Sunday, May 2, 2010


I want another child. Specifically, I want a little girl. I want Grace to have a sister. As infuriating, or annoying a sister can be, NOBODY has your back, or will understand you like a sister. I have one. She is awesome, and we drive each other bananas. She is 8 years older than I am, and while that seems like nothing now, we barely grew up together. I would want Grace to have a sister she can grow up with.

Zach is not feeling it. Although we have always said we would have 3 OR 4 kids, he is thinks we are done. I mean, he would love Grace to have a sister too, but he is overwhelmed a lot of the time. He also needs a certain amount of quiet and order during each day and this you do not come by easily when you keep adding kids to the pot. But he is my husband, and his needs are as important as my wants. Damn it. I hate this part of marriage. I really want to stomp my feet and hold my breath until I get what I want, but somehow that seems, I don't know, immature. I think that if a child fell out of the sky and landed on our door-step, Zach would be thrilled, but honestly, kids, they don't come that way. Trust me, I have scanned the skies looking for falling babies for many years and you know what? Nary a one have I seen.

I get it, I do. We have 3 beautiful, healthy children who adore each other. We have 3 kids, when there are so very many people who are hoping, praying, dreaming of one. Or have lost one. We are so, so lucky. I know that. In fact, I think that is precisely WHY I want another one. If our kids sucked, I wouldn't be looking to add on.

The adoption process is grueling (although, I do most of the dossier, so he wouldn't have to deal with that. It's the kind of busy work I actually enjoy, but makes him break out in hives,) and the trips are, well, it ain't Provence. They get tedious and God help you if you bring the wrong set of DVDs like we did on Grace's adoption. I'm sorry, but 24 is MORONIC!! Even vodka didn't dull the pain of that show.

I understand not being able to visualize life any busier. I get overwhelmed daily. I have moments when I can't hear myself think, or stand in the kitchen for like, 5 minutes staring at the floor trying to remember what I was doing while being talked at by 3 different people, barked at by the dog when the phone starts ringing. I lose my temper daily. I crave time alone. The sheer number of parenting situations I don't know how to handle should be warning enough that maybe I should quit while I'm ahead.

My family would disapprove. I would get that pinched lipped "uh hunh" my mom does when she disagrees with something but doesn't want to get into a confrontation. She learned it at Al -anon. Supposedly it is intended to convey to the listener something like "yes I hear what you are saying," without giving an actual opinion. But the thing is, the people in my family are INCAPABLE of not giving their opinion, it causes them actual pain. So my darling mother's "Uh hunh" comes out more like a "Boy does that idea suck!" and less like a neutral "isn't that an interesting thought!" It's in her face, and the very physical strain caused by not telling you what she really thinks. She can't help it, none of us can, it's on our DNA.

Anyway, I know they all think I have my hands full. The whole world does. I am going to have to start charging people who say that to me, you know "BOY! You sure have your hands full!" Which is always said in front of my kids like they are some kind of burden to me, not people I dreamt of and wanted and flew half way across the world to find. They weren't accidents. Can you imagine? "Honey, I don't know how to tell you this, but somehow our home-study and I-600 got mailed in and, well, it's a BOY!"

I don't know why people feel it's OK to loudly and sometimes rudely give their opinions on other people's family sizes. "You're NUTS!" is one we heard a lot when we would tell people we were going for number 3. Gee, thanks. There are actually only a few people in my real world (you know, besides the entire Internet,) I even tell that I want another because I am tired of getting a look of horror or pity or revulsion from those who don't approve. People, we wouldn't be asking you to take care of it. WE would be it's parents. You would be in no way inconvenienced.

I know all of the reasons not to have another, and yet I envy people with 4 kids. There is a really cool mom in whose daughter is in Kai's class who is pregnant with her 4th. It wasn't an accident, we chatted about it when they were trying. I think she is so lucky. I see pictures of big families on different blogs, and I feel a pang. Again, they are so lucky! There is an awesome mom who adopted from Kyrgyzstan to add to her 2 boys from Russia and then a year later brought a little boy home from China. Her house is a zoo, but they are having so much fun. I would, a million times, rather have a house full of kids than a house full of nice things. The clutter drives me crazy too, but it doesn't take that long to clear it up. I love the idea of a little clan, a group of us, a team navigating through life with each other to count on. I dream of the kids having loving, fulfilling relationships all throughout their lives. I know they can have that now, but I would be so sad to know that Grace might never have a sister. I know you can't have everything in life, but honestly, this is something we COULD do.

I think about this a lot. I mean A LOT! I am scared to really have the discussion with Zach because I don't want the final answer to be no. He has said the door isn't closed, but I think he might be getting ready to latch it. I don't want to hear that "No." I mean, you can't force someone to have another child with you. Not if you want to stay married to that person, which I very much do. He is my love. Period. So that "No," would be one that I would have to accept and live with, and friends, I am very, very bad at not getting what I want. I suck at it, in fact. Can't I have this life lesson given to me on some other coveted thing, like, I don't know, a trip, or a car (as if I cared about cars,) instead of this thing I so deeply want? Probably not.

