It’s a funny thing when you are on the other side of the hardest thing you have ever done, and choose to do something harder.

Open domestic infant adoption was until now the hardest thing I had ever tried to become a part of. It is more than just how I met my son. It changed every aspect of how I viewed myself and the world around me. That type of personal growth and desire to understand is messy and uncomfortable. So, why take on more?

My babies are still out there.

There are still little pieces of my heart that need to be found. I find them by doing all the hard things that makes me available for my children. I wasn’t exactly thrilled when it became apparent that I would need to become a licensed foster parent to continue building what was already very alive in my heart.

Foster care to me meant temporary. I wanted forever. As I began my foster care license, I felt like I was going backward. I was starting this whole messy work of figuring out what I was capable of parenting again, but these scenarios were more overwhelming than the infant list. Thinking about the conversations with our loved ones – that was overwhelming too. We would be needing their help to grow our family. We would also need them to open their minds and hearts to a child that was going to come from a hard place. How hard? I had no idea.

How is this foster parent hoping-to-adopt thing going to be different? It’s going to be so different, I can’t believe they are both considered adoption.

My previous philosophy on family building was to “take the path of least resistance,” and starting this journey into the child welfare system seemed to directly contradict that.

So why the change of heart? My son’s speech pathologist shared with me that her son had also been adopted. She told me that it will be the same. The deep-in-my bones, all-consuming, once-in-a-lifetime unique bond I feel with my son will happen again, no matter the age of my child when I meet them. It will be the same and I will know that they are meant to be with me.

It wasn’t an entire year in the infant adoption pool without any action, six months of paying for an online profile site, starting community resources to raise awareness for open adoption, shooting a video for, and taking on this writing position all to try and get the word out that we were ready for baby number 2. None of that could shake my resolve that you take the path of least resistance, even if it isn’t working as planned, or working at all. What it took was a November morning and a head-over-heels-in-love speech pathologist to tell me her son’s name, which happened to be the exact name I was planning to name our second child. (The universe knows I need more than a gentle nudge to change my ways.)

I was more than ready for my adoption story to be written in beautiful, graceful, open-infant-adoption letters.

But when I changed my thoughts about foster care adoption, I met my daughter.