Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Defending "THE DECISION"

About a month after Addison's birth, Erik and I made an unpopular, unexpectedly controversial decision. Since then we've been called selfish, rash, stupid, and probably a few other things behind our backs. I'm honestly shocked that with our history and my blogs, that ANYONE we know and love would question our choice, but they have. I have been asked about it so many times, I'm going to give our answer and defend our decision publicly. Here it is: I am choosing not to birth any more children. Now, before you smile knowingly at the computer screen, let me add this. We took steps to make sure that we can't. You know, surgical steps.

I'm going to counter some of the things we've heard as to why we MUST give Addison a sibling. Yes, I realize that there are many stereotypes surrounding an only child: they are spoiled, they aren't social, they are egocentric, yada yada yada. Telling me all of that is not going to change my mind, because while I find the birth order effect endlessly fascinating, rarely does a child fit their birth order mold completely. We will try hard to make sure she is well-rounded and altruistic. Yes, I realize that an only child needs someone to play with. That's where friends and cousins come in. And we, as parents, will take extra steps to ensure that she has plenty of opportunities to spend time with other kids. Yes, I know that only children have a lot of responsibilities as their parents age and they have no one to share the burden with. But, as I've seen firsthand, there is no guarantee that more than one sibling will do the bulk of the work anyway. Plus, they get the inheritance all to themselves! :-) No, I don't think that we should have another baby "in case" something happens to her. As if a sibling could just take her place!? And yes, that has been given as a reason why we should have more than one baby. If I don't sound convincing enough, I'm in love with this article published in Time Magazine addressing this very subject.

That being said, I have not ruled out adoption. It was put on my heart long ago as I read Mary Beth Chapman's book, Choosing to See. It was like a bolt of lightning struck me as I was reading; I was SUPPOSED to adopt from China. In my mind, I have already named our second little girl. However, that same bolt has not struck my husband's heart, and unless/until it does, Addison will remain our only. And I'm just fine with that.

Now, on to the unsurprising reason behind our decision; it's very simple. There are no guarantees. This is true for every pregnancy, yes, but my odds are much different. "Habitual aborters" (my diagnosis still makes me cringe) are at a much higher risk for loss than someone who has had zero, one or even two miscarriages. I know myself. I know the roller coaster I was on before we had Addison, the craziness my husband was subjected to. Selfish to me is even considering exposing Addison to that mom who is drowning in loss, that mom who is so consumed with having another child she can think of nothing else. Am I choosing the lesser of two evils? Maybe so, but I don't see it that way.

We did not make this decision lightly nor did we do it without prayer. We feel that we are making the best choice for us, given our past. So now that the "When are you having a baby?" question is taken care of, hopefully this answers the unavoidable "When are you having another one?" that has started already. We aren't. God gave us Addison, entrusted His miracle to us, and unless He intervenes somehow, she will be an only child. We have the family that we've always wanted now, and someday, we will explain our decision to her. God willing, she will understand, even embrace, our choice. And that is all that matters.

1 comment:

  1. What a difficult decision to make, but it's obvious that you guys have made the best choice for your family. My husband was an only child and he's very well rounded, giving, and not at all selfish. And I'm sure his parents heard many of the same things after they decided that he would be their only. (They were in their early 20's)

    As an adoptee, I think it's amazing that you are even considering adoption. I'm a pretty big fan, myself. :) It's something I've talked about with my husband, too.