Did becoming a parent change your perception of adoption or being adopted? Or did it strengthen what you already believe or feel? If you are not a parent, has watching your extended families expand (e.g. having nieces or nephews) changed your views on adoption or did it strengthen your views? Looking forward to your own potential parenthood: do you want kids, what strengths or challenges do you see in the future for yourself in becoming a parent? How has being adopted affected your own parenting philosophy?
I am not a parent. I want a family some day, but I’m not there yet. At this point in my life, I’m very happy to concentrate on my amazing fiance, advance in my career, and dig myself out of my student debt. Rudy and I have talked, and we know that we want children someday. I currently do not have nieces and nephews. I’m the oldest of all my siblings (both adopted and natural) and Rudy’s brother isn’t ready to have children yet either. I do have a lot of younger cousins however and have seen my extended family grow that way. I always felt a small twinge of loss for myself when they came into the family because I saw how much they were wanted. I visited several in the hospital shortly after they were born and it was really amazing to see the instant bond of natural family members.
I know that my adoption will affect myself having kids. I’m very thankful that I searched when I did. This hasn’t always been easy for me, but I can’t imagine going through all this and dealing with raising children on top of it. I’ve been very much turned inward while processing. Rudy, my family, and my friends can all deal with me being a bit absent. Children don’t usually understand that their parents are people too. So I’m glad that I’m dealing with a lot of the painful stuff now. That’s not to say it won’t come up in the future. I’m sure it will. But I have learned how to cope and I know I’ve gotten through rejection and triumph before when it comes to reunion so I know that should anything happen in the future, I can get through it as well. And I have to believe I’ll handle it better next time.
Rudy and I were recently going through some premarital questionnaires One of the nice things about being long distance is that we’re both committed to communicating often and well. We’ve had a lot of conversations about what we want out of our upcoming marriage and how we feel about certain things. We don’t agree on everything and I already know some challenges that we’ll probably face, but it’s good to know some of this before we get married. We both want to make an informed decision about committing to another person for a lifetime. Our way of preparing right now is answering questionnaires. I find them interesting. We don’t have children yet and have no clue how to answer a majority of the questions. I realized just how unprepared we are right now to bring another life into the world but that’s OK. We have time to grow and learn together. I’m not worried.
Some questions we stumbled over. How will we discipline our future children? Will we allow them to eat “junk food”? Will we push them to play sports or musical instruments? I can tell you my answers in theory, but I have no clue how to parent right now. Other questions were easy. Private or public school? Public unless we live in an area with bad public school systems (Rudy could not have attended public school in his area). And then we got to a question that Rudy thought for sure would spark an argument. If something were to happen to us, who would we want to raise our children?
I have a sister I was raised with. Rudy has a brother he was raised with. Rudy thought it would be a battle between the two of us to pick a sibling. Rudy’s brother and I don’t get along all the time. We’re working on our relationship and things are getting better, but it hasn’t been an easy road. Rudy and my sister have been friends from day one. She’s the sister he never had and she has been the biggest supporter of our wedding because she’s thrilled he’s going to be her brother. So Rudy thought I’d fight for her to be the person to raise any hypothetical children should we both hypothetically die. He was wrong. Rudy asked me to go first. I told him that should the hypothetical happen, it would suck, and that I would want his brother to raise our children if he was willing. Rudy was blown away and asked me why. I explained that while my sister shares a personal history with me and could share stories of our children’s parents with them, she would not be biologically related to them. They would miss out on genetic mirroring. It would be hard for her to answer questions about ethnicity or family history. She’d have help for sure, but given the choice, I’d want biology to have the first shot. I feel this way because I am adopted.
Rudy and I have decided that if we are not able to have children of our own, we would not feel comfortable adopting. Rudy has always felt this way, and I never understood it before my reunion. I get it now and agree 100%. We’ve both decided that if we can’t have kids, we’re going to be the fun married couple that spoils everyone else’s children and then go home at the end of the night and do things that we couldn’t do if we had children. Like drink and watch R rated movies. We’d be “those” people.
I hope we can have kids someday. And I hope that it happens when we’re in a better position than we are right now. No matter what, what will be will be and it should be an interesting ride.