So we're a home study away from adopting a child.
I say this with a straight face. With a family this large (eight including Corrine and I) people's natural reaction has been universal.
Us: "We're adopting"
Them: "A human?"
Us: "Yes. Real flesh and blood."
Them: "Are you okay? I mean, I can call someone. A hot line or something."
People naturally tend to believe that only childless couples adopt or foster. You know, Tod and Margo of Falmouth, with the Saab and the time share in Key West?
Isn't that the mythical adoptive couple we've all come to love from the movies? They're well-off, can't have children of their own, so they stop by the local orphanage in the city, on the corner of 12th and Oliver. They peruse the faces of the children as if shopping for a pomeranian, and then there, in the corner, (cue the music) is Jessie, a lovely 5-year-old with blond ringlets and a pink dress who clutches a Raggedy Ann Doll, the only thing that survived the car crash last Christmas Eve that killed her parents.
They embrace her before sweeping her off to New York City to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and a visit to FAO Schwartz.
Then there's Corrine and I, on the other hand (the welcome-back-to-reality hand), with no money, a 1994 POS Suburban, three teenagers, a preteen, a two-year-old and an infant. Our pug scratches his ass on our braided rug whenever company shows up (and you thought animals couldn't have OCD?) and the closest thing to a time share is a trip for pizza to the Buckfield Mall.
We did not go to an adoption agency. We have undergone a month of Saturday classes from DHHS, a home fire inspection, fingerprinting, an application, and offering the names of three friends and BOTH ex-spouses in order for them to fill out a questionnaire about us the length of the Bible.
We have been told that the far majority of these children in state custody have been subjected to some form of physical/emotional/sexual abuse; or witnessed said abuse; or are suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome; or been exposed to drug and alcohol; or are categorized as having some form of special need, such as autism.
So, yes, Alice, you could probably say we're crazy. But, Corrine and I are nothing if not unconventional. I mean, come on. We conceived a child, THEN we bought a house, THEN we conceived another child, and THEN we got married.
We have lived with just one motto: If it makes them think, then it's got to be right
Trust me, we've made loads of loved ones scratch their heads and crinkle their brows, and so far every choice - tough or easy - has turned out to be the right one.