We call ourselves the Flatland Five. When we were only two we were a hopeful Midwest couple struggling with infertility. There were so many stereotypes and societal expectations that drove what I thought a family should look like. The typical life plan says I should go to college, get married, have two kids and a dog. Along the way I should establish and build an important career, and in doing so I will live happily ever after. Well, spoiler alert, that is not the way my story went.
I was raised in a supportive family that encouraged me to follow my dreams. I went off to college, found a supportive partner, and even earned a master’s degree. Life seemed to be on track. After college, my husband and I spent two years in Thailand enjoying newlywed life and new cultures. It was a beautiful and mostly carefree time. We were able to focus on our jobs and even adopt a dog. However, when the time came for us to move back to the United States and think about starting our family, our plans seemed to fall apart.
Over the next couple years we went on an emotional roller coaster ride of infertility and failed pregnancy. Coming out of this we were extremely blessed to have two biological children, a daughter and a son. Trying for a third child made me literally and figuratively nauseous. I had become both emotionally and physically tired, but also scared of those potentially worse problems that can occur.
Adoption had always been something I was very open to and thought we might someday look into regardless. It did not take us a long time to decide to look into international adoption. I had the wonderfully unique opportunity to be raised in a family of beautifully blended multiple cultures. My mother is a German American and her second marriage was to my step-dad who was born and raised in India. He came to the United States in the 70s to complete his medical residency. Now, I’m confident to raise a child from any culture, but I felt that my exposure to Indian culture while growing up gave me additional confidence that he would do well in his new culture, but also always have a tie to his original Indian culture.
The adoption process is a long 2-3 year process with paperwork, home visits, paperwork, medical appointments, paperwork, psychological evaluations, and more paperwork. It was all worth it once we were matched with our son, and we knew our family was close to being completed. In the winter of 2019 we traveled to India with my step-dad to assist us with travel and language translation and we were finally able to meet and bring our son home. The Flatland Five were finally together. It wasn’t easy and fast as there were many tears, frustrations, and fears; but being able to bring our son home and complete our family was well worth the trials we went through.
Being an adoptive parent is a beautifully hard thing. The way our family has grown and adapted has blessed all of us in ways we never anticipated. The support of our family, community, and friends has been an immense blessing, and I recognize that we could not have completed our family without their help. The Flatland Five did not come together in the typical way and may not look the same as other families, but we would not want it any other way.