|photo courtesy of Jared Slater, jandjphotography.net|
Not too many people ask us, when are children are with us, if we are planning on having/adopting more children. It's pretty obvious we have our hands full. Both our kids are active, curious, talkative and independent. And sometimes naughty. But I'm sure as they get older we'll get that question... so I thought I'd clarify my thoughts on our family size, to be prepared...
It feels good, first of all, to Be Done. Andrew and I spent the better part of our 6 year marriage trying to have kids. One year "trying". One year medically enhanced "trying". Two years of adoption process. Building our family was exhausting, physically and emotionally. It was totally worth it, and we never want to do it again. We were ready to be done with the family-building phase and are happy to be in the living as a family phase.
And, we have our hands' full. Literally. I often need to hold the hands of both my children. (See: tantrums and grab and run.) It feels good to be able to have them both next to me, both safe and near. I don't have hands for any more children.
We feel enormously blessed to have the two children we do. Given the sorry state of adoption, and specifically of Ethiopian adoption (read Scooping it Up, or any article re: Russian adoption), we are extraordinarily lucky to have adopted Daniel and Lily together. During our process we were kind of 50:50 about adopting two at once. Our referral request was for whichever came first, one child under 4 or two children under 8. When we got a referral for a 4 year old boy and his infant sister we pinched ourselves (over and over again). Looking back on it, I cannot believe our luck. We had always wanted two children, and in our heart of hearts we wanted a boy and a girl. Well, our hearts' desire was granted. So it seems risky, almost sinful, to desire more.
Every family, I believe, has it's number: the best number of children to have. It could be 15; it could be none. So many families don't get to have the number of children they want: they have too few, or sometimes too many. (I'll never forget my terror of what might happen to me and to my marriage if one of our fertility treatments led us to have a multiple pregnancy. I compulsively watched "Jon and Kate Plus 8" in horror.) Family planning is, in many ways, the most unfair of lotteries sometimes.
Our home is small. Our plan for our life as a family includes multiple trips to visit Ethiopia, and hopefully some other traveling too. As much as I would love to have a bigger kitchen and a backyard, we live in New York, and the real estate prices are heading in only one direction: over our heads. So we have a small 2 (and a 1/2) bedroom, and we save to pay for international airfare. If we had another child, we'd have to move. And "we will not move to the suburbs" was in Andrew and my wedding vows. :)
When we announced that Daniel and Lily would be joining our family, I wrote: "Two + Two = Family".
Two, what a perfect number. For us.