Stirrings – 1965-1997: Adoptions have always near to my heart. From my earlier teenager years, I imagined having a couple of kids of my very own; then I desired to adopt an infant.
It would be an Asian baby-perhaps coming from Korea or Vietnam. Adolescent thoughts might be the culprit causing these strong emotions, but I could truthfully almost feel her in my arms and see her black, angled eyes and black tresses.Then life happened. You are aware of the old saying “the best laid plans…” Everyone of us encounters life moving out in an alternative way, but probably many people find it’s rolling in an unpredicted path. At times, I felt I could scarcely sustain it. “Wait one minute! Is this truly happening to me?” and “Come on, these are not the things I imagined while I was growing up.” Those feelings don’t mean I wasn’t in charge of the choices I made-it just means that I didn’t realize I had become accountable; life had me by the tail rather than me having it by the tail. Having a strong fascination with excitement, that attraction overshadowed sound judgment. It had been all so harmless at the time. But painful.Skip ahead to the nineteen-year relationship to the dad of my birth kids. I got pregnant two years after the wedding, within the first month we started trying. Our beautiful daughter came into this world. Then a preemie, our first boy, was heartbreakingly stillborn. A second son was born a few years after. He was also a preemie, although not as early as his sibling. After weeks in neonatal intensive care, he arrived home and flourished. Medical doctors advised us against conceiving a child again considering that the chances of having an additional premature infant were great.The desire to adopt started in earnest in 1980. I cannot empathize with individuals who cannot have a baby, but I definitely sympathize; it must be an awful disappointment and stress factor. I’m grateful for our healthy daughter and son.
But that profound, adoption wish had returned. I began to dream about it and researched the process of adopting from Korea. The only real hurdle-a enormous one-was to approach my better half with the concept. Our relationship, on a scale of 1-10, was possibly a 3. Why bring another child into a struggling marriage? It definitely didn’t make sense, but I wished for an additional baby. Looking back on it now, that yearning was likely exacerbated by a desire to fill the emptiness produced by a loveless marriage. As my mother used to say “too soon old, too late smart”. It’s correct!
When our youngsters were 6 and 2, I approached my hubby oh-so-gently about adopting a newborn. He came unglued, loudly stating there would be no more talk of adoption! I felt devastated, as you would expect, believing then that my dream of adoption was dashed to bits. I hesitantly, painfully buried it.Let me add here that one of the biggest things I’ve learned about life, even though it required quite a few years, is the fact it’s detrimental to write down the chapters of my entire life before living them. This doesn’t mean we should never have desired goals and make an effort to attain them; it means we have to not make presumptions based on current evidence. Those assumptions are dream thieves!
Fast forward to 1993, a couple of years after the divorce he started and I welcomed. I moved to another state 1,600 miles away and created a totally new life. Our son, 15, moved with me. My daughter was with us for a little while, then returned to our home state to be with her high school sweetheart whom she later married.In 1997, my employer sent me on a trip to New York City; on the aircraft I met an intriguing man from Alaska. Following a five-month, long-distance relationship, we married. Life changes quickly! We relocated into his property in Anchorage. My hunger for adventure was being quenched, but little did I realize I would soon return on the path to adoption as well as some tough life lessons I never dreamed could be mine.
Stacey A. Lundgren is a professional speaker and coach, presenter of character education programs in schools, author of the acclaimed book on kindness True Bucketfilling Stories: Legacies of Love, and writes the Life Coach column for Troy Media.
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