A couple struggles with an important life decision
|The young couple, that we will identify as John and Mary Jones to protect their privacy, had what seemed to be a perfect life. They married just after college with no financial stability to speak of, and to their credit, they decided to wait a few years before starting a family. Since then, they had achieved some of the success that they often dreamed of. Mary was now a sales representative for a large technology company and John was finally getting to be well known as an artist. It was time, they decided, to have a child, but after a couple of years, and several doctor visits, they discovered, to their dismay, that it was not medically possible to have their own.
They soon decided that what seemed, at first, to be devastating news, was simply a change of direction. They wanted children and there were still options open to them, including fostering and adoption. Fostering was an attractive option, but after discussing it, they decided that adoption was the only thing that made sense for them.
There were many adoption agencies in the city that they could choose from, with so many deserving children. Some agencies had children from nearby, while others had children from far away lands. They heard about one agency in particular, that piqued their interest above the others. All of the children in this agency had some kind of special need, in some cases mental or emotional, and others, physical. These were children who were very difficult to place, and as a result, the agency was in danger of shutting down completely. John and Mary made an appointment and, when the time arrived, made their way to the address in a very poor and run-down part of the city.
As expected, the building was in serious need of repair, but their only thought was for the poor children that nobody seemed to care about. The agent had introduced them to many of the children and then returned to her office to give them some privacy. Now, they sat in the waiting room with a huge decision to make. The room, like the rest of the building, had certainly seen better days. It was dark, not just because of the peeling brown paint on the walls, but because the few windows, were small and dirty. The only sound was a steady dripping from some unseen water pipe. The musty smell and uncomfortable chairs added to the oppressive feeling of the room, which did not help with that difficult decision.
Part of the decision was not difficult at all. There were so many children here who needed a loving home, and that was something they had to offer. They were drawn to a number of the children here, especially two in particular that we will call Charley and Jessica. They were four-month-old twins and the agency insisted that they be adopted together, which was not a problem since John and Mary had fallen in love with both of them. They had all the normal number of fingers and toes, but like all children in this agency, they had some special needs that had to be considered very carefully. They sat alone, in silence, for several minutes. Then Mary was the first to speak, her voice echoing in the empty room.
"John, do you remember what we decided about children, just after we were married?"
"Yes, of course. In fact, I was just thinking about that. We said, when we had children, we would make sure that they were loved and provided for."
"Yes, and that's why we waited to have a family. Not just so we had enough money, although that was important, but because we knew we needed some life experience, first."
"Right. And even though we'll probably never have enough life experience until after we've raised our kids, we've learned some things from our friends. Remember Bob and Jan?"
"Yeah, no matter what their kids asked for, they always said 'no'. And when the kids asked 'why', they just said 'because we said so.' We learned to always try to say 'yes' and only say 'no' for a very good reason. I felt sorry for those kids."
"Me too.", John agreed. "It's even worse for them now, since the divorce."
"And then there's Carla and Doug.", recalled Mary. "They were a few years older than us, but they were just so busy all the time with careers and clubs and hobbies. They just never seemed to have time to spend with their kids. No family outings or vacations and constantly leaving the kids with babysitters."
"I know, and those kids have had a lot of problems. They always seem to be getting into trouble. I can't wait to take our kids hiking and swimming and camping and a thousand other things."
They sat in silence for a few more minutes, and this time John was the first to speak.
"You know, Mary, there would be a lot of challenges with Charley and Jessica, being half deaf and blind, but I really think adopting them would be the best thing for them and us."
"I agree.", Mary said emphatically. "Even though they each only have two eyes and ears instead of the normal four, they can have full and productive lives with us."
So, as the light of the day's second sunrise began to filter into the room, they made their way confidently to the adoption agent's office to sign the papers and start their new family adventure.