I’ve long wanted to adopt. How many kids did I picture myself with as a child… 2 maybe. Always girls.
After we had #1, I got an 5-year IUD because I was so foul and angry at the process of giving birth and sleepless newborn nights, that I decided I didn’t want to go through that again.
We started talking about adoption but were quickly deterred by the pain in the ass factors of it. I spotted (bled) daily for 3 months and couldn’t stand that either so we got it taken out and figured- if we aren’t going to adopt, let’s just buck up and try for #2.
Boys. Two boys. A mom that was learning to love motherhood but it didn’t come naturally at first. Finally quit working and then started working “on my own” which quickly translated to being obsessed with my self employment.
Marriage took a big fall when #2 was a baby- filed for divorce, separated, all that stuff.
Got back together, had #3, another boy. Got very defensive of people insinuating that I needed a girl. VERY angry and defensive. Offended some of my daughter-having friends even because I outwardly was so anti-girl.
Dreamed about having a girl, but loved my all-one-gender kid family.
Life happened. Lots of moving, marital strive, got pregnant with #4 unexpectedly, at a quite awful time in life. Hated my life so deeply and intensely, had just left away from my friends and all that I knew and loved, sold my business, left my people. Leaned so heavily into motherhood and found myself terribly depressed. Another boy. GOOD! I don’t want a little girl anyways! Girls are nasty! I hate girls! I’m SO GLAD I’m going to be a mom to FOUR BOYS! Wouldn’t have it any other way! For a decade I lived my lie of not wanting a daughter.
Fast forward 4 more years. We’re done. Marriage has been redeemed by God, in ways that we couldn’t ever imagine. I do, now, appreciate my all boy family. I identify as a “boy mom.” I lean into it, and I lean into it hard. I am a boy mom. “How many kids do you have?” “4 boys!” “So what grade are your children in?” “I have 4 boys in x, x, x grades!” I’m no longer anti-girl but I sure am all boys. I talk about my friends who have 4, 5, 6 boys in wondrous awe and yearn for more boys too. The more children (boys!) that I have, the more that I want because i see the beauty and goodness and ways that they enrich their and my own life.
Why more? To further define my all-boy motherhood?
I’m 36. My marriage is strong. Our family is financially strong. Our parenting is good. Our kids are decently well behaved. I teach them. My marriage is SO strong and our family has more than it needs in every way. And yet, here I am, wanting to adopt. In my head, my dream world, I would adopt a sibling set, any gender, and let God decide. It has been a process to embrace the fact that I will never have a daughter. People comfort me: Girls are so much more work anyways. You’ll have daughter in laws! But the truths remain, that I will not have a real daughter with whom I can break the nasty cycle of parenting girls. Yes, I can (and have) broken the cycle of sad parenting with children, but the history of sad parenting to DAUGHTERS won’t have a chance to be broken with me. I can lovely parent my children and break the cycle no matter their gender, but I will not likely be invited to be in the room when a daughter-in-law gives birth. It’s possible, yes. It’s possible that even with a daughter, I wouldn’t be close with her. But the fact that I’ll never have a chance hurts my heart. I can reason myself out of all my thoughts and desires.
Be grateful for what you have.
Be present with the kids you do have.
You have 4 kids that are healthy, smart and kind- you don’t need more.
Life is fulfilling (and busy) enough as it is.
Our house isn’t that big.
Yes, of course. Alll of these things are true. And all of them could easily be worked around, too.
I hold motherhood so close to my heart. I want an absurdly full house on Thanksgivings. There are no guarantees in life, but I so yearn to give some more kids a chance at a good life. AND give my biological kids a chance at a good life. It’s not that I want to save the children. I want to LOVE more children.
It’s been HEAVY on my heart the past few weeks with my birthday. Has hurt. The combination of never having a daughter maybe AND not being able to love more kids. I asked H if there was any seed of possibility and he said no. He said it kindly and gently and lovingly and it was fine, and I kind of already knew, but it really hurt my heart. Not HIM, but just the finality of not being a mom to more kids. I told him I would not ask again and he could tell me if he ever changed his mind. That was that. We talked about other things and went on to have a nice date night.
I have shared with a few friends my heartache over wanting to adopt but not being on the same page with my husband and they have been sensitive and kind, supportive friends. I decided to share with my sponsor last night. That was silly. She’s so amazing in many ways, and yet, so obtuse in others. Maybe some day I will see her viewpoint differently, but today it just pushes me farther away from believing in her love for me.
“You know welfare moms with huge litters of children aren’t really in it for the welfare money, right? They are addicted to having someone helpless rely on them to live.” “Wanting more children, needing to be needed, can turn into an addiction.” “Check your motives.” “Really check your motives.” “Have I mentioned check your motives?” “I’d strongly recommend not badgering your husband about this, it could potentially really put a wedge between you.” “Why don’t you become a big sister?” “Because you want a full house at Thanksgiving does not mean you need to adopt a litter of kids.” “You could always channel this desire of being a mom to more, into being a better mom to those you have.” “If you create a welcoming environment, your kids might bring their friends with them to your house.” “Wanting more than what you have or need is gluttony, you know that right?”
Gee, I feel so understood. GLUTTONOUS? Addicted to needing someone to rely on me? Are you kidding? Welfare moms being addicted to being needed? Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
It bothered me all night and I felt so frustrated with not only her “suggestions” but also just being so closed-minded. Does she not know that some people DO parenting well? That not all people are the same? That not all people need the same things that she does or that she thinks is right? That God’s will is more important than her advice?
I am waiting for this to pass. For God’s will to be done. Maybe some day H will see or hear or feel something that changes his mind and maybe not. I’m not holding onto hope that he will, but if it ever does happen, I could jump right in. I forgive my silly sponsor and pray for her eyes to be opened and heart to be softened. I know my truth and accept it, and the divine power within me that gave me the feelings and heart that I have.
I am overcoming and letting go of my life to be different than what it is today. I know I am not gluttonous in wanting more than I have, I believe that God gives different people different desires and that we are different because he made us that way. I do not shame people who choose to work when it isn’t financially necessary, instead of raising their kids themselves. And if my sponsor needs to grow and develop more in her acceptance of other ways of life, I certainly can relate needing to grow.
I am overcoming my sadness that my husband doesn’t want more children and I will respect and accept that. I’m overcoming that I “only” have four kids (silly, I know, but it’s how I feel) and trying to accept also that I will not have a daughter. Maybe God’s will is for me to get through this and then later work adoption into our life. God willing, I have many more years ahead of me. HE knows what he wants and plans for my life, and I trust Him. I know I do want what I want, and He is in charge of my husband’s heart. I will be okay with His strength, and will be working on acceptance.