So here’s the sitch: I’m currently taking classes to foster to adopt and I’m also single. I’m told those two facts combined make me less common than unicorns. Typically, when other parents hear what I’m doing they start going through a long list of advice that I know most people who want kids but don’t have them yet have heard. You’re going to lose a lot of sleep. Be prepared to never go out on a Friday night again. Say goodbye to your “savings” account.
So it got me thinking about all the things that I’m going to sacrifice once I finally have a kid in my home, and like any big decision, figured I’d weigh the pros with the cons.
One thing I’ll have to give up is sleeping in. This means all those dreams that I don’t remember anyways will have to be traded in for mornings watching cartoons with my son while eating cereal in the homemade fort we turned our couch into. I’ll be forced to get up early to watch soccer games instead of staying in bed until noon going through Facebook on my phone. I think I’m okay with this trade.
Another thing I’ll have to give up is my independence. Not being able to drop everything and go to Hawaii whenever I want…even though I’ve never done that anyways. I won’t be able to listen to whatever songs I want on the radio; instead I’ll get to watch and teach my son to love and appreciate music. I won’t get to choose what’s for dinner all the time. Actually, sometimes I skip dinner because I can’t decide what I want to make, so having a kid might actually force me to eat regular meals like a human being.
I’ll sacrifice my dating life. It’s true, I have already dated several Christians who ended the date because they found out that I was adopting. One even said, “Call me an old-fashioned Christian, I just think God wants us to get married before having kids.” This bothered me right up until I realized God chose Mary and Joseph to have Jesus. It does kind of suck thinking I’ll have less time to meet a potential spouse, but the reality is instead of searching for someone to share life with, I’ll already be sharing life with my son. Plus, nothing filters out the bad apples like telling them you’re a single parent, so once again I’m only seeing perks.
I’ll sacrifice my finances. Yes, kids cost money. Instead of me being able to buy a new pair of shoes because it’s Thursday, I’ll have to save my money for my son. Shoes…or a son…shoes…or a son…I think I’ll take a son. Now I know I’ll be sacrificing a lot more than just shoes, but there isn’t a “thing” I can think of that I’d rather have. Shoes fade, cars break down and iPhones never change, but we keep buying them anyways. I have these leather shoes that I bought in New York that were about $300. Fast forward, I’m living with a family that had little kids and one of the kids watched a cat pee in one of my shoes. Now I don’t remember the store I bought them in, I don’t remember the exact price or even what part of New York I bought them in, but I remember that 5-year-old’s laugh. He thought it was hilarious that the cat peed in my shoes. I remember where he was standing, I remember how I was walking around the corner, I remember how bad his mom felt. The point is, I don’t have a kid, but I know I’d gladly throw those leather shoes away for another special moment with that kid.
What about your dreams? What about all the things you wanted to do? Honestly I’m in a unique situation where I’ve been blessed to achieve a lot of my dreams and still be found wanting. I’ve had my dream jobs, I’ve made a ton of money and still here I am, lonely. Dreams built around money and careers never live up to expectations, but reality with kids never ceases to disappoint. Reality beats dreams every day. Besides, I can still pursue a dream job AND have a son. In fact, isn’t that what I want to teach him? To fight for his dreams WHILE loving family and community? What better way to teach it than by doing it myself?
So here I am, clueless and honestly freaked out but chasing a beautiful reality. I know it’s going to be hard. I know it’s a permanent decision, but I think that’s the part that excites me the most. Jesus made a permanent decision to love me, even through the cross. I don’t know how else to react other than to turn around and love an abandoned child. I’m going to trade in my lonely nights and extra money for laughter, forts and a life with a purpose bigger than myself. Bring it on.