Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Melissa not Angelina

Of course, everyone asks whether Angelina Jolie inspired us to choose Ethiopia. Truthfully, not at all. If it was anyone, it was Melissa Fay Greene. She's a wonderful writer and her stories about Ethiopian AIDS orphans (starting with one in the NYT magazine and followed by two equally beautiful, heartbreaking ones in Good Housekeeping) that made me think about taking a child from that country. I still get choked up when I go back and read her stories.
We looked briefly at the kids available through Florida's Dept. of Children and Families but quickly realized older, troubled children -- often in sibling groups - were more than we could take on. China was clearly an option, but Ethiopia, the more we read, kept pulling at us. And photos of all those beautiful Ethiopian children sealed the deal.
So sometime in late September, we filled out the application, sent in our first check (me all the time thinking that Jim would change his mind, look up one day and say, "You're doing what?" He didn't, though).
It sometimes felt crazy (I'm going where?), but I was amazed by how this decision we'd made most of the time felt so very right.

Making the decision

I'm going back here a bit, but it was probably late summer. We were talking again about that second child I so desperately wanted and had finally decided, yes, we would try. I had my annual with my ob-gyn. She was upbeat, really, about getting pregnant at 40. And that was so freeing. Because when I realized that maybe I really could get pregnant, I also realized that maybe I didn't need to. That all the adoption thoughts that had been in my head for so many years anyway might just make more sense than trying to get pregnant, worrying about miscarriages, hearing how after six months I'd need to take fertility drugs, etc. I'd done the pregnancy thing, and I'd loved it, but it didn't seem so important now.
And so where to go?