I considered myself philosophically childfree for a long time. I didn’t think it was right to bring a child into the world if I couldn’t give that child a better world than the one I grew up in. And for all the issues I have with the world and with my parents, I had a pretty good childhood – I grew up in the woods, with lots of places to play. I never worried about going hungry or being homeless. I got to go to the local library for books, and I even got to take trumpet and karate lessons. My parents are still together, even.
Given the economy, global instability, and everything else that’s become part of the American psyche since the 80s, I didn’t think it was fair to thrust a child into that.
When my then-fiancee asked if I had thought about adoption, though… that changed everything. Our theoretical Bolivia is a child who already exists. That choice has already been made, and this is the world she lives in. Instead, what we can give her is a better life than she might have without us – a life spent in the foster care system, without a guarantee of permanence. Obviously there are no guarantees in life, but a permanent, loving home is a goal that seems within reach for us to offer.
The process so far has been largely theoretical. My wife attended most of the foster care classes required by the state. She’ll probably write about those later. We both got our first aid certifications. Things have been on hold for several months, though, while she looks for permanent work and we waited to get a large enough apartment for a child.
We’re moving next month. She’s still on contract, which wasn’t our goal, but we’ve decided to take the leap of faith. The details will never be perfect, but we need to finish packing and get on the boat. It’s time to move to Bolivia.