Friday, January 10, 2014

The End of an Era

I remember years, no, decades where babies were the most desirable companions in my mind. From around 5 years old, all I wanted to do was hold a baby or feed a baby. I wanted to help in the church nursery. I wanted to babysit. I wanted to be a Mom to babies. Their fat little feet and soft curly hair was all I could think about.

Then I got my babies. We've had tons of babies. I felt so sad for my friends that were birthing their babies when they started to announce that they were done- no more babies. What a terrible existence! No babies?!

Over Christmas break, we got to do respite for the cutest little baby. He was way easier than both of my girls- who are somewhat high maintenance.  When we've done respites before, I always get a case of baby fever. Imagine my surprise when this time I felt... nothing.

No baby fever. No, "I wish we could keep him.". He was so fun, but the allure of having more babies has left.

During that week, we also got a call from the adoption agency we used for Baby Girl. They had a newborn boy with the same medical condition as her, and thought to reach out to us. I immediately said no. We have the possibility of 2 adoptions in 2014. We're good. After talking to Brandon about him, we faltered a little in our resolve, but mostly for fear that we were his only chance- which ultimately was not a fair reason to pursue his adoption. He deserves to be wanted and sought after like Baby Girl was.

We've always had people asking us what our plans are for fostering/adoption in the future. I used to think we would adopt babies until our bedrooms were full, then become a 6 week home for newborns until they could be placed with working foster families who needed them in daycare, then once all our kids were grown, we'd taking in parenting teens with their babies, then we'd die.

Now, I'm thinking that after our adoptions are done and our kids are in school (which will likely happen around the same time), we could take older kids.

Kids who are potty trained

Kids who can buckle their own seatbelts

Kids who play independently long enough for me to use the bathroom

Kids who don't continuously ask to watch Yo Gabba Gabba

No more formula smell lingering on all my clothes

No more buying whole new wardrobes every couple of weeks for growing preemies/newborns/0-3 month-ers

I might even be able to grocery shop alone during the day while everyone is at school.

Or shower in a quiet house.

My baby days might be ending. I am totally shocked, and really excited.

Edited to add: OK, I just logged on to Facebook, and 2 of my friends were just introduced to their newborn babies who will soon be adopted. Just like that I forgot everything I just posted!

In our family, we have 3 BioMoms who could reasonably have more children that they are unable to parent. We would absolutely say yes to any of our children's siblings. That's my baby compromise.


  1. Reading this made me consider my own stance on the issue, and the idea of no more babies made me really sad. I know my husband would be happy to stop at two, but I think taking a break until the younger is maybe walking would be prudent. No idea how we'll keep growing, but I feel pretty certain that I'm not done. I really liked being pregnant, but the things that brought me to fostering are all still true and relevant!

  2. Too funny! I have never ending baby fever too. It's like an itch you can't scratch.

  3. huh. i have only big kids out of the system -- son came at 12, now i have his older sister and her toddler (22 and 4), his twin (19) and his younger sister (14). get ready for: kids who skip school, steal, break things, name calling, lie, yell, blame, physically threaten, have babies, listen to loud horrible music, smoke weed, did i mention lie? that is lie a lot?

    and of course all the good things -- roller skating, dinner, movies, laughing, camping, doing their own laundry, hugs and I love you's that come now and then, unexpectedly, heart to hearts, tears of grief and sorrow as they cope with their own demons, willingly helping with chores (finally) which feels so good, growing realizations of what adulthood means,thank yous and appreciation, the camaraderie of sharing difficulty, sticking with it and overcoming, older kids in care often have a many major behavior challenges because they didn't get that sense of belonging, socialization and love of learning developed din the early years. but they definitely need loving homes and so far, while the journey is tough, they are all committed to their own futures as loving responsible people, so we keep stumbling forward.

    1. You are so right. Children in care have major behavior issues. Even children who enter care as babies, but do not get permanency right away suffer from terrible confusion with sense of belonging. I recently boarded up one of our windows during -7 degree temps because our 6 year old put his hands through it instead of coming with us to the movies.

      I grew up in a biological home with a very loving parent, and the only reason why I didn't accomplish every single behavior on your list was because I was unknowingly infertile. Teenagers are horrible creatures as is, and we place extra reason for rebellion on teenagers in care.

      I appreciate your insight as a warrior in the trenches. Keeping siblings together is certainly the best you can do for that sense of belonging. Even with my willingness to take an older child, I think I'd be very scared to welcome 5!! You are my new hero. Thank you for sharing your experience!