An Elephant Birth
August 17 will mark our sixteenth wedding anniversary. We initially decided to start a family after I finished grad school, almost three years after we got married. Our families lived far away (one on the other side of the ocean, the other a three and a half hour flight away), but we both had stable jobs and thought that it would be nice to raise our child in a cosmopolitan place like New York City. Unfortunately, the stock market crash of 2000 followed by the tragic events of September 11 put an end to this dream as we were both left jobless and in fear of what would happen next.
After a few years we were solidly back on our feet. But… Our careers were in full swing and left little room for anything else, our families lived far, and we diid not think the place where we lived was ideal for us in the long run. Plus, I had a health scare. So we decided to wait. It was hard but we wanted to do the right thing.
During one of my visits to Italy to see my grandmother I mentioned all of this to a friend who was 43 and had recently had her second child. She had decided to take a break from her career, which I thought was very brave, and we discussed at length the necessity to balance family life with work to achieve a happy medium. It totally made sense, if only I could figure out how to do it . The night before I left Italy to return to the US she gave me a small elephant pendant -for good luck and fertility.
After my return to the US I wore the pendant on and off for a while, but the reality is that life (a new job, yet another move, a tiny apartment, the 2008 crash, a stepdaughter in college) took over and we put starting a family on hold again. As soon as things stabilized a bit we decided to finally do it -it’s now or never, we said. Well, it didn’t happen. So we weighed our options, we prayed, and decided that we would have a child, but not a biological one. We would adopt.
Fast forward two and a half years and we are planning to travel to China to meet our daughter in two months, maybe less