We settled our youngest child in her dorm room and began the long drive home. As we left the city behind, my husband grasped my hand, gave me an impish grin and asked if I would enjoy a leisurely dinner at the next town. We thought having an empty house after so many years would be rather refreshing.
Several months went by. The children called often and made plans to be home for Christmas. At spring break, we had our three plus a couple of their college friends in the house. After they left, we felt lonely.
The next summer they had jobs away from home. The house was too big, too quiet. It needed young activities, so we decided to apply for a foster child.
A few weeks later a young tween to care for. The house rang with action again. However, after four months, she returned to her biological parents and we welcomed another young girl. She stayed two months. In quick succession, three small children graced our lives, each for a few months.
We were happy that the children could return to their families, but their absence left a crack in our lives. To fill that empty gap, we opted to try to adopt a child or two that would not capture our hearts then abruptly leave us. We discussed the idea with our adult children and they were enthusiastic.
After filling out a ream of paperwork, enduring physicals exams, and attending a week-end of classes on successful adoption, we learned we had passed scrutiny. Now the wait.
We were told we were past the age of receiving an infant and we agreed to consider an older child. We searched through photo books. The children were compelling and we smilingly told the social worker we would like all of them, but would settle on two to four.
A few weeks went by, then we received notice that two little sisters were available. If interested, we could make an appointment to visit then at their foster home.
The little girls, four and five, were adorable. We loved them immediately. We were so excited after the initial visit. A month later we were able to take them from their home for an afternoon and overnight visit in a motel. We had so much fun. We went to the zoo, and though it was cold, the children had a good time. We played games with them in the motel room and recorded them talking about everything. They seemed to like us and were very animated.
Another month’s wait and we were allowed to take them home. We were subject to a one-year probation with monthly visits to the adoption agency.
About two years later, we received a call, asking if we would consider a little boy seven years old. We said yes. We visited him at his foster home and took him out for the day. A month later the social worker brought him to us and visited our home for an afternoon.
This child was rather quiet and a little overwhelmed by our two exuberant daughters. They were delighted to have a brother and thought he was cute. Our new son soon seemed to like us and his new home, and began to adjust.
A few months later we were asked to consider another little boy, four years old. We were delighted. He would be a playmate for our son and complete our second family.
Get-togethers with our family were great fun.
The children grew into young adults and went there various ways. Did each one turn out the we had hoped? No. We do feel, however, that they are better able to cope with the world because our love for them. We now have sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, ten grandchildren and one grandson-in-law.
Our grandchildren do not live very close. Every once in awhile, my husband says the house is awfully quiet without children. I give him a wry smile and agree, somewhat. We satisfy ourselves by being surrogate grandparents to the neighborhood children whose parents work.
Little ones who have been abandoned or mistreated fill foster homes in this country. Couples who enjoy children, and have an extra pocket in their hearts, will be blessed to consider adopting a child, as will the child.