When I turned 40, I stood before my husband, a large box under each arm.
“Pampers or Depends, sweetie, you pick. But one way or another we are heading towards diapers.”
A few years earlier, I had lobbied for French bulldogs. So cute! But we already had a dog, not to mention my father’s 23-year-old incontinent cat (we get a lot of incontinent animals), and my husband’s response was…not really printable.
So, I moved onto kids. That day in Wal-Mart when I showed him our diaper options, I think he was leaning toward Depends. We’ll never know; I started gathering information about adoption the next day.
I had always wanted to adopt. I’m not sure why, but for decades the desire played like background music in my brain. I knew my child was coming to me via adoption. Child. Singular. Tim agreed to ONE CHILD AND ONE CHILD ONLY, either homegrown or adopted. And then he wheeled and dealt: “I will say yes to two French bulldogs instead of one child.” (He was a little nervous about the parenting gig at that point.) I don’t blame him.
When we were in our twenties, he wanted two children. We were living in apartments (not very nice ones) at the time, eeking out bad livings as actors/couriers/waitstaff/reception/whatever we could get. When he said he wanted two kids by the time he was thirty, I thought, Suuuurrrrre. As if I’d become a mother under these circumstances. There’s plenty of time for that. Career was still far more important to me than motherhood. I was still far more important to me than motherhood.
And then my own parents died. And my uncle. And my aunt. That left me and my brother. Today is, in fact, the 18th anniversary of my beloved mother’s passing, Z”L (may her memory be a blessing). At that point, Tim had lived through years of cancer and hospitals and my grieving. He’d been gentle and strong and present for me, but he was tired. We both were. We needed a break and to get our happier lives back. But when my parents were gone, I was thirty-five, and I realized that being a daughter was one of my favorite things ever. No career could come close to that feeling of unconditional love. I wanted it again, this time on the giving end.
We waited and we talked and we wrestled with the idea of a baby (if you read Carolyn’s last post, you know I do not make decisions easily…although not about clothes, Carolyn. Please. Look at my wardrobe.) Nonetheless, at the ripe old age of 42 and 4o, respectively, Tim and I started the adoption journey. And magic happened. The kind of magic I think only God can orchestrate. Carolyn and I got both got babies, and our lives truly began to intertwine.
–to be continued…