my husband and i got married in 2006, we talked about postponing having children for two full years. we decided to start trying after our second wedding anniversary simply because pregnancy for us meant that the child is already "here". during these two years we talked about "options" and "what if's" so the topic of adoption was included in our discussions.
it turned out that we're both open to the idea, so we discussed it further over the course of these two years. then when we got pregnant with our first son we still tackled the subject of adoption and i was happy to find out that we were on the same page, we had nothing against the idea of adopting our second child.
our daughter arrived two years, two months and 22 days after her brother (24 days to be exact, but i like cute numbers that "rhyme"). this second pregnancy and our second child was a planned one, on our side, and a gift from God on His side. we had written a list of pros and cons of keeping the age difference between our children this small, another major decision that i'll talk about some other time, but the adoption option was still an open one for us, even after having a second child of our own.
we are both citizens of countries in the MENA region and we live there (here) too, so the homework ahead of us was to find an experienced lawyer who knows the ins and outs of adoption in Egypt, mainly because the main source of the constitution and law in Egypt is the Islamic Shari'a, there's no adoption in Islam, you can raise and take care of an orphan (the closest term for it could be foster parenting كفالة يتيم) but you can't register that child under your name as a legal son or daughter of yours. we still need to know our stand as a Christian couple who are planning to legally and fully adopt a child.
throughout our 7 years of marriage and 4 years of having children (one child then two) I've always imagined what it would be like to adopt a baby who is not our own. the first few things that come to mind are the following:
- s/he won't look like us or resemble any of us as parents
- s/he might (or surly will) face the society, and our Middle Eastern society is not an easy one when it comes to "unfamiliar" practices or decisions, and adoption is almost a taboo
- there's a risk of her/him having genetic problems, biological family history of diseases we're unaware of, inherited tendencies of behavioral problems...etc.