August 05, 2009

More About #3

More than you ever wanted to know about what passes for family planning in this house:
  • Two feels good to us. The thought of three kids makes Todd nervous about spreading ourselves too thin emotionally. Three makes me feel a little tired, but not nervous.
  • Four freaks me out. I blame Lisa V.
  • If both kids were black or both kids were white, we'd probably be done.
  • But they aren't.
  • And the more we get to know Firefly (although we were already inclined to think this) the more convinced we are she would do better being in a minority of two in the house and not a minority of one.

  • Unless I'm missing something, the only way Todd and I can add an African-American child to our family is through some type of adoption.
  • But we can't really afford to adopt privately again, at least not through an agency worth its salt. Not without raiding emergency savings.

  • Especially since we kind of need to move for our family's sake to somewhere Firefly's circles of influence will be a little more flush with people who look like her.
  • Moving takes money, especially given that right now our house is worth a bit less than what we paid for it.
  • And moving away from here means moving away from Beth, who can't really travel.
  • It's an impossible choice, really.

  • We'd need to buy a bigger car if we had three kids. Or find a crazy narrow carseat.
  • Which is ridiculously mundane, almost embarrassing to put next to these other considerations.
  • But it's just one more thing on the list.
  • You'd be surprised how much we talk about it.

  • Although even if we could afford to adopt privately again, I don't know if we're up for it. It's just so...much.

  • There is always adopting from the state system, which would solve the cost issue.
  • But that seems like a pretty poor reason to adopt from foster care.
  • Although it's not the only reason we're considering it.
  • I'm kind of over the squishy newborn thing.
  • But people whose opinions I respect raised some valid concerns about being a foster/fost-adopt parent while also raising young children who were adopted at birth and still sorting out what adoption means.
  • Puppy does have an unusually strong reaction to people leaving. Or really to anything going away.

  • I'm turning 35 in January.
  • Apparently at the stroke of midnight on my 35th birthday my eggs will spontaneously combust or take up knitting or something. I don't know.
  • I think most of 35-year fertility deadline hype is overblown and mildly offensive. I put as much stock in the 35-year deadline as I do in the supposedly universal 28-day cycle. It's not like we're robots.
  • But it does press the pregnancy button a little bit, the THIRTY-FIVE.
  • Right now I have nothing more than a very mild curiosity about what a Heather/Todd combo would be like. I've felt that way for a long time.
  • But sometimes when I can't sleep I wonder if one day sixty-year old me will regret that we never tried to conceive.
  • Although if I'm sitting around moping at sixty instead of partying my empty-nest booty off and traveling the world with my hot husband (that would still be you, T), I suppose I'll have bigger problems.

  • Not to mention the last thing we need is another whitey in the house. And any bio kid of ours is coming out white.
  • I mean, really, if I could magically give birth to a little brown baby, all of our problems would be solved.
  • Except the car thing.
  • And the moving thing.

  • Which brings us back to not knowing what to do.


Lisa said...

I feel the same way about adding a child...we want our daughter to have someone else who looks like her (relatively speaking) in our family. There are a lot of considerations, and I think when we get to #3, we may consider foster-to-adopt, but I am also concerned about how small children adopted at birth would feel about that. Lots to think about.

mama2roo said...

"•Puppy does have an unusually strong reaction to people leaving. Or really to anything going away." I'd like to hear more about this as it echoes in my ears as I think about Woob. I want to know I'm not imagining things or making things up. If you don't feel comfortable posting publicly, you know how to reach me via email.

"•But people whose opinions I respect raised some valid concerns about being a foster/fost-adopt parent while also raising young children who were adopted at birth and still sorting out what adoption means." Again, I'd like to hear more about this and the concerns.

I don't know why, but the fact that you used the word "whitey" made me snort out loud.

Durn family making. It's madness, I tell ya!

Marie said...


Sounds like you DO know what to do. You just don't have all the details figured out yet. They will come!

Good luck!

kaarina said...

here's a possible solution to one of your problems! these carseats fit 3 to a back seat.

Andi-bo-bandi said...

Are you sure you are not secretly writing about my life? For serious, I am 35 and have the same fear (are my eggs now rotten or something?). Although I also don't have much of a care if DH and I do ever reproduce... too many "whiteys" in our house too and we're only on #2! ;) We also need to move to a more diverse area. Our house is also under water a bit or barely floating. BUT - we are a step ahead as we already own a mini van.

Sally Bacchetta said...

