Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

And Then There Were Possibly Three?

How do I tell my story of adding to my family through adoption? Do I talk about why I can’t be pregnant again? It’s not that I can’t get pregnant. I have friends with infertility. Or even stay pregnant (I have friends that miscarry) I can stay pregnant because they know what my pregnancy problem is, and they can fix it. No, it’s that pregnancy is just too much. And postpartum?… Very much too much. For me. Childbirth? That was pretty good. But the pregnancy, the surgery to stay pregnant, the threatening miscarriages that happened each time, the miracle that my oldest son is here…

And about that:

It’s a miracle that Enn wasn’t born at a premature 22-23 weeks (with the likely chance that he’d not make it if he’d been born that early.) I am so glad I had no idea how close we came to that. I started bleeding at 23 weeks and it was heavy and GK was outside talking to our old mean neighbor about some turf issue of his, and I was yelling to him to come inside. It was scary. And it was the Saturday morning of my friend Mandy’s wedding, and I was in the wedding, and I had to go to the hospital instead. And then I was sent home. And I was told by my OB office to call to schedule a cerclage. And I called, and they didn’t get back to me. I thought I was just supposed to wait until I heard from them. When a week or more passed (with me on my couch) and I called again, saying- when can I get in for surgery? I am now 24 weeks pregnant? Usually these are scheduled during the first trimester for people that know they have my condition, not at 23 weeks. It’s more dangerous then. Now I know that. Once they realized how far along I was, they scheduled me for an emergency procedure right away. See, my OB office screwed up. Looking back, I know now that I could have lost Enn.

I was so close to losing him. I have friends who have lost their babies at birth. There are no words for that.

And there is no way to describe why I was so incredibly calm about the whole thing, except prayer. Knowing that so many friends and family and our whole church was praying for GK & I & the baby. And what better way to get on everyone’s hearts than to not show up for the wedding you’re a part of & be in the hospital instead? Everyone was praying.

And he was okay. And when I got pregnant with Zee, it was hard, very hard. But he was okay, too. And I had postpartum depression both times, and that was crazy hard. But we are all OK now. And amazingly enough, GK is okay, too. How’s that for a crash course on handling emotional turbulence for a guy who came from a mostly uneventful home and who prefers the emotions of following his favorite college football instead of the emotions of building a family? He has grown into it. We are learning, even now, how to handle pressure and hard times as a family, together, not separately. We are both learning.

I always wanted to adopt. I told my mom, when I was a teenager, that I thought I’d rather not give birth at all, but just adopt. So the years changed me a little, I did want to give birth. I really wanted to have a daughter. I never even imagined having little boys at all! Now I have them body surfing over each other as we sit on the couch so they can plow me in the face with arms & legs & kisses. Only someone with two boys can know the way their energy multiplies infinitely after dinner until bedtime. I never pictured myself roaring like a dinosaur daily (for varied inspirational reasons); shouting gleefully at trucks that pass our van as we’re out driving (look! a biiiiig truck!!!); and getting comfortable with drool, dirty faces, and scabs. No, not me! And GK was just the opposite. He was sure of having Just Boys.

So here we are, two babies later, and we have a house full of males.

Another desire in my heart: a bigger family. I come from a large Mexican extended family. I have a couple siblings, too. Having a big family just seems… right. But GK is from a family of 2 kids. And each of his cousins’ families? Two kids. That’s what seemed right to him.

The thing is, if we’d had a boy & a girl, I don’t know that we would have started the grand journey of adoption, because for us that started with the decision to have a third. I know I would have wanted to. But, would I have had the strength? The desire? The love? To grow our family to add another child, not to mention, how’d we get there? Childbearing brought such weariness into our lives, with the postpartum trouble we had. Expanding our family to three is just no easy task. Pregnancy of course was out, that became clear over the summer. With a boy & a girl, we may have said, Hey, that’s good we’re done. No need for more kids. It’s just too much.

But without a daughter, my family just hasn’t felt complete. Still, it was hard for me to let go of pregnancy as an option for us. GK and I had many deep discussions. It challenged us and shaped us just to talk through it. There were tears. So, even though I had an early dream of adoption way back when, GK was the one to really embrace it over the summer. (During that time, I tried out the feeling of not having any more kids at all. As you can see, it didn’t stick.) GK really thought through what it means to adopt, he talked to our friends at church who’ve adopted, and he caught the dream in his heart. Then months passed, and it wasn’t a topic we visited much.

Then a week happened when a friend of mine found out she was pregnant with her third. And we all were pretty sure it’d be another girl. And another friend of mine had found out that the twins she’s having are both girls. And the latest new babies of friends at church? Girls. And I thought- I can’t take this anymore! I want a girl! And I told GK, I really want this! Please, I asked him, please, let’s try again.

He listened to me. He heard out me out. Why I wanted to give birth to a daughter.

And he said- what about adoption?

Hmm, I thought. Adoption. It’s not how I thought I’d have my daughter.

But really, just a heartbeat later (literally), knowing that pregnancy was off the discussion table for GK, and knowing he had fully embraced adoption, I said:

OKAY!!!

And here we are.

We’ve completed most of our packet, we are starting our classes in 2 weeks, and after that:

The Home Study.

Our daughter is probably out there somewhere already.

4 Replies to “And Then There Were Possibly Three?”

  • Sounds like you have both have grown so much through both pregnancies. I’m guessing that will be a great foundation for the stress of adoption. I will tell you that Post Adoption Blues is also an issue. I was close to it myself I think but thankfully did not have an issue. But I have the book!!

    My family all has 3 kids. I want 4! I just have to be different sometimes. But we’ll see what God has planned for us I suppose.

    I really enjoyed reading this post. New to your blog it really tells me where you’ve been and how you came to where you are, the road to adopt. I’m eager to watch your journey.

  • Wow. This is a great post. It is encouraging to see how much you and G are growing together through this. I am eager to hear more as more develops! : )

  • debbie b- thank you! it so helpful to connect via blogging with adoptive moms, it's an additional resource to me so I can add it to the friends I know in person. Seeing your journey that you've kept is very helpful, thank you.

    and heather & jess- of course so glad I have you both!

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