It wasn't good news. After years of trying, the whole baby-making thing was just not happening for us.
I was sad, but not completely devastated. I never wanted a litter of kids. Just one would be nice.
I grew up with a large family and so did Don. I didn't think I was cut out for all that chaos. I lived through it and didn't really want to be the sergeant that my mom was. It's a tough job being a mom to four kids. I wanted a career. I wanted to make my own choices and be in charge of my life. Or so I thought.
Then the more I thought about it the more upset I got. It was supposed to be my choice. I never anticipated that I would not have a choice. This was not the way it was supposed to work. I was suppose to decide how many kids I wanted. The decision to wipe snotty noses on one kid or ten kids was mine to make.
All of a sudden I was thirty five. We'd been married eight years. If we wanted to have kids we had to get it figured out or we'd be that weird couple down the street with dogs and cats in a segregated house because the animals don't get along and we don't know how to parent them.
Then one day a teeny tiny announcement in the local paper caught my eye.
A local adoption agency was having an open house. I thought about it for a second and then I mentioned it to Don. He agreed to go and check it out. He didn't even try to get out of it.
The meeting room was full of middle-aged couples just like us. We all sat nervously looking around wondering if we looked like the couple sitting next to us.
The agency reviewed how it all worked. Other couples in the room had done some homework. They were attending for more than just information. They were ready to go. We were intrigued by it all.
A young woman in her early twenties spoke. She had been adopted from Korea when she was a young girl. Her name was Kathy. She was incredibly bright and happy. She left you feeling excited at the possibilities of a happy ever after.
We gathered all the information and headed out to Swanky Franks, our favorite local dive.
We settled on our stools at the counter and ordered our usual. Then I asked the big question.
"So" I said, with a long pause, making sure I had his attention "what did you think?" And in typical Don fashion he took his time answering.
"I don't know. What did you think?" he said.
Chicken. He wanted me to go first. Ok.
"Well. I'm kind of impressed with the China program." I said smiling tentatively.
"Yeah, me too." he said. And I saw hope in his face.
"Really? Should we do it?" I asked, my heart beating faster and faster.
"Yeah. I think so." he said smiling from ear to ear. "Let's do it."
"Ok. I'll make an appointment." and that was it. We had decided. No mulling it over and blah, blah blahing until we were exhausted.
That was September 30, 2000.
On August 14, 2002 we were in Changsha China adopting Elli. The most beautiful nine month old baby girl we had ever seen. Yin Ri Dong officially became Elliott Grace Mulkey. Or Elli for short.
I honestly can't imagine having any other child. She was waiting to be born until we were ready.
This weeks TRDC assignment: recall something in your life that seemed
terrible at the time, but looking back, brought you something wonderful. A positive from a negative experience. 600 words max.