I hate life lessons. They so often hurt.


Maria said...

Awww April. I know that feeling of longing. Sadly, it doesn't seem to leave. I have some other friends who are struggling with this right now. Occassionally, I'll admit I think about it, but I think we are done. I hope you and Zach can find that place that both of you can be happy about. Grace would be a great big sister!

Anonymous said...

April - Thanks for following me on SITS - being the mom of 4 is busy -- The biggest space between babies was before my Grace -- Tim just was not ready or even admiting that he would do it again. I knew I wasn't done yet so I made my wishes known and then tried really hard not to bring it up on every date night. Happily once we got being parents of 3 under control he came around and started talking about having a 4th as if it was his idea! Once she was born I knew I was done and my whole family was here - I did not adopt - but I was adopted so I have a soft spot for those very blessed families! Say prayers, enjoy today, and don't give up hope!

Jeanne said...

I agree with Maria that the longing for more children never seems to go away, for those of us so inclined. Maybe give it one more year, and see if Zach feels more comfortable.

edith.lambert said...

Hi April,
I'm a new official follower, but I was there years ago! I'm a mother of 4... in 10 years though! And they are wonderful, but you do miss time alone! You still have time, in my opinion, but I understand this "now is good" feeling.
Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts with us.

RossVix said...

Hi April
I have been following your adventures for so long, enjoying your blog as I continue along my own adventures as a mommy of beautiful twin 2 year olds (we adopted from Ethiopia.) (Yep. I'm your Bellingham, WA penpal.) (Hello again!)

I remember when we accepted our referral for the twins, how many people responded to our good news with: "Wow. Are you sure?" and "Do you even REALIZE what you are getting yourself in to?" I don't know if they realized how their thoughtless comments really bothered us. (I mean, would you tell a woman who was pregnant with twins these kind of things? Why is an adoptive mother different?)

And now, when we go places we receive so much attention. Our little ones are incredible little beings of energy and light. So a lot of people are curious about them. Yet we too often experience the: "Woah. You sure have your hands full" comments (to which I reply.."Yep. And our hearts full.") I know they don't mean it, but sometimes those kind of comments feel a tad insensitive to the kids. Like (as you say) I am burdened with this motherhood. Which of course, the opposite is true. We chose it...worked for it...saved for it...traveled across the world to find them...and celebrate their place in our family each day.

Anyway, I have this belief. If the desire to adopt again is so passionate in your heart then you need to listen to that too. Its there for a reason.

I wish you the best of wishes as you carefully walk this journey with your family, weighing out what feels best to everyone.

But I do think, that any little girl that you brought in to your wonderful, wonderful family would be one blessed little girl indeed.

Good luck!


Drew Gilbert said...

It probably won't help your argument in favor of a fourth much, but isn't it a case of diminishing stress returns?

One child (where my wife and I are right now) stressful, which one gets used to.

A second kid, theoretically, twice the stress. Ouch.

Three kids, just one third more stress? I know my math is wrong, but it's not three times the stress, that's for sure.

Four kids, you are talking barely a drop in the stress bucket. +25% stress, tops.

Just saying. I'm sure whatever you and husband agree to will be for the best.

April Taylor said...

Drew, I like your thinking! I mean, with the third, if he cries, I look at him and think, "Huh, crying baby. Wonder what's wrong." But don't really stress the way I did if Kai was crying. With a 4th, man, I wonder if I'd even notice. I am definately more relaxed with the third, by the 4th, I might be the BEST MOM EVER!

This bears thinking about. Must try new strategy.

April Taylor said...

Oh, and hi Vicky! I love that you keep checking in. We have been e-friends for so long now. Maybe one day, we'll even meet! Dare to dream.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post - it conveys your feelings so nicely. I admire people who are selfless and adopt babies from terrible circumstances. I hope for your sake that you can convince hubby to adopt that little girl! Happy ICLW!

Jesse said...

I have two bio girls, and DH and I want to adopt 2 boys. I am the type of person Zach is though, needing quiet and order. So the idea is on-and-off right now. Honestly I love reading about your family because you guys seem to have it so TOGETHER! I think you can handle it, hope Zach warms up to the idea. :) Lara

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

I'm in sort of the same boat. I come from a big family. Six kids. My home,growing up was always busy, loud, and FULL. When we all get together, it still is. I want that experience for my one adoptive daughter. Big families are extra cozy by necessity, I think.

Anyhoo, hubby is happy with 1 and I'm like "what, she can't be an only child!" We'll see. I think I can get him to 2 but I seriously doubt 3 and I'll probably never see 4. Thing is, he told me that if we could have them biologically, he'd be up for a big family - just doesn't want to go through the process and money of adoption. Which sucks because I feel to blame that my body won't cooperate with his wants. It's not fair!!! (insert pout and foot stomp here)

Ah...and don't even get me started on preggo women who complain about being preggers...