Yes, we’re Adopting.
If I was Politico or Washington Post, I’d call this blogpost: “Breaking: We’ve Decided to Adopt.” It’s breaking for us—breaking inertia, breaking our frame of reference, breaking how we think about ourselves and about our lives. It’s breaking our life as we know it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
[Taking a breath]
I’ll start again: My wife, Lisa, and I have decided to adopt. Specifically, we’re planning to adopt two children, siblings (a boy and a girl, maybe?), from the US foster care system. If we can, it would be an open adoption, which allows the children have some contact with their biological family (open adoptions are said to have higher rates of success).
We’ve been discussing it on-and-off for two years (longer than we’ve been married). The topic would emerge every few month , and then we’d drop it, for various reasons. But the last time it emerged, there was a different energy around it. We knew that we’re both in; we knew that we’re both ready; and we knew that we have no idea how our lives are going to be turned upside down, thrown into a whirlpool and be out of our control—and that we’re embracing it fully.
So, we’ve started the ball rolling. In about 10 days we have our first interview with the agency that we were assigned to, in which the process will be laid out (there’s training, and there’s “home study”—which means that your home and your life is being vetted by the authorities to see if you are capable of being a good foster/adopting family). We have started looking for larger apartments, which will probably mean that we will have to trade our small Upper West Side nest for a larger place in Washington Heights or Hudson Heights, all the way at the northern edge of Manhattan, where apartments are more reasonably (or less unreasonably) priced. And we’ve started talking to people who have had first-hand experience with adoption: parents who have adopted, social workers who worked with adopting families, etc.
We have gotten so many reactions… Mostly positive, but not all. Some people are very moved, feeling that it’s very courageous; some are surprised, even shocked, feeling that’s it’s a risk not worth taking. Some congratulate us while they issue deep warnings. The way we feel about it is that’s it’s neither responsible nor irresponsible; neither courageous nor cowardly; it is what it is. It feels a response to an imperative, to a recognition that this has to happen. Two children out there are seeking to be with us, and it’s our job to find them. It is our destiny, and theirs.
And if I was Politico or the Washington Post, I’d say: this is a developing story, stay tuned.