Finding Treasures in the Unexpected

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Our decision to adopt a second child was an easy one, the first time around.

The tough part was finding the right child to bring into our family. We are a family of two dads and we met our first child six years ago at an adoption party, a cute five-year-old boy named Evan. We immediately fell in love. Evan’s history was a difficult one; he entered into the foster care system at three months of age and in his short life experienced many losses and multiple transitions. Each event leaving this little guy with emotional traumas and challenging behaviors. One of those behaviors is the great need to control everything and everyone in his environment. Evan’s greatest needs included finding a sense of stability and permanency that he could count on.

Adopting again was a natural progression for us. We knew from the beginning that we wanted our son to have a sibling, preferably a brother that he could relate to and establish a meaningful relationship with. We also knew that that child would have to be different from Evan in some important ways, we really couldn’t have two children with the same intense control issues. Two years after meeting Evan, and just two months after his adoption was finalized, we met Aiden. At the time, Aiden was five-years-old and had been in the system for about a year. Being naturally a more passive child with an easy going manner, he appeared to be an easy match. It turned out that we had made a good match and the two boys quickly became real brothers who were the best of friends most of the time and at each other’s throats the rest of the time.

The next step for us was clear, it was to find a sister for the boys.

But this plan was not yet to be. Because less than a year after Aiden’s adoption was finalized, we received a call from DCF that the mother of one of our sons had just given birth to another child and that our son was the only next of kin who lived in a safe and loving home. This was followed by the question, “Would you consider taking on this newborn baby boy?” Needless to say, the phone call and the question took us by surprise. We were not prepared in the least to receive another child, never mind a newborn infant. Our plan was for another child around the age of 4 to 6. The legal risk with this newborn was great and this was uncharted waters for us. But we considered how important this biological sibling relationship would be to our son and 24 hours later we went to the hospital and brought home two-day-old Alex.

Welcoming Alex into our family turned out to be one of the best decisions we could have ever made.

This was our opportunity to teach both our boys, through our example, how children are loved and cared for from birth, an experience that would be far different from their own experiences. Hopefully it would leave a mark in their subconscious, helping to mold their future parenting skills.

Currently, Evan is 12 going into 7th grade, Aiden is 10 going into 4th grade, and Alex is two and a half. It has been six years since we began our journey into the realm of parenthood. Our path may not be exactly the trail we planned, but the most amazing adventures life don’t necessarily follow a set itinerary, and the back roads and byways can lead to unexpected treasures. Parents who plan out how many children to have via birth, don’t have a choice as to the gender, temperament, or personality characteristics of their offspring. We never planned on having three boys, but we are blessed with the three we have. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t still waiting for a daughter, because we are.

Many well-intentioned people may think we’re crazy for growing our family again, but we need a little girl power to provide some balance to all the boy-ness of our home. Besides, getting a table for six at a restaurant is no different than getting a table for five – we’ll never fit at a four-top anyway.

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