arms wide shut

I had an “it’s not fair” week, last week. The infertility kind. Lots of crying. Lots of, “I don’t want any more kids.” Lots of angst and hostility toward my uterus. It was a pretty crappy week. In fact, if Adam had not kidnapped me to the mountains, I probably would have had a nervous breakdown…literally. It has nothing to do with the kids. It is not the fact that we are homeschooling this year, and I am stressed about curriculum choices. It is not because we just moved into a new house last month. It is simply because making fertility decisions is so exhausting.

Adam and I have been working on our Foster License since March. We finally signed our contract two weeks ago, and received our license in the mail. We are licensed for three children, ages 0-5. (I would up the ages except for the fact that I didn’t want to juggle a public school schedule along side my homeschool schedule.) To get licensed through the state we had to attend a weekly three hour class for a total of 10 weeks. Complete a binder full of paperwork. Get fingerprinted. Ask for SEVEN recommendations to be written. Pass a home inspection. Etc. Etc. Etc. You know, all the stuff one has to do for an adoption, except a lot more hours of “parent” training. Anyway, we made it through. And now we could have a placement at any time.

The problem: I am not totally convinced this is the path I want to travel. My arms long to be back in a Colombian orphanage. But it is very expensive. Our last adoption cost $35,000. If we go back to Colombia, we could easily count on another $30,000. Adoption through Foster Care is Free! But it is not just about the money. That is an easy enough hurdle to jump over, if we knew Colombia is where we belonged. We also have not started the arduous paperwork process, which means hours and hours of prep work. The Foster Care prep work is already done. We have a green light for children. There are so many children here who need permanent homes. And yet, there are so many children throughout the entire world who are in truly dire circumstances…in need of a mom and a dad. Colombia means a finalized adoption when we get on the plane. Adoption through Foster Care has the potential to be much messier, but not necessarily. It could be as smooth as silk, and we could have our new children integrated in our home before we ever got close to a referral in the International arena.

Do you see how this ever-faithful pragmatist is conflicted? Yes, very conflicted. And what does it make me want to do? Run far far away, hide under a rock, shut my arms, and say ‘no more children’ three times, as I plug my ears with my index fingers. Ugghhhh! Unfortunately, that is not me. When I strip my internal dialogue down and peal the layers of doubt and conflict away, I find fear at the very core of my struggle. Fear of the unknown. Fear that my next set of children won’t be as warm as the last. Fear that I will have to share my new children with people that I don’t think are good for them, but who the courts dictate I must. Fear that I will become overly attached and then have to say goodbye. Fear that I will keep my arms tightly shut and won’t attach because of all the reasons I just gave. So yeah, Fear it is!

So what do we do then? Our current answer is a big fat, “We Don’t Know!” How is that for insightful? I do feel more settled this week, at least. A backpacking trip to the Mountains, and a timely phone call from a friend helped me calm down. For now, we have decided to take a foster placement and see how it goes. We will never know unless we try. And I do not want to shut out potential opportunities because of fear. That would be very silly. I actually hope that adopting through the state works out…for all the practical thoughts that run through my head. And it is not like the whole pregnancy thing has worked out since our adoption… glad we didn’t “wait” to find the ninos.We both want our family to be complete soon.

But if we have to be a little more patient, and pay a little more money, then we will gladly do it. It is the not knowing that wreaks havoc on us infertiles.

Exhausting, I say! 🙂


  1. We have some friends here in Missouri that first had two bio-kids, then adopted one child domestically. Let’s just say that the domestic adoption didn’t turn out as they had hoped. They then adopted four siblings from Colombia. Three years later, they went back to Colombia and got another group of siblings – this time there were five. These are not rich people, they are dairy farmers – but their kids are all happy and well cared for and cared about. They now are talking about adopting more siblings from Colombia – and we thought we were crazy!

    There’s just something about Colombian kids you gotta love…

  2. The unknown is torture! You and Adam are so good at following inspiration. I do not doubt that you will be led to the exact place that you are meant to be, at the right time, to the right children. I do not doubt it.

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