To Live Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure

This is it. This is the day I’ve been waiting for.

I feel like I’m an astronaut in a windowless capsule, plummeting down into an alien world. I don’t know what I’ll find when the hatch opens. Will the natives be hostile? Will they want to speak to me at all? What if it takes so long to understand their language that I offend their culture forever with my bumblings.

Okay, let’s back up. A word of explanation is in order I suppose. Where to begin? Ah, I know.

I’ve always wanted to be a father. I mean maybe not always. I’m sure there was a time when I was lying on my back in some cradle somewhere staring up at one of those ridiculous mobiles that I wasn’t thinking, “You know, fatherhood sounds like a pretty good gig.”

But for a majority of my life I’ve had a desire to raise children. Even before I wanted to be married, I wanted to be a father. After all, girls might have been icky, but adoption was still a very real option.

Fast forward a few years, and now I am married. And wouldn’t you know it, I married a woman who wants to be a mother. And I mean really wants to be a mother. She’s dying to take care of kids. So much so in fact that for a while she took a job at a daycare that forced her to work eight hours a day without a break in violation of state labor laws.

But the hitch is, we haven’t been able to have any of our own. We’ve conceived few times, but so far nothing has stuck. Add to that the fact that babies seem to be falling from the sky at the church we attend, and I think you can understand the position we find ourselves in.

But my wife and I aren’t the kind of people to sit around and wait for something to happen. So when she said, “Let’s sign up to be foster parents,” I shrugged and said, “Sure.”

Fast forward through us driving for an hour every week to take a three hour class for eight weeks and us jumping through all the hoops for our home to be certified, and we come to today.

If everything goes according to plan, today is the day we’ll receive our first placements. Plural. Brothers.

Part of me is excited. Part of me is screaming, “What are you thinking!? You don’t know the first thing about these kids. What if they hate you? What if they want to run away? What if you end up making things worse?” Part of me is trying to contact the mothership. That part of me is a little weird.

But I know my heart. I know that the debt I owe to my own father is incalculable. And I’m thinking, maybe, just maybe, I can make that kind of difference in someone else’s life.

I don’t know how long they’ll be with us, what they’ll be like, what their real parents were like…nothing.

I’m about to embark on a grand adventure. It’s a pass or fail test with two real human lives on the line. I’ve prayed for the wisdom to make the right decisions and be a good leader. I’ve prepared the house for their arrival.

Really, the only thing I can do now is hang on and get ready to splash down into a new world. The next message you review will be transmitted from the planet’s surface. Assuming I survive this.

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17 responses to “To Live Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure

  1. What a wonderful thing you and your wife are doing! Best wishes!

  2. This is so huge. You and your wife are giving those boys a haven and a place to recover. Whatever their situation, they are suffering now and need you. Please keep us posted.

  3. Congratulations!

    The world would be a better place if more people adopted children. Millions of children all over the world grow up without parents. Then these children grow up and make even more unwanted children. And most people who actually want to be parents don’t even consider adoption. It’s a perplexing phenomenon.

  4. Congratulations. I’m sorry (in a way) that it was inability to have kids of your own that led you to this choice, but it’s still a good one. If humans were sane, they wouldn’t keep shoving more bodies into an overpopulated world. But they aren’t, so it’s a heroic deed to take up the slack.

  5. I’m a former foster (now adoptive) mother. You are in for quite an adventure. 🙂

    May I pass on a piece of advice that’s been invaluable to me? In training we were told that foster parenting / adoption is not a cure for infertility. I didn’t get that at the time but I do now. Even if you end up raising children, even lots of children, it doesn’t quite fix the pain of being infertile. It may still pop up from time to time, especially when you see others reproducing with such (relative) ease.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  6. Ah! Congratulations! And the best of luck to you and your wife.

  7. Congratulations and good luck! A word of advice? I have no idea how old these kids are, but if they’re old enough to be self aware…and if they were abused in their former home…they never forget it. Never. With good parenting, something I never received, I am sure they will turn around. But if..and this is a big if, again, if they were abused, sometimes they’ll do things that just make NO SENSE whatsoever. It’s the ugly little demon the abusive parents installed in their hearts, and it takes a ton of time, love, and patience..to tame the thing. Me….it took me twenty five years and two failed marriages before I finally wrestled MY demon to the ground and killed her. Now I am happy…but I wonder about how my life would have been had I had a happy childhood.
    And one day, you will tell your children they were adopted, and they will wonder why. Or they will hit you with the “you don’t love me because I’m adopted.’ You tell them, “Honey, unlike most parents, we had a choice of children, and we chose YOU. Isn’t that the very best love?”

    Again, good luck and guess what? You aren’t going to writing anymore. Not for a long time, Dad. You have two little time sponges there, now.

  8. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you.

  9. That’s great news! Just read them books all day and they’ll be happy. Um, but not derelict…that’s way too scary!

  10. Way to pay it forward, Albert. I have no doubt that you’re about to make a *huge* positive difference in those boys’ lives — and I have no doubt that they’re going to love you. But maybe wait a week or two before telling them about the mothership, eh? Congratulations!

  11. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so excited for you and your wife. I’m praying for you & your new sons. God bless 🙂

  12. Albert, I think that it’s amazing that you guys decided to go for the option of being foster parents. So many people become (understandably) bitter when they don’t manage to have kids of their own. I think that it’s beautiful that you’ve decided to pursue your dream of being a father and caretaker despite all the difficulties in your path.

  13. Congratulations. Best of luck to you, your wife and the two boys who are lucky to have such an eager father!

  14. I 100% honor you and your wife for doing this. I don’t think I would be that brave. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers, Albert

    • You know, it really hasn’t been that bad. I’m not sure it’s about bravery so much as it is about the ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even the biggest tasks are accomplished on step at a time. But I’m only a few day’s into this, so we’ll see.

  15. Praying for you. We have had the girls two years now.

    “Only Two Years? It Seems Like They’ve Been With Us Forever” http://fbcliving127.wordpress.com

  16. Good luck! Often, when couples adopt, they get a surprise (the wife gets pregnant). Hopefully, it’ll happen to both of you. Hope you find the kids that match your personalities well.

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