I know how we must look to the average, fertile family. At least I think I know how we look. I often wonder what goes through their minds when they see us, and sometimes I don’t have to wonder long because they will reveal their thoughts through questions…. “Did you know you were pregnant before you adopted him?”, “So were you just thrilled when you found out you could have one?”, or in the case of the clerk of the Asian food market, “Are you babysitting?”.
If I’m honest I’ll admit that I’ve been conscious of it since we brought Miles home. When my belly was swelling, just months after he was home with us, I would catch people staring – assessing our situation. Some would ask. Everyone had a story of their neighbor’s sister’s friend who went through the same thing. I would smile politely, hoping that they didn’t think I thought my life was whole now just because I was pregnant. Worrying that they would question whether I could love my adopted son as much I loved the baby growing inside me.
I know how we must look. Every once in awhile someone says something that reminds me.
But here’s the truth. I knew about the baby in my belly when I got on the plane to get my older son from Korea. I wanted them to know without a doubt that I went to Korea to get him AND have the other. I worried about loving one son more than the other, but like most mothers, it was the son in front of me, the son I played with everyday that I was afraid of loving more than the son I had yet to meet. I felt like a cliché. I felt like a bit of an outsider in the adoption world, like an outcast amongst the women I had, just months ago, found common ground. I felt silly – a big pregnant woman who people talked about and speculated on. Always in a good way….always so happy for me.
And how did it end up? I still worry about how our family make-up and planning (or difficulty doing so) will affect my older, adopted son. I still think about how people must think of us, daring them to ask questions, hoping they don’t ask the wrong ones now that he's old enough to understand. I worry about the impression we give to families that are in the adoption process. I worry about the false hope our story may emit. I worry what will happen when Miles begins to understand what people mean when they call Liam a "little Dustin".
And I worry as I plan for the future of our family. I never wanted only two children. And it seems like it should be easy enough. But things aren't just black and white for us anymore. I’m constantly thinking about how to add to our family – what ways would build up the children we already have and would benefit those to come. How we can afford to grow.... But I guess if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that I’m not the one in charge. The best laid plans...right?