I have been thinking about writing this post for awhile now. I know I needed to write it. I needed to not so much as a way to inform others of why we ended our adoption journey (well duh, since nobody even reads this) but as a way to work through my own emotions. It was hard to make this decision. H A R D ! ! ! !
It wasn’t really a choice for us though. It was something we had to do. There was just no way we could go on right now. We had been wondering how we would come up with the money to finance and adoption, but we knew we could do it. We had done it once before. We had miraculously come up with $40,000 in one year. It truly was a miracle and I look back on it and still can’t believe we did it. I am even at a loss to recall exactly how we did it. Some was donated, some came from long hours of overtime we put into our jobs, some was cutting back on things we didn’t need (like cable), some came from selling things we didn’t really need, and in the end some of it came down to a large loan we will be paying off for years. We did it though, against all odds, we did it. I know that somehow we could have done it again.
It wasn’t a matter of deciding we couldn’t raise money to pay for an adoption that made us end this journey. It was a matter of deciding we couldn’t raise enough money to live. That sounds dramatic and probably is a bit over the top. But… we were hit hard financially and it really did come down to wondering if we could pay our bills or not. We were down to clipping coupons, buying generics and planning meals that could stretch out over a few days with leftovers.
You see, when we got our son home I continued to work for several months. It wasn’t working for any of us. I missed having time with my new son and he really needed to have his new mommy around full time. For the sake of bonding he needed me home. For the sake of catching him up developmentally he needed me there to work with him. For his sake we decided I would quit and be a stay at home mom. It worked for us as a family. We still had to live without some of the comforts of life, but we had gotten used to that anyway and it was a sacrifice we were all willing to make. We were fine. We were happy as a family and we lived a very comfortable life on my husband’s salary.
We even dared to dream of adopting again. We knew that we have enough love for another child. We knew that we would all benefit from another child/son/brother. We knew that somewhere out there in the world there is a child that would benefit from having us in his life. We knew that there was a little boy dreaming of a family and we wanted to be that family.
Then, recently, we got the devastating news. My husband was laid off from work. His company was in financial trouble and their solution was to let go 150 employees. One of those 150 was my husband. Suddenly we were in the situation of having no income. Savings had already been drained by the costs of our first adoption. There just wasn’t enough for us to live on for long. We both needed to start searching for jobs.
My husband found a job within a few weeks but it does not pay what his last job paid. Also the time between jobs really hit our finances. Add to that the costs of getting the kids back into school. The costs of enrollment in public school where we live are a bit on the ridiculous side. They are high… and this is PUBLIC school. Add to that the costs of school supplies and the need for new clothes and shoes. Well, it was bad timing for sure to have to pay for all that right now. Their birthdays are both coming up (both of the older kids) and it breaks my heart to know that we can’t afford to give them much this year. They are great kids and they really won’t have a problem with it… but it’s hard for me.
Anyway, things around our house are not the same now. I have found a job now too. I start later this week. I hate to go back to work. I hate not being home with James Elijah. It was a good thing for both of us. I will miss my time with him. I know he will miss me. I hate the idea of not being there to play the developmental games and activities with him. I have a family member who will watch him for me while I work. She knows about his delays and about the issues he has. I have discussed with her the importance of his routine and the activities that benefit him. I know she will see to all this for me. Still, I wish it were me at home with him.
I have to work though. It’s the best thing for the family. Right now we need two incomes to catch up. Once we get caught up we still need both incomes. We learned something from this situation we suddenly found ourselves in. We have to have some money in savings. We have to have something to fall back on in the event that some unforeseen misfortune befalls us again.
We will not let our family end up in this situation again. I will not let that happen. I can’t let my family live life that way. I don’t want to have to decide which bills we will be able to pay and which ones we will have to put off a bit longer. I don’t want to have to look for clearance items to buy my kids for their school clothes. I don’t want to have to tell my kids “sorry but this is all we could afford to give you for your birthday this year”. There is a certain quality of life I want to be able to give my kids. Right now I am not able to do that. I have to do what I can to give them that. I certainly can’t think of bringing another child into this.
So the dream of bringing another child into our family is… well, I hope it is only put on hold. I hope that in a couple of years we feel comfortable enough with our financial situation to start the journey again. For now though, the journey is at an end before it ever really got started.