After adopting Turkey-Man one of the next major trials in our journey was the consideration of a second child. For this week’s Tuesday’s Trials I want to focus on some of the factors that we needed to make decisions about.
Prior to Turkey-Man we were open to any child regardless of race and would accept certain drug exposures. We wanted a semi-open adoption in which pictures and updates would be sent, but no ongoing relationship.
Turkey-Man’s arrival brought an entirely different level of decisions regarding a second child. For the first year I was certain that we would not have any more children, but as he got older I began to see the benefit of a sibling.
Before we went down that path again we had to revisit our prior level of comfort in various aspects of adoption. Turkey-Man is Caucasian. The reasoning behind the adoption plan was Mama-A was simply not in a position to care for him in the manner she envisioned his life should be. Our comfort level with her allowed us to be accepting of an open adoption with visits.
His adoption was so unbelievably perfect for our family that it was hard to believe we could duplicate it. That left us with some tough decisions to make. Which qualifiers would we hold to for our next child? Where could we be flexible? Is it okay to narrow everything down to make it a carbon copy of Turkey-Man’s circumstances?
Probably the biggest factor for me was the openness of Turkey-Man’s adoption. I felt that if we had a second child the relationship to that child’s birth mother should be similar to what we had with Mama-A. Given that prior to Mama-A, we were not willing to have an open adoption it made it hard to envision finding another birth mother that we would be so comfortable with. However, I did not want to face questions as to why Turkey-Man had ongoing contact with his birth mother, but our second child did not.
We also had to reconsider the race factor. I had envisioned that if we adopted transracially, we would adopt a second child of that race. I worried that if we had one Caucasian child and one of a different race that the child of the different race would feel too isolated. With Turkey-Man being Caucasian could I change the vision I had in my head? Were we equipped to help a second child find healthy connections that could enable them incorporate their race into their identity in a positive manner?
With Turkey-Man we never had to travel down the road of questions as to how comfortable we were with drug and alcohol exposure. A second child brought about two issues with substance exposure. First, would an addicted birth mother be able to have a healthy relationship with our child? As I talked about earlier this relationship was a very important factor. Secondly, how would we explain to our children if our second struggled with the consequences of drug exposure whereas Turkey-Man did not?
Lastly, I felt fortunate that it was fairly easy, given the circumstances, to explain to Turkey-Man why Mama-A made an adoption plan. How would we handle something more complicated?
In the end, we saw how perfect the whole picture of Turkey-Man’s adoption was and knew that God was the provider of this blessing. We choose to have faith that if another child was in our future, God knew precisely the timing and child that was right for us. It was yet another circumstance that we had to choose to turn over to God and have faith in his answer to our prayers.
These are all questions that every family has to answer on their own. Each family has its own unique characteristics that fit differing types of adoption. What was right for us is certainly not a blanket statement for what is right for others. The only “right” answer that applies to every family is the need to be willing to accept God’s plan.
As I have said many, many times before. My plan looked nothing like the life I live today. God has made it far more beautiful than anything I could ever envision! It is truly amazing what God can do if only we let him!