The best thing that ever happened to me was when I had my daughter in 2010 after a successful IVF cycle. She (and her potential sibs) were created in a lab with the help of amazing science. You see, in layman's terms, my parts are not so good. They didn't want to work how they should.
I'd like to thank the Christianson's of Hendricks, Minnesota for that. Genealogy is my FAVORITE hobby and it gave me lots of interesting tidbits about where I came from. The Christianson's were immigrants from Norway arriving circa 1871, settling first in Iowa, then moving to Minnesota.
Christian (center front, and whose name I would have used if I had a boy) was a successful farmer and served as mayor for the town of Hendricks. He and his wife Agnetha (Nettie) had 8 children. Now I don't know whether to blame Christian or Nettie, but out of the 4 girls in the photo, only two were able to have children. Betsy (on the far left) my g-g- grandmother had 4 children, 3 of whom lived, and Christine (on the far right front) had 3. Neither Bertha nor Emma (back row) were able to have children. And poor Peter (center, back row) died at age 20 from Diabetes. In my mind, we're pretty lucky the line continued on.
Had I been born then I would have just not had any children (which is fine, when its a choice, not when its chosen for you). Thankfully, due to science, Sierra and some potential sibs were created in a dish in a lab. 2 were implanted and 1 very strong willed child put down her roots and grew.
I always planned for another child. Perhaps a Christian, maybe a Sienna. I always wanted Sierra to grow up with siblings, like I had--annoying in your youth, blessings as you age. However, her potential siblings were destroyed in May. The last control my ex could exert: no him, no further kids. It was a very emotional time for me...
For the last 2 years or so Sierra has repeatedly asked me to get her a brother or sister. She was pretty sure I just had to go to the doctor and pick one up. With the ever present prodding I started to think about other ways a child could become part of our family, given that the option of a 1-night stand was out of the question. I was lucky enough to meet several adoptive parents and talk to them about their varied experiences. By happenstance, our paths crossed (I like to call it fate).
I started to think about the possibility of becoming a foster parent. However, honestly, I was put off by the requirements. A long list of trainings and paperwork and home visits. Don't get me wrong: I understand they have children's' best interest in mind. But when you repeatedly see reports of abused kids, in the foster care system itself, you wonder how well the current system is working. One would think a kindergarten teacher, with expertise in early child development, already back ground checked, might make it to a, "fast track" or something. Maybe get credit for college classes already taken on positive behavioral support instead of 40 hours of classes??
So I didn't act. I just waited.
I'm not sure what you might call it: fate, destiny, divine intervention, or serendipity, but those happenstances kept on happening. Across my path people working for the system, people fostering, kids in care, would end up on my radar, mostly in my face. And each time I would think, "well isn't that quirky." And each time I would negate it.
Today we were at the Goodwill...looking for games for my summer school "kids." Sierra was, as always, perusing the shoe rack...trying on high heels, hoping I would too. We were looking at the kids section when she picked up an obviously too small pair of shoes.
We started to make our way to the cash register when I ran into a former college acquaintance. She was walking with a little girl, about two, and was looking for a particular toy. We began talking and (what's the chances) she does foster care. The little, sweet, happy child was a foster kiddo. I looked at that sweet girl and decided, "Ok God. I think the 20th time is a charm."
And I jumped in...
"...if you love each other, then you are a family." Families come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. My style just might work for someone.