The raw truth about the sacrifice of parenthood…
So heres the sitch: Im currently taking classes to foster to adopt and Im also single. Im told those two facts combined are less common than unicorns. Typically, when other parents hear what Im doing they start going through a long list of advice that I know most people who want kids but dont have them yet have heard. Youre going to lose a lot of sleep. Be prepared to never go out on a Friday night again. Say goodbye to your savings account.
So it got me thinking about all the things that Im going to sacrifice once I finally have a kid in my home, and like any big decision, figured Id weigh the pros with the cons.
One thing Ill have to give up is sleeping in. This means all those dreams that I dont remember anyways will have to be traded in for mornings watching cartoons with my son while eating cereal in the homemade fort we turned our couch into. Ill be forced to get up early to watch soccer games instead of staying in bed until noon going through Facebook on my phone. I think Im okay with this trade.
Another thing Ill have to give up is my independence. Not being able to drop everything and go to Hawaii whenever I wanteven though Ive never done that anyways. I wont be able to listen to whatever songs I want on the radio; instead Ill get to watch and teach my son to love and appreciate music. I wont get to choose whats for dinner all the time. Actually, sometimes I skip dinner because I cant decide what I want to make, so having a kid might actually force me to eat regular meals like a human being.
Ill sacrifice my dating life. Its true, I have already dated several Christians who ended the date because they found out that I was adopting. One even said, Call me an old-fashioned Christian, I just think God wants us to get married before having kids. This bothered me right up until I realized God chose Mary and Joseph to have Jesus. It does kind of suck thinking Ill have less time to meet a potential spouse, but the reality is instead of searching for someone to share life with, Ill already be sharing life with my son. Plus, nothing filters out the bad apples like telling them youre a single parent, so once again Im only seeing perks.
Ill sacrifice my finances. Yes, kids cost money. Instead of me being able to buy a new pair of shoes because its Thursday, Ill have to save my money for my son. Shoesor a sonshoesor a sonI think Ill take a son. Now I know Ill be sacrificing a lot more than just shoes, but there isnt a thing I can think of that Id rather have. Shoes fade, cars break down and iPhones never change, but we keep buying them anyways. I have these leather shoes that I bought in New York that were about $300. Fast forward, Im living with a family that had little kids and one of the kids watched a cat pee in one of my shoes. Now I dont remember the store I bought them in, I dont remember the exact price or even what part of New York I bought them in, but I remember that 5-year-old’s laugh. He thought it was hilarious that the cat peed in my shoes. I remember where he was standing, I remember how I was walking around the corner, I remember how bad his mom felt. The point is, I dont have a kid, but I know Id gladly throw those leather shoes away for another special moment with that kid.
What about your dreams? What about all the things you wanted to do? Honestly Im in a unique situation where Ive been blessed to achieve a lot of my dreams and still be found wanting. Ive had my dream jobs, Ive made a ton of money and still here I am, lonely. Dreams built around money and careers never live up to expectations, but reality with kids never ceases to disappoint. Reality beats dreams every day. Besides, I can still pursue a dream job AND have a son. In fact, isnt that what I want to teach him? To fight for his dreams WHILE loving family and community? What better way to teach it than by doing it myself?
So here I am, clueless and honestly freaked out but chasing a beautiful reality. I know its going to be hard. I know its a permanent decision, but I think thats the part that excites me the most. Jesus made a permanent decision to love me, even through the cross. I dont know how else to react other than to turn around and love an abandoned child. Im going to trade in my lonely nights and extra money for laughter, forts and a life with a purpose bigger than myself. Bring it on.