This blog post goes out to my fellow adoptive fathers, particularly the first timers (i.e. rookies) out there who are just getting rolling on the craziest emotional ride of your lives. Oh no, I’m not referring to the ups and downs of the adoption process itself. I’m referring to being married to an expecting adoptive mom that’s experiencing the ups and downs of the adoption process! My objective here is to inform and prepare you guys for what you might expect from your wives over the coming months.
Let me frame this right out of the gate by saying that beginning today (i.e. right now), and continuing each and every day until your beloved wife finally clenches your new child in her arms, I need you as an expecting adoptive father to think of yourself as a professional bull rider……..and……your wife is the BULL!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this sport, bull riding is a dangerous rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a large bull and attempting to stay mounted for at least 8 seconds while the animal attempts to buck off the rider. The rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope. If the rider falls off the bull he risks severe bodily harm (e.g. pierced, broken, crushed). In fact bull riding has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in all of sports.”
Now at this point I’d like to go on record as saying that being married to a passionate (expecting) adoptive mom is “the most dangerous 12-36 months in marriage”. So climb into the saddle gentlemen and get your hand firmly fastened, because the adoption ride lasts for much longer than eight seconds and if you fall off your bull, you just may get trampled!
I’m sorry ladies, I don’t mean any disrespect here but I need to be straight. I sincerely believe that as a whole you adoptive moms are the most amazing and passionate human beings on earth! I’m convinced that this crazy passion is absolutely necessary because it fuels you through all of the ups and downs of the emotionally draining adoption process; from the first piece of paper ‘chased’ all the way through the moment you finally see your child face to face, feel the warmth of their embrace, and hear the sweet sound their voice. It’s also this crazy passion that makes you, well… ….CRAZY….… like a bull.
Having said all that, here are a few tips for my fellow cowboys to assist you on your adoption ride with your beautiful wives:
1. Hold on tight!
No matter how wild and crazy the ride gets you must remain strong and hang on. No matter how hard she bucks, your wife must know that you’ll always be there for her. She deserves it and she needs the certainty of your strength during this incredibly vulnerable and uncertain period. Bottom line – when she bucks do not retreat, hang in there and ride em cowboy!
2. It’s not about you!
I know it’s hard at times and yes you feel the brunt of the bucking, but she’s not bucking AT you, she’s bucking TO you. And let me be completely clear – she does want you to feel her pain! I don’t know why she does, but she just does, so suck it up and hang in there. I know you didn’t do anything wrong – it’s not about you! She’s just bucking and you happen to be the one she’s most comfortable expressing herself to and being vulnerable. This is a hard concept to get because we assume it’s something that we did (or didn’t do). So let me repeat it – it’s not about you, even if she tells you it is!
3. Take heart, you’re not alone!
Remember that you’re not alone in this sport and this challenge and it’s not unique to your wife. There are plenty of us cowboys (and rodeo clowns) out there doing our best to stay on the bull. Pray for each other!
4. Harness the awesome power of the bull!
You wouldn’t blame an eagle for flying, so don’t blame the bull for bucking! They’re just doing their job, and remember you need to harness their energy and passion in order to get through the ride. Keep your eye on the ultimate prize!
5. Praise God!
When the ride finally ends (and it will) and you experience the joy of seeing your child in your wife’s arms (where he/she belongs), take a few moments to praise God and give thanks for the awesome passion of your wife. A passion that produced one of the greatest gifts imaginable.
Then, take a few deep breaths and prepare yourself.……….because there’s a really good chance……… she’ll want to do it all over again!!