One night, back before I met my wife, I was half asleep when my roommate came in and started to get ready for bed.
“Turn off the hall light once you’re done, K?” I said with my eyes half open.
“What?” He was confused.
“The hall light,” I repeated. “Turn off the hall light before you go to bed.”
“I can’t understand you, man,” he said.
“Before you go to bed, turn off the hall light,” I repeated, a little louder this time.
“No, I mean I don’t speak Spanish,” he laughed. “Say it in English.”
I didn’t realize I was speaking Spanish. I mean, I obviously know that I speak Spanish, but for some reason my mouth had switched stations on me and didn’t tell my brain. It’s funny how that switch works. There have been times when I’ve been constantly surrounded by both English speakers and Spanish speakers and I am easily able to switch back and forth between the two. When I’ve been a while without hearing Spanish or without hearing English, however, the switch gets stuck on one language and it can take a couple of seconds to get it unstuck.
That’s how it was with the concept of adoption. My wife and I tried for years and years to have children, and ultimately we decided to adopt. We were excited. We weren’t “settling” on adoption; we were excited about it!
When we were ready to adopt for a second time, after we had finished all of our qualifications and paperwork, we found ourselves thinking that we were pregnant. My wife was late on having her period– about two weeks late. We burned through a pile of home pregnancy tests, and even though they were coming up negative, the fact that she’s never more than a couple of days late. You get the picture. It was kind of confusing. We were excited about adopting again, and getting pregnant was almost like telling us that we couldn’t adopt again, even though having our own naturally born children was what we had always wanted before.
It took a few more days to come to terms with the thought before we were able to be excited about it. And we did. We were excited about it. It was a whole different way of thinking: having our own kids, what a novel idea! But then her period showed up after a few more days. We had just started to get used to the thought of having our own child, and we were once again really excited about it. Then we were back to where we were a few weeks earlier, hoping to get chosen for adoption.
It’s something that I wouldn’t have assumed had we never gone through it. I would have thought that no matter how the baby came, we would immediately latch onto the idea. My wife and I are fluent in both frames of mind, but being surrounded by only one possibility for a little while made the switch a little slow to change… both ways. We ended up adopting again, and we have no doubt that was what God had in mind for us. What a blessing.