I feel for you. And I don't think any of your concerns are mundane. The details are what drive couples apart or make ya crazy, right?

That's how I know I'm good with two. When hubby starts waxing wistful about a third, all I can think about is another one to haul in and out of the car, another one to tear a diaper off and fling poop around the room, another one to slam a finger in the door, another one to slobber kisses on me, another one to smell so good after a bath,... another one to say "Mama" for the first time, another one... another one? Maybe we should. Should we...?

Yeah, I understand what you're going through!

cynthia said...

I totally and completely sympathize with your conundrum. I think we are done with 2, but/and we did end up with 2 whiteys... sort of. river is half colombian and paler than me, and wendell is darker skinned than many people of color but supposedly causcasian. i'm not buying it. but, anyway, not to minimize the problem- i think its one worth really thinking out, which you are. and because of that you will most certainly come to the "right" conclusion for your family.
and re your facebook comment, i would LOVE to come take pictures of your family! if we are ever in each other's neck of the woods (i'm in VA), we must surely meet up.

Jess said...

Man, I'm hitting the panic button routinely on what-next and I'm TWENTY-FIVE. Yes. I know. But it isn't always easier young. As you said, we're not robots, for good and bad.

I think that you make good points about adoption/bio. I also think it's a strong strong point about fostering/foster-to-adopt. That sends some warning bells for me, too. And we have family experience (immediate family, but not us) with foster care adoption. It just seems like it could harm the kids you already have if they have insecurities. And I don't mean this SIL is adopted through foster care.

The race issues with your community? Sadly, the reason why we were in for only caucasian babies was because we live in NOWHERESVILLE. As in there are many more amish than black people. It's not friendly lack either. If you know what I mean. Better now, but not good.

I think like a pp sound as if you know what you want to do...just not how to do it.

It can come, somehow.

mayhem said...

I was hoping you'd say more about #3 after the "disjointed" post! Oh wow, some of what you've written sounds familiar!

Last week I emailed an adoption agency just to get some information. After hitting 'send' I kind of freaked out a bit. What am I doing?!

The next day I got a generic form letter email back from the agency. I was relieved. And also annoyed that I didn't get the information I wanted.

I feel like a total crazy over this sometimes. You sound much more calm!

(Um, my word verification is "whine." Ha! It's on to me!)

Deb Cohler said...

Okay, so this is probably a totally off the wall thought and does not address the "I don't want an infant" issue and probably does not address the money issue, but....

Sperm bank? African American doner?

Just a random thought from the random blogosphere.....

Heather said...

@deb - We've joked about it. But (a) we decided a long time ago we wouldn't enter the realm of fertility treatments, (b) I'm not all that curious about pregnancy, just what sort of kid our combined genes might produce, and (c) the whole donor gamete industry makes me a little squirmy in general.

Deb Cohler said...

I hear you, Heather!

Momo Fali said...

I am amazed by this list and how carefully you have thought this through. I wish more people would think like this before making such a big decision. Good for you!

Lisa V said...

Just to emphasize, if a had a t-shirt for sale, it would say "Four is too many."

But you love them all, and you figure it out. And one day there are a lot of people to share the burden of driving you to the podiatrist and the bingo parlor.

Amanda said...

Wow. So I don't know how I've not found you before, but if I wrote hald as well as you, I could write this post.

DH and I have been talking a lot about these same issues (moving, for Lucy's sake, adopting a third "non-Whitey, etc).

I'll definitely be back again.

Unknown said...

This definitely hits home as we consider #2. It was tough enough already before B was diagnosed with autism . . . now the race and adoption questions have taken a backseat because there's no way of knowing whether/how he will experience such complicated subjects. But we are in the SF Bay Area so at least we don't have to think about moving! It's tough, very tough . . . sometimes the more options there are the more confusing it is!


DrSpouse said...

I think it's possible in most places to adopt through the foster care system but NOT to have been foster carers - to only accept a placement that will definitely be permanent (it's the norm in the UK, but I think it's possible in the US - certainly, we went to a seminar with an adoption specialist from the county we were living in in CA and they said it's possible to do that).

The Hopeful Elephant said...

Same. Conversation. Daily. At. My. House.

I think it's a Heather thing.

mhbenes said...

Well, this will not solve any of your really thorny 3rd child issues, but I have an answer to the carseat issue! Because we have talked a lot about it and done a lot of research. The Sunshine Kids Radian 60 or 80 can fit three in a row in many sedans and smaller cars. Have a look:

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