...

My brother and I are 5 years apart and we only really became close when we were both adults. Not to say that we didn't have a good relationship as children, because we (mostly) did. We didn't fight excessively and we generally got along - but we were always at very two different stages in our social/emotional development. When I moved away, my brother was just about to start high school - and while I would see him on holidays, birthdays, or summers, I didn't spend a lot of time with him during his high school years. We reconnected after that - he was my Man of Honor in my wedding - and we're close now (not weekly phone call close, but still close). I love my brother, and I know he loves me. But I do wish that we had been closer during that time period when everyone really needs a big brother/big sister - even if they do have awesome parents.

So the thought of having a child that many years removed from P&G makes me pause. I know that there's a lot more to sibling bonding than age difference. Even children born close together - or even twins - aren't guaranteed to be close all their lives. Relationships have natural ebbs and flows. Regardless, I can't force any of my children to have close relationships - and even if we have a child much younger than the first two, Bryan and I can still help foster a close relationships between the kids.

Even with that said, adoption means that we might be able to find a child whose closer in age to P&G - one that is a year or two younger than Griffin. Because even though age difference doesn't dictate sibling relationship, it certainly can't hurt.

Another age related benefit of adoption is that we don't have to go through that horrific newborn period again. I love my children, but newborns aren't a whole lot of fun. Night wakings, constant eating and pooping, and later - teething. Ugh.

Granted, newborns have positives. The newborn smell, for one. Snuggling is another plus.

But toddlers snuggle too.


Having another child puts us on a rather predictable timeline. Unless we struggle with fertility, we have a fair amount of control about when our family expands.

Adoption is a bit more nebulous. After the classes/home studies are completed we try and find a match and then go through a process - visits, overnights, check ins, the move in - and then the date when the adoption is final. Each stage could potentially be road blocked and so things are a little less certain (although it's not like pregnancy and childbirth are without roadblocks). If we find a child and something falls through - then the disappointment or grief that might come with that is something we have to process as a family.

And yet - pregnancy and birth is not without risk. There's no guarantee that we won't have to deal with disappointment and grief if we decide to try for another baby.

There's more - a lot more - that's been rolling around in my head. But it's late and I'm (finally) tired. More to come, I assure you.

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