Adopting in Your 40s

The Adventure Begins

The next few months were a blur. Before I met our birth mother, Joan, I expected a hardened, troubled 14-year-old. But what I found was a soft-spoken girl who reminded me of one of my nieces. In her big brown eyes I could see the pain she was going through.

As we waited for the birth, it all seemed unreal to me. I couldn't believe that now, after 16 years of marriage, we would become parents! And I wasn't prepared for some of the comments that came my way.

"Oh, you are so lucky you don't have to go through a pregnancy. If I could do it your way, I would," my pregnant friend told me one day. Didn't she know that I'd longed for years to go through a pregnancy like hers?

"How much will the baby cost?" I actually heard more than once.

But not all comments were so insensitive. As a teacher, I worried about breaking the news to my students. I shouldn't have. My first-graders were excited for me. One little girl, Vanessa, told me that she and her mother prayed every night that God would find some way for Mike and me to have a baby. Her innocence touched my heart. And now it seemed like God was indeed answering all of our prayers!

A Welcome Change

I was totally unprepared for what motherhood would do for me. It seemed as if, overnight, I'd joined an exclusive club. Yet, with this membership, I've left others behind. One of my friends, Karen, shared tales of her trip to Europe one day soon after my baby, Brandon, came home. Then she asked what I had been doing. Instead of going to Italy, I had had the experience of feeding Brandon at 3:00 a.m. Not just one morning, but every morning!

Another friend was finally able to buy the red Mustang convertible of her dreams. Mike and I just hope our old truck will last another year.

And while my friends discuss going to Las Vegas or to Los Angeles on shopping excursions, I'm trying to push my way through crowds with a baby cart -- and finding that not all places are baby-friendly. Try making it into a video store without the door slamming on you!

While others are trying to find themselves, I'm chasing after a rambunctious 6-month-old. But I'm also recapturing the wonder of simple things. The glow of Christmas lights strung on our neighbors' homes. The brightly colored plumage of our parrot eating from his bowl.

So if this is our midlife crisis, what a way to go! Who knew that this would be it? But I welcome it, as I've welcomed my son, with open arms.

Kim Rapier lives with her family in Southern California.

?2003 Adoptive Families. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. This article is reprinted, with permission, from Adoptive Families magazine.


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