I struggle with wanting more children. Trust me when I say that I do not want one (or two or three) more babies. But I want a household of angst ridden, disobedient teenagers. I want lots of adult children and big family holidays, our own big holidays. I told the Expert that I cannot bear the thought of another pregnancy, another breast-pump that I carry around like a ball and chain.
But I can very much bear the thought of more laughter, more joy, more kids (and yes, more chaos) under this roof. James and Stella can always use a little knocking down, a bit of humility, a reality check (who can't?). I was (am) spoiled. I try and prevent this in my own kids. Successfully? To be determined.
So the question I pose: what to do when one feels called to adopt or foster kids? Do you embrace it? Just say, yep, we should do this and take the leap? Do you test it? Talk to people? Interview those who have done it? Listen to all the negativity from the meddlers? Simply quiet the voices?
When I was four and a half months pregnant with my firstborn, James, I sent out a giant stack of resumes and cover letters. I printed each page and peeled off each stamp simply because I could not bear to raise a baby under the regime set forth by my chauvanistic and ridiculous shell of a boss (two weeks maternity leave, no pumping at work, general hatefulness and stupidity). My belly was starting to stick out. So what? I sent out my resumes. I interviewed several places. I received three offers. Within two weeks I was hired, five months pregnant, by a fabulous group of people, who I still respect and work under today.
I will never forget every detail of my interview with that firm.
First, I was sitting in a huge office on the thirty-second floor of a twin tower. I was in awe. What? No wood paneling??? In that interview, I talked about my experience, my qualifications. I was asked "the" question: Why are you looking for a new job? And with that question, I was one hundred thousand percent honest in my answer: I was made promises that weren't kept, I work under a tyrant regime, and I need a new job. Simple as that. My heart was racing and in that moment, I felt my baby boy kick for the first time. Sitting in that beautiful office, with those nice people, baby James let himself be known. Only to me. Almost like a You Go Mommy move.
I had, in my cover letter, said I would be available to start in January 2008. This interview was in June 2007. They wanted to know why so long to start a job. I took a deep breath and told them: I am pregnant, and I will be done with having the baby by January. The managing partner did not even blink. Instead, he said: Can you come earlier? If we give you the standard materity leave? I blinked. What is the standard leave? He looked and nonchalantly said, Oh about 12 weeks.
This was a Thursday. By the following Tuesday, I was packing boxes and me and the Expert were moving to the city.
My whole point: I sent out those resumes based on heart, not on common sense. My entire family declared me insane when I walked in for that interview. Everyone tried to put me in the cuckoo's nest. But I did what I knew, and what I felt. My soul said go. So I went.
That's the reason why, when I feel these little inner voices whispering with respect to more children, I pause for a second. And I listen. I weigh each feeling and I evaluate. I listen. If I had quieted my voices back in 2007, I cannot imagine where we would be. The case for finding more children to bring into the fold remains open. The case for childbirth? Well, that case is an easy one, and it's officially closed. Banker's box, storage and shredder.