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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Opportunity costs

I officially moved out of my corporate office this week. Well, cube is more accurate – after 19 years in my current profession, I’ve never had a workspace with a door. It was a strange sensation, this move, because my primary office will be at home now. While I have worked a couple days a week from home for the last couple of years, there is a different level of commitment, a decisiveness, associated with this action. Oddly, it felt like forsaking all other potential mates when I knew that Kerry was “the one” for me fairly early in our dating relationship. There was a sense of leaving something behind, thinking I might miss something, but knowing, nonetheless, the chosen path was far superior.

You may be asking yourself, “So how does this relate to adoption?” The parallel may not be immediately evident. After the birth of our first child, we officially became a family, instead of a couple. This was something for which we yearned and happily embraced. Adjustments, some anticipated, and some not, were required. No longer could we stay up until 2 a.m. and expect to sleep late, uninterrupted, to recover! Spontaneity became much rarer. Romantic midnight walks were replaced by midnight walks around the house to comfort a needy baby.

Each new child brought new adjustments. But more than that, with each child, we became a different family entirely. This may be something you know intuitively, without ever thinking about it. The family child #2 knew became different when child #3 came along. The individuals in the family, the dynamics of the family, the “operation” of the family, etc, became different as the family grew.

Having waited and yearned for a fourth child for almost 4 years, one would assume we would be fully prepared for #4. However, I think it’s a very healthy and necessary step, consciously and deliberately, to surrender that which is familiar and comfortable (in this case, the present familial environment), and potential opportunities (things available via the status quo) when making important decisions. In economic/financial terms, we must weigh the “opportunity costs” (what we sacrifice) when we choose one thing over another. Just as I decided to forsake my familiar office environment when I chose to work from home, choosing to adopt a child means sacrificing the family environment we know and enjoy now. Each family member should do this in their own way and time.

Slowly, I am beginning to understand what child #4, and particularly the special needs of an adopted child, will mean to parents and children alike. I already know some of the blessings that will come, but only time will tell the ultimate impact this individual, whom the Lord has chosen for our family, will have on us. I’m ready to embrace this change, to give up the familiar and other opportunities, because I know this is what the Lord wants for us. I am filled with joyful expectation, and a sense of wonder of being a part of His larger plan, as we wait to welcome the newest member of our family, and all the delights and challenges this encompasses.

And, by the way, now I finally have an office…with a door.