I’ve known that I wanted to adopt an older child as far back as high school. Being an idealistic teenager and coming from a close-knit family of five kids, it struck me as a bit unbelievable that there were so many unwanted children out in the world. Of course, I planned to have biological children of my own, but I knew that I wanted to be an adoptive parent as well.
Fast-forward to my mid-20s and life as a newlywed and history graduate student in Bloomington, IN…interested in starting a family someday but decide graduate school my not be the best time for us.
As graduate school finally starts to draw to a close, decide to start trying to get pregnant but no success. We try not to read too much into it. I finish the Ph.D. and miraculously snag a tenure-track faculty position in northeastern PA. We pack up to leave our beloved B’town & move back east.
Life as a new faculty member is both exhilarating and exhausting. My husband also manages to convince me to buy a fixer-upper. Good thing–John will need something to keep him busy during all of those nights & weekends that I spend at school. Amidst the madness, I get pregnant! We’re so excited; I decide that it’s a girl and start referring to her as Emma. Even though it is incredibly early, I place my hand gently on my stomach as I stroll around campus & think of my sweet little girl-to-be.
Well, long story short, it turns out to be an ectopic pregnancy. In the process, my right fallopian tube is removed. The experience is pretty devastating.
Not too long after, we get a dog from a great foster organization called BREW (Beagle Rescue, Education, & Welfare) although neither of us are dog people–I’ll save that story for another post. I think my husband thinks that I’ll come home more from the office if we have the dog. I start taking Schenley to my office.
A year & a half goes by, and we get pregnant again. I have an early miscarriage. Barring some unknown future miracle, it is the last time that I will become pregnant. We adopt a second wonderful beagle.
Throughout the entire experience, we keep in mind that we’ve always planned to adopt. We just thought that we would be adopting after we had biological kids of our own. We meet a fantastic adoption worker, Joan Gower, from Catholic Social Services in Wilkes-Barre. Adoption classes are informative, scary, and exciting. We get to know other families who want to adopt. Things feel positive on the family front for the first time in a long while.
In April 2008, John & I come to the abrupt decision to move back to Pittsburgh. I love teaching & my students, but the fates are pulling us back home. We manage to sell our house in four days–right before the onset of the recession. Before the momentousness of what we’ve done even has time to settle in, we’ve packed up the house and set up temporary residence at my mother-in-law’s back in southwestern PA.
We buy a house in a great neighborhood (with good city schools) and close on September 30. The first year that we are back, the Steelers win the Super Bowl and the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. We take this a sign from the universe that we’ve made the right decision.