After months of strictly enforced vagueness about our plans and what’s going on behind the blog, today I’m ready to spill some of it.
If you were here with me, we’d have a seat on our new little patio set that I’ve just spruced with some new cushion fabric, and I’d set about explaining. I’d explain that we’re in Texas (although you’d likely already know that because we’d be sweating), and I’d explain that we’ll be here for a while. We’re not sure how long, but we’ll be here long enough that this little patio set is sitting outside our apartment. Our Houston apartment.
And the reason we don’t know how long we’ll be here is that we’re hoping and praying and planning to adopt a baby. In person, when I spill those particular beans, I somewhat sheepishly rush through that big, fat sentence at the end. I think because it’s a sentence I’ve said in my head for years before uttering it aloud to anyone other than Michael. It still sounds a little surreal to say the words. It feels surreal to be here, spending my afternoons avoiding the Texas heat, filling out adoption paperwork.
Why Houston, you might ask if we were hanging out on our little patio? Well, to adopt, we couldn’t stay in Ireland. This heartbreaking article in the Irish Times explains in more detail why that is, but it essentially boils down to a shortage of adoptable babies, a years-long application process before you can begin your search, and the insurmountable cost of foreign adoption from Ireland.
We have known for a long time that there are babies who need families here in Houston. Michael’s godson was one of those babies ten years ago (this is a video about his adoption story, I cry every time I watch it), and our dear friends here have told us stories of many more since then. When Michael and I got married, we knew adoption would be part of our plan, and we envisioned it would happen at the end of our children, adopting a bonus baby to round out our family. Instead, it will be our beginning. We’re working with an agency here, and the couple who run it have known Michael for many years. We trust them completely, and we trust that God has a baby for us. I know in my heart that he or she has been chosen already, and that that baby will be so loved.
I wasn’t sure I’d ever share this part of our journey online. In my head, I really only pictured writing a post that introduced our new baby once we had our birth certificate in our hands on adoption day. I’ve written that post in my head at least once a week for a year. But this story isn’t only mine to tell, and while Michael is grudgingly agreeable when I ask him to model something for a blog post, he is otherwise quite private and I have wanted to honor that.
A few days ago, I mentioned to Michael that I was having a hard time with my blog, and he suggested that maybe it was time to start sharing part of this journey. I’m grateful. I’ve never been the type of blogger to share all the nitty gritty details of my life, but this is one big detail that is dictating every move we make at the moment. It has been a hard to speak so vaguely about it all. My days here in our Houston Heights neighborhood have been split between working on freelance projects and working on our adoption paperwork. Michael has started a job teaching in a local charter high school. We adore our neighborhood and our apartment is becoming more and more cosy by the day. We’ll be finished with our paperwork later this month and then we wait for the phone to ring, with the news of a baby who will join our family. And I probably won’t stop crying for a month.
Since the start of FCV more than five years ago, Dublin has been so much of my identity and a huge part of what I write about and share with you all. For now, that will change. I worried that you all would expect stories from my life in Dublin and that you would be disappointed by this change. But I was reminded recently that this has always been a space for me to share my life and my adventures. This isn’t Dublin (oh, man, this so isn’t Dublin), but it’s our biggest adventure yet. I hope you’ll come with me as I share it with you.
As an addendum, our patio set. I found it on Craig’s list (thank goodness for Craig, our apartment would be empty without you!) for $30 and ordered $8 of indoor/outdoor fabric from Amazon to cover the seats and had a piece of glass cut to fit the tabletop. The DIY instructions go like this: cut fabric, staple gun to the bottom of the seat. Place glass on top. The end. It’s still too hot in Houston to really sit there for very long, but those days are coming and before you know it, I’ll be sitting there with a cup of coffee and a baby in my arms.