During the first part of our marriage we had been wanting to have a child of our own. It soon became apparent however that that was never going to happen without some help from science. After taking a certain blood pressure medication for so long, it had made me sterile. However, after exploring several options we (or should I say, she) decided that adoption was the way to go. She simply didn’t want to undergo any kind of medical procedure at all. Okay, fine, I respect that. I myself have been through 14 surgeries and procedures over my lifetime and being such an old hand at it, I didn’t see the big deal BUT, I understand… I really do. Medical procedures can be intimidating to say the least.
The adoption process was relatively painless and short, much to my surprise. I suppose the one incident that stands out for me was when my wife came to a realization. She had been struggling with the fact that she’d never have a biological child of her own (as was I) but one day, she told me one day that life is what it is and you simply have to make the best of it. “It’s your fault we can’t have a child, I blame you.”
Wow, really? What a revelation. What that means to me is that I’m such a selfish asshole for attempting to save my own life. Granted, high blood pressure isn’t going to kill someone over night but there is a reason why it’s call “The silent killer.” I couldn’t help but feel so betrayed yet once again not to mentioned shocked at the cold callous way she imparted this information to me. Be that as it was, we continued on.
It wasn’t long after we had completed all of the parenting courses and FBI background checks that the phone rang with the news that a baby had been born in Flagstaff and the mother wanted to put it up for adoption. She chose my wife and me from a file containing several other couples who were also looking to adopt.
So we made the long trek to Flagstaff and met our future daughter for the first time. We both fell in love with this little girl immediately. We were allowed to take her home that night but there was a catch. The birth mother had no idea where the biological father was and by law, he must be contacted to receive his approval as well. In other words, we could take our daughter home and be a family right now but if the father shows up and wants to contest the adoption, we’re fucked.
We did have the option of leaving the baby with a foster mother just in case the father did show up and throw a monkey wrench into the works. That way it wouldn’t be so devastating when Child Protective Services showed up to take the child away but we gambled and took the child home that night. With each passing day we both came to love our daughter more and more but the search for the father proved fruitless. That meant that a wider search was to be implemented and that would take more time.
I harbored terrible fantasies that CPS would show up and say “Sorry, we found the father and the child needs to come with us.”, and although my wife never said anything like that, I knew she was thinking it too.
Eventually, all avenues to find the father were exhausted and the State had no choice but to grant the adoption. That was one of the happiest days in my marriage.
Shortly after the adoption was finalized, life was grand. My wife and I enjoyed a resurgence in our sex life and the fights became far and few in between. However, this was to be short lived. Just a year after the adoption was finalized I would see our lives begin to slip back to the hell it used to be (at least to me it was hell). She started throwing snide comments at me once more, sex would disappear yet again, and I would begin to feel like a room mate all over again.
I guess having a child wasn’t the answer, however, I’d never go back and do it differently. I love my daughter with all of my heart, I wouldn’t give that up for anything but having a child living with two parents who are constantly fighting… that’s no good either. I didn’t want my daughter to believe that this kind of relationship is normal. I needed help… professional help. And when that didn’t pan out… I took it to the extreme.