There are few decisions in one’s life that cause more emotional turbulence than the decision to become a parent. Turbulence which intensifies when the route chosen is anything other than traditional. As far back as I can remember, I have looked forward to holding my son in my arms, stroking those pudgy cheeks with my thumb as I kiss his forehead. The proudest joy-filled tears clouding my vision as I breathe in his newborn smell for the first time. Knowing my life would forever change in the moment his tiny voice broke through the barrier of nervous expectation in an infants cry, announcing to the world that he had arrived.
Just like most perspective fathers, the idea of sharing that experience with a wife I adore — the porch light welcoming us home from across a plush, mowed lawn, wrapped in white-picket fence. Inside, a freshly painted nursery sitting in perfect stillness, awaiting the arrival of its new and tiny occupant — was truly the creative genius my mother assured me I had in spades as a schoolboy passing the time in a distant and pleasant daydream.
But, unlike most prospective fathers, I am doing this alone, and without the pleasure of the love-making that created this new life. It’s not that I didn’t try to paint that picture on the blank canvas of my imagined future. God knows I loved the woman I had once been engaged to marry. Even after several break-ups and reconciliations, our love for one another somehow survived, despite the advice of friends and casual observers on both sides of the metaphorical isle. But reality, as is often the case, has a way of taking up residency in the places where hopes and dreams once flourished.
My reality came knocking, eviction notice in hand, after an unplanned pregnancy “scare,” in which one of us was terrified and the other, hopeful. Which was which is unimportant and I will never tell you. I won’t even hint at it. All you need to know is that the “terrified” insisted on the morning after pill and the “hopeful” regretfully paid for it. It was at that moment that the “hopeful” made the decision to adopt. A decision which ultimately led to the mutual termination of the imperfect and stubborn love that had occupied much of the decade of my life, leading me to this decision. I think I always knew deep down that I would eventually have to choose between the two.
I chose this child and never looked back. Truth be told, in that moment, I have never experienced a time where I’ve felt happier and more at peace in this life. I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss her, but I’m trading up for the long haul.
So adoption, right? Well, adoption is a great option. One I would have dived into head first, had I the mere sum of between 30 – 50k with the picture perfect life a parent putting their child up for adoption would choose. “Our Suburban paradise will never be complete without the addition of your precious angel and future CEO/Harvard Business School Graduate to leave our vast fortune in African diamond mines to…Our Yacht’s nursery was just completed…Something about country clubs…You get the picture” But that is not my reality, either. I work a Graveyard shift as a (recently single) man. Not quite the Ivy League pedigree most people leap at the chance to pass their baby off to, for any amount of money. That reality is what led me down the path of becoming a foster parent, and in August of 2017, I submitted my application and began the process of becoming licensed with Social Services.
The following entries will comprise the journey of my experience: the challenges I’ll soon face; the joys I will soon experience. It is my hope that, one day, my baby, whom I fully plan to adopt as my own,
(Hence the “My”)
will read this and discover how much I loved him, even before I’d met him, and how no obstacle could have ever kept me from one day holding him in my arms. That he may have been dealt a lousy hand from birth, but that he was always wanted and loved, and not a minute of his life passed where his tiny fingerprints were not permanently printed on my heart. Everything in my life has led me to this decision and, for that reason, I would not change a thing from my past.
Having a son is a uniquely special experience for a man that can only be rivaled by the experience of having a daughter… but I have to choose, so I’m choosing a boy between 0-3 years of age, with a high probability for adoption. My hope is to receive a baby, and hours old would be ideal because I don’t want to miss a single second of my son’s life. But this is where patience and faith become thy constant companion, keeping me steadfast in the knowledge that the perfect child is or will soon be matched to me, and that perfection can take any form, in any color, and at any age…But from the moment of his first cry, he was perfect.
Let the journey begin…