Decision-Making

August 22, 2006

I have a rather big decision I am attempting to make. Normally, with big decisions, I wait and receive some sort of sign which guides me toward a decision (which I presume to be the “right” one).  Well, I have been waiting and searching for signs and I am no closer to reaching a decision than I was when I started out. So I’m asking you folks what you think I should do.  Understand, it’s not like I want you to make the decision for me.  I just feel like I want a little more input.

Here’s my big decision:  have another biological child, or adopt (domestic/foster-adopt).

Update: I made an apointment to speak to a social worker next week. It feels like a good thing to do. Hopefully I’ll gain some clarity from the meeting, if nothing else.
Some background:  we have one bio son who’s 3.  I had a m/c before he was conceived and for that and other reasons, I found pregnancy to be stressful and not at all enjoyable.  Seriously, even little pleasures, like feeling him move, were tempered with insane worry when I didn’t feel him move.  Crazy-making.

Both my dad and my dh’s dad were adopted. Adoption had always been something “real” to me and something I’ve thought about doing.  

On the other hand, all of my friends are having kids right now, and my sister announced she’d be trying to get pregnant soon too.  I think it would be neat to be pregnant at the same time and have our kids be close in age.  It seems everywhere I turn around, I see gestating women.  It’s a huge cultural influence that’s hard to ignore.  It makes me wonder if my sister’s announcement (when we had previously thought she and her husband would be childfree by choice) was the sign I’ve been waiting for. Makes me wonder if I want to be part of that club again. Because the attention you get while you’re pregnant is as close to most of us will get to being a rock star.

I thought that making a list of pros and cons (my fallback method of decision-making, when signs aren’t immediately available) would be helpful.  Alas, the lists are equal in every respect.  Unless you take off “scary.”  My mother said if the only reason you don’t want to do something is because it’s scary, that’s not a good reason, and you have to do it anyway.

Also, I have this feeling that if I did something just because it’s what everyone else is doing, I’ll be very regretful.

Then again, if we adopt a kid who ends up being a much greater challenge and sorrow than ever we imagined, I’ll feel personally responsible.  Because that’s how I am.

Ugh!  I need some signs, people.

Pros to Adopting:

No pg stress
We have enough people in the world, let’s take care of the ones already here
I think I can be a decent adoptive parent, due to my upbringing
Sharing would be fulfilling
No infant stage

Cons of Adopting:
Scary
Different
Troubles we’re not used to
Possibly feeling a sense of missed opportunity

Pros to Getting Pregnant:
Nine months of attention
Could have a cousin of the same age
We know how to do it
We know what to expect, sort of
It’s normal

Cons of Getting Pregnant:
Pg stress
Possibly feeling a sense of missed opportunity
Infant stage, again
Did I just bow to cultural pressure?

Any input?  Any other great advice on how to make a big decision?  (Would that I had a magic eight ball!)