16 April 2009

Sans Children

The topic of not having children has come up A LOT lately. So, it's made me think about it little bit more than usual - which is usually not at all.

We've had a few awkward moments with people asking about not having children. Or saying that we had it so easy because we don't have children. Or the worst ever was a drunken cousin asking "How old would your kids be?" (the answer is 21, 20 & 10)

People have stopped asking "Why don't you have kids?" for the most part. It's a wincing sort of situation. I usually say "You're going to feel terrible when I answer but it's okay."

For the most part, Kevin & I are over it. It's not like we were super-excited about kids in the first place. We entered into the relationship knowing it probably wasn't going to happen. I knew at a young age that children were probably not going to be an option.

Recently I read an article in the chiropractor's office that told the story of a women who began regular treatments and ended up pregnant! I told the doctor quite clearly: "DON'T FIX ANYTHING!"

When I reconnected with a former boyfriend years ago....he has four children, two boys & two girls and the girls are twins. It's pretty much exactly what I would have wanted in a former life. And I had the irrational momentary thought of "That was what my life was supposed to be. Those were supposed to be my children." It was really an odd thought to have.

We considered adoption but it was so bloody expensive. It felt like buying a child. I understand that having a child is expensive but I get frustrated with so many children needing adopting yet it's so costly that only the wealthy can afford it. I would hope they would worry more about the ability of the parents more than the bottom line.

Washington State is so messed up when it comes to adopting foster children that we didn't even consider that option. Too many horror stories of parents regaining custody.

Instead we have nieces and nephews and friends children that we enjoy visiting. It turns out that in the long run, frankly we're a little relieved that we didn't have children.We've been able to do things that would have never been possible with a child.

Although we have had a chance to adopt twice:
One child was a step-child of a friend whose custodial parent was having issues. Our friend couldn't take him because his current wife didn't want/like him. He was four years old, appeared to be mildly special needs, we didn't click, and it just didn't have a good vibe. It turns out that it was a good thing we declined because the friends divorced a few years later and it was U.G.L.Y. So we were relieved that we didn't act on that.

Chance Number Two: you are going to shout "LIAR!"
Kevin had an aunt that was the black sheep of the family. She lived in abusive, drug & violence filled environments. She lived with a horrible man who abused her & her daughters. They eventually lost custody of both daughters, who then lived the EXACT SAME LIFE BUT WORSE. They were the stereotypical COPS style family that you see on television.

This child was the great-grandson of the Aunt. He was living with his grandma when she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The family had to find another home for him as no one in that branch of the family was even remotely able to take care of him. We were offered the opportunity.
We talked about having any issues with that branch of the family and they assured us that once it was done, it was done. As they lived a few hours away, it wasn't a huge concern. Kevin & I also talked about having a bi-racial child, which was still relatively new in this area.

We ended up meeting the child at a family reunion, which was awkward. He was a baby then, about nine months old. It turned out he wasn't black and white but Asian and white. His name?

Tai Kwon.
As in Tai Kwon Do.


We tentatively agreed to it, not really expecting it to happen. And it didn't. Once everything settled down, the baby's father's family took him in.

BUT if we had: we were SO changing his name.


Swistle said...

I get SO MAD about the expense of adoption. It's awful.

Bethany said...

I am a huge advocate of adoption. Even though my parents had seven bio children, I always wanted them to adopt. I plan/hope to adopt, whether I marry or not..sadly, expense is the only thing holding me back at this point- and I need to get a little older.