Monday, May 12, 2008

Do You Know What You're Getting Into?

Dr. Bloom finally shared with significant people in his life that we have completed our homestudy and preliminary dossier documents for #3 (Some have known for sometime for practical reasons, and while they think we are crazy they have been wise enough not to say so). The Blooms were not pleased.

"Do you know what you're getting into?" one pivotal person asked. I responded, "Did you know what you were getting into when you got pregnant with each of your children? Children are always a surprise, and we're looking forward to that again." What I wanted to say was "I know! That's what I wanted to ask SIL when she announced her pregnancy, but I controlled myself!" (with a smile -- because I really am guilty of thinking that same thing).

I'm not sure I know what the question means -- do we know what it's like to parent three? (of course not yet) do we know the potential medical challenges of our child to be? (not yet, but we're as educated as anyone can be about the conditions to which we've opened ourselves) have we considered that family members who are willing to babysit two Bloom children might not be willing to babysit three? (this is not a real problem as we don't go out) . . .

More than last time, we DO know what we are getting into. So many lessons we've had to learn about being an unconventional family have already been learned. We've prepared twice for a child with medical/developmental special needs, and while our children have surprised us with their perfect health, that preparation could come in handy this time. We've learned to play zone defense.

Pregnancy and adoption are not comparable, and it saddens me when prospective adoptive parents try to make adoption intelligible to others by comparison with pregnancy. Yet there are times when the tact necessary for engaging with a pregnant woman is also necessary for engaging with an expecting adoptive mother. This is one of those times, one of those times when "congratulations" is appropriate even if you don't mean it.

7 comments:

Third Mom said...

Well, I do mean it - congratulations!

Frustrating, isn't it? What I find odd is that there doesn't seem to be quite the same reaction when you adopt a second child. Somehow the need for siblings makes that completely understandable. But once you have two, a lot of people think another child is too much.

Of course, what the heck do I know - we only have two kids!

abebech said...

Thank you!
I think you're right -- something feels superfluous about another child! (But tell that to people who have had three children by birth and . . . :) ).
I'm surprised that a need for a child who shares Miss I's heritage and experiences as a transracially adopted child doesn't automatically make sense to others.

Judy said...

Oh, brother! (or sister!)

Yes, "congratulations" should be the only response, and I give you the heartiest "CONGRATULATIONS!" possible.

Anonymous said...

Eh, if people only ever told us what we wanted to hear.
Take comfort in the fact that I'm sure they will be exstatic... maybe they are worried what they got themselves into when they had X amount of kids- who then produced x amount of kids, et cetra.

As for babysitting- I'll take one... but that's it . (they can draw straws to hang out w/ me cause I'm super cool and have a swing set.. and a really cool hidden room over garage)... jk.

lola

mia said...

Well this mom of four thinks it's simply awesome.

Congratulations to all of you!!!!!!

And please tell Miss. I that I think she looks beautiful in her pretty butterfly dress. I think that was LB next to her? They looked so charming.

Anonymous said...

HOORAY!! (and I really mean it). No family could be more prepared! I am so excited about this new little one coming into your lives. And we look forward to celebrating more with you in days/weeks/months to come.

You give me courage--in the best of ways on some really hard days.

love,
keely

Gretchen aka mamagigi said...

Abebech:
A hearty congratulations to you! Looking forward to watching your family grow. And that photo -- so sweet, like a beautiful little postcard. Likely delicious as a black and white photo, too. Thanks for sharing.

(BTW, I, too, would be surprised folks don't easily "get" the notion of having someone else in Miss I's life that will "understand" the adoption experience and share heritage.)

Enjoy the journey.