Tackling Adoption

My husband and I have been doing a lot of talking as of late. We're trying to figure things out and, like our teens, decide exactly what it is we want to do with our lives.

At 37 years old, Bruce and I are still trying to figure out what we want to do when we grow up. 

With Ken and Nash a quick sneeze away from graduation and college, our nest is soon going to be a few feathers lighter. And I'm not quite sure I want Knox to spend the remainder of his childhood alone, with only me. I am many things, but an energetic sibling is not one of them.

Just ask my own siblings. They'll tell you.

So our conversations are really about "Do we want more kids?" Which, thanks to some basic biology problems on my part and a vasectomy on his, what we were really talking about is, 'do we want to adopt again?'

I don't know if we're ready to pull the trigger just yet, or if we ever will, but we're talking about it. A lot. Our adoption of Knox has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. I kinda dig being a mom. And I'm wondering if I've got more 'mom' in me left yet.

My husband and I weren't the only ones talking about adoption. At the 4th annual Women in the World conference (and second year with Liberty Mutual Insurance as a sponsor), there was panel discussion about adoption with founder and CEO of Worldwide Orphans, Dr. Jane Aronson; adoptive-mother Elaine DePrince and her daughter, 18-year-old Michaela DePrince . Michaela is a soloist with the Dance Theatre of Harlem who was born amidst the chaos of civil war in Sierra Leone, orphaned at four years old and then ostracized by the community because of her vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of the skin.

The panel discussion also included a performance of Michaela's ballet and a short documentary about her. I watched the entire discussion. It was a powerful and inspiring fifteen minutes. Have tissues handy. If you can't spare 15 minutes of your time, but have three on hand, you can see the powerful documentary about her adoption over at Liberty Mutual’s website for The Responsibility Project.

(The Responsibility Project was created by Liberty Mutual in 2008, and uses entertaining content to create a forum for people to discuss personal acts of responsibility. Through short films and online content, The Responsibility Project is a catalyst for examining the decisions that confront people trying to “do the right thing.” It's actually really cool. They use real directors to make these videos. They ain't messing around! It's worth the time to poke around. Go do it. Really.)

I keep hearing the words Dr. Jane Aronson's spoke during that panel.

"I just want you to, in a quiet moment every day, take a minute to breathe in and breathe out, and think about the life of an orphan. Think about what you can do."

I can't unhear those words. They're ringing in my head like wind chimes on a blustery afternoon.

Over at the Responsibility Project website, Dr. Aronson speaks eloquently about how each of us should take a moment of responsibility for the millions of children living without parental care. It is a compelling interview about the merits of an international and special needs adoption.

I didn't need to read about the merits of a special needs adoption though. Every time I look into the big brown eyes of my son, I see those merits staring right back at me.

I don't really know what my husband and I are going to do. But I do know, that when it comes time to making a decision about another adoption, I will be thinking about what we can do while knowing how beautiful special needs adoption really is. 

Disclosure: Although I was not personally compensated for this post, Liberty Mutual made a donation of $1,000 in my name to Make-A-Wish Canada as part of this campaign. Make-A-Wish Canada is not associated with Liberty Mutual, The Responsibility Project, or the Women of the World Conference. All opinions regarding all of the above-mentioned organizations are my own.