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Adoption Blog: Man Up!

Learning by Parenting: I Was Clueless Before We Adopted Manu
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I want to begin by warning you not to take me too seriously. Not that I’ll intentionally mislead anyone, it’s just that, the older I get, the more apparent it is to me that I don’t have a clue as to what I’m talking about. Take children for instance. There was a time in my previously childless life that I could tell you what all parents were doing wrong, and what they should do to fix the incessant crying and whining that was ruining my otherwise childless day. Obviously you’re not disciplining them right, or maybe they’re watching too much TV! It was so easy in my mind, that I couldn’t understand why parents just didn’t get it. Let’s just say I was blissfully unaware. Fast forward to today: I have no idea why my son just dropped to the ground in a crying fit, or why we can’t go into a store without him pulling everything off the shelves just to watch daddy pick it all back up. Why does he wait until the game is on to demand my undivided attention? Why doesn’t that bother me the way I thought it would?

When I married my wife Leslie in 1996, I had my life’s direction all figured out. We would enjoy each other exclusively for a few years and only then think about starting a family. Well, three years turned into eleven, and it was time to act, or commit to being childless forever. I’ll admit that there was a time when that prospect didn’t seem all bad, but as the years went on the thought of growing old childless became cold and unappealing. Although adoption was always a consideration for us as the way we might grow our family with our second or third child, life circumstances dictated that this would be the only path we would follow.

So, in late 2007, we began a world-class paper-chase that led us on a roller-coaster ride of emotions with immense highs and lows that tested our patience and taught us a lot about ourselves. The direction of our adoption took several unexpected turns, that ultimately led to a small children’s home in Bangalore, India. It was in my last few childless moments, as we waited outside the door before meeting our son, that I came to fully realize that I had no idea how to parent a child, or how what was about to happen would change our lives forever. But as I first saw him there on the floor, dressed in a donated Chicago Cubs onsey that was a little too big, banging a half-broken rattle onto the floor that had surely been the plaything of countless children before him, and drooling from two little teeth that were just about to break through, and he looked up at me and smiled, I knew everything was going to be all right. An unbreakable bond was instantly forged, and it only grows stronger with time. For all of my ignorance, I’m learning every day. I can no longer imagine myself in my former life. I’ve only been a father for a little over a year, but it seems like Manu has been with us forever.  Though I’ll surely stumble through some aspects of parenthood, I’m going to be the best father that I can be; he deserves no less than that.

Welcome, and thanks for joining me in my first blog post for I hope you’ll continue reading as I chronicle our experiences throughout our adoption process, and describe my ever-changing life as a new father. For a more detailed look at our trip to India, and our first year home, please visit us at Me You and Manu, our family adoption blog. Thanks again!

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