We survived the first 18 months of our marriage where we barely saw each other as I finished up my bachelor's degree. We survived my attempt at graduate school while working full time and volunteering for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and church. We survived my layoff during the Great Recession in which I have found a job where I am thriving. We have muddled through my health issues and Mike's health issues.
As difficult as being layoff was and as trying as my health can be at times, our commitment was tested six years ago. We had been married over 10 years at this point. After I settled into my new job after the layoff, I felt ready to begin the adoption process knowing it would take us several years to bring a child home, regardless of the adoption process we chose - international, domestic infant, or foster care. Mike felt I had changed my mind after ten years, betrayed by me deciding to want children. I knew if we ever decided to have children it would be by adoption. I just spent ten years flip-flopping on whether or not I wanted to be a mother; ten years is a long time for someone to decide they do or do not want children. Most people, particularly women, know early on if they want children. I wanted a career and wanted to continue to work even after adding children to our family. The adoption process is not easy, your entire life is displayed, exposed to the caseworker who reviews every detail - medical history, psychological, finances, criminal history of us and our relatives, substance abuse of us and our relatives, reasons for adopting, our views on child discipline and the types we plan to use, cultural views,our views on adoption, our relatives' views on adoption, inspections of our homes, pets' medical history, background checks for relatives - the list goes on. We had to address some core issues between us of why we wanted children, were we in the parenting game as a team, or would we allow this to separate us. There were difficult, painful arguments during the early part of our adoption journey where we both had to learn to listen to each other and communicate with one another. We are stronger spouses and parents for the process we had to endure, but I do not want to repeat those day, ever!
Mike, thank you for sticking with me through 16 years of marriage plus the four years of courtship! You have been my steady rock when the world is out of control. Your humor keeps laughter in our house, we all know I can't tell a joke. You are a great father and a good role model for our boys. Thank you for reminding me to have fun and enjoy each moment of life. I loved you then, I love you now, and I always will! Happy 16th Wedding Anniversary!