A few moons ago, Johnny started the post “Why China?” and I’ve been asked to be next in the series. It’s not fluffy but it’s how we got where we are. I had no dreams. I had no visions. No tea leaves lined up. Nothing. Heck, I didn’t even know about the red thread until I joined a Yahoo group.

When Will and I first got married 10 years ago, we didn’t know if we even wanted to have kids. We were in our early 20s and didn’t know what we wanted. We lived in a teensy tinsy townhouse for a couple of years and decided to buy a house. We didn’t buy a big house because, after all, it was just the two of us and felt it probably would always be. Most of our friends had kids and we were cool with them. After another couple of years we decided maybe we did want to be parents but were always unsure as to whether we would be able to or not due some of my past medical history. So there it began.

After about a year and a half and thousands of dollars of testing later, we had to make a decision. We wanted to be parents. Yes, we loved our friends’ kids. We adored our nieces but we wanted more. The day I turned 30 was hard for me. Not because I was 30 but because I was 30 without kids. We started exploring some different options – some I was okay with and others not so much. We had one set of money, if you will, and wanted to make sure we made the best decision for us to become a family.

We chose not to go with fertility treatments because our odds weren’t going to be all that great and, quite frankly, we just simply couldn’t afford but so much financially or emotionally. We then thought about adoption. It took Will longer to get on board with it than me. He had a concern about being able to love a child that was not biologically ours. It was a very valid concern and I will always admire him for being so honest about it. I reminded him we have our nieces, goddaughter, D&T’s kids and other friends’ kids we love as though they were our own and he agreed. He had one foot on board and I was going full speed ahead. Now the tough choice: domestic or international. We knew either way we would need to have a homestudy so we picked an agency and went to their seminar where both domestic and international adoptions were outlined and were not country specific. We listened to a family speak of their two adoptions – one domestic with open visitation with the birthmother of their daughter and their son was adopted from Russia. We were scared of domestic adoption because of all the horror stories you hear. While in our minds we know there are so many that don’t fail but we have a lot of close contact with people whose have failed and listening to their stories was heartwrenching. In our minds we always knew the birthmother could change her mind and halt the adoption but we never thought about the birthfather being able to, probaly because you hear so little about it. We weren’t comfortable with having open visitation, etc. with birthparents; the only person I wanted to coparent with was Will. It wasn’t for us.

My cousin has adopted from Kazakhstan and my parents have some friends who adopted one daughter from China and were waiting for their second. Since the decision had been made to adopt, we had to decide what country as we had ruled out domestic. There were a lot of things that we had to take in consideration including our finances, vacation/leave time and program’s history, among some other things. After mounds of research and consideration, we chose China. I ordered packets from a dozen or more agencies and read through them all. Our agency was referred to us by my parents’ friends and when it came down to it, they had the least invasive application and no contracts or other mumbo jumbo they wanted us to sign.

While we’ve gotten loads of support from friends and family, there are many who will always question why we chose not to adopt an American child. We simply wanted to be a family and wanted to make sure that when we did become one, there wasn’t going to be a phone call or visit two years down the road to take it all away from us. While it may be viewed as selfish to some and outrageous to others, our family dynamic is what it is and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I dare someone who has met Olivia to tell us they think we should have gone another route. If we had, that little girl they’re oohing and ahhing over wouldn’t be here.

We are not saviors and we didn’t save an orphan. We didn’t whisk a destitute child out of her pitiful life. We aren’t Chinese and she’s not white. If anything, she has saved us and helped us redefine our lives. At the end of the day we are nothing more than a family.

Here are some other folks who have shared their stories:

So, it’s come down to this -> OmegaMom ->Letters From the Zoo -> The Singing Bird ->Elsie Elsewhere -> Chicago Mama -> Sopapilla -> Are We There Yet? -> Hope Springs -> Jiaozi -> Figlet -> Bionic Valentine -> Hao Bao Bao -> Mortimer’s Mom -> Jazzie and Tahlia -> Ruby In Her Own Time -> Hey ho, hey ho -> Love Made Real -> The Moon is Always Female -> buttercup -> Waiting for Sprout -> Somewhere in China -> TBG Happenings -> Our Unforgotten Daughter -> Awaiting Ava -> Waiting on Emma -> Our Journey to Mia Lin -> Journey for Jensen