There are two phrases I have heard over the years and in particular, I have heard in this year long adoption process that just rubbed me the wrong way. These phrases were “Just wait till you have kids!” and “You will feel differently about that when you have kids.” Most of the time I was honestly being too sensitive or finicky about phrases or words. Rarely was it said in a negative way. Regardless, it just rubbed me the wrong way.
How much would children change me? Everyone always talk about the moment they pick up their child for the first time and how that moment changed their life. What about that changes you? And then I wondered, how would it be for me? We are not adopting a baby or having a baby. We were going to bring in a relatively older child. Would I have that moment that changes everything? I was not banking on it.
Also, there are times where I interact with younger kids. I have volunteered in the past at church and worked with camps. I also have played games and babysat my nieces and nephews. I love it and enjoy spending time with them. But if I’m being honest, there are a lot of games with kids that I have played that I quite honestly had lost interest two minutes after starting them. I can last at playing house for a bout 5 minutes. I always worried, how am I going to be a dad who plays with their kids when I have a hard time playing a game with kids for 5 minutes? the only thing that carried me beyond 5 minutes was knowing the kids were having fun.
Then two little children showed up at my house at 11:30 on a Monday night. They came with packages boxes and bags filled mostly with clothes that didn’t fit. She was screaming and he was hungry. Many exhausting days with hyper children would ensue. She would go to war over a wrong word or for telling her it is time to leave the playground. He decided one night he wasn’t tired. So he never. went. to. sleep…………. It is Sunday night and I still haven’t returned to normal sleep. I always have a scared kid needing a hug in the back of my mind. But something else strange has happened. There is something in me that has completely changed. I am not even sure what it is or why. There were so many things that were important to me. So many things that were on my mind daily that seemed to be huge decisions before but now seem insignificant. I have found something greater, more important, and much more challenging.
Suddenly I have found myself spending time playing silly games, having dance parties, throwing the ball, telling bedtime stories and much more. And unlike previously, I want to do those things. There is something in me that cares more for them than for my own desires. I feel a burden and a passion to care for and love these children. I don’t know how to explain it nor do I fully understand how. Is it because we just mesh well? Is it because of what they have been through? Is it because of guilt? Is it because they are adorable kids? Or maybe its because you really do feel differently when they are your own kids after all.