When a couple is engaged to be married, there are a wide variety of emotions. These emotions would include excitement, some nervousness, and an expectation that all will go well leading up to the upcoming wedding. Also, the planning can be quite detailed as you know. The wedding date, the venue, who to invite, the decorations, the wedding party, what to wear, the food, the cake, the photographer, and the cost are some of the many parts that became the norm for many weddings. But, what about after you say, “I do”? What about matters that been discussed or not discussed during the courtship and now you are married? What happens to those “matters” now that you are newlyweds?

One such “matter” occurred while during my courtship. When I was engaged, my fiancé, Melody, and I were sitting on a bench outside looking at the stars and moon on an unusually cool Florida night. We talked about being married and what that would look like. It was small talk but still meaningful. We were gazing at the stars, and out of nowhere, the subject of adoption came up. Melody asked about whether we would ever adopt. Adoption? I thought for a moment before answering because we were both in our late 30s. Both of us had careers, and she had a home. It was an unexpected question, but one that I am grateful was asked. I responded in a nonchalant way to her that if the opportunity arose and since I had an older brother who had adopted, it certainly is worth considering. That was the extent of our conversation on adoption, and believe it or not, it never came up again until after marriage.

Obviously, it is important to have a discussion about children, fostering, and adoption prior to being married. It is even more important to speak with those who have already adopted and who even fostered. The brief conversation that my fiancé and I had is not what I would recommend even though we were open to the idea. Being open is good, but being informed of the adoption process, prepared to open your personal life to strangers, and ready to have your world changed is even better. This is not deciding what to eat for dinner or what pair of shoes you will wear today. That is easy, but adoption is a life-changing decision that will impact pretty much every area of your life.

That romantic night was over 14 years ago. Today, I look back and think how a simple question and a brief answer would one day lead to making us a family of five. I would encourage any couple that is engaged to be open to adoption. You want to take the necessary steps to make sure that you are ready. In life, a seed is planted in a marriage and then, one day, it germinates and sprouts into something so precious. For Melody and me, that precious seed gave us three beautiful children.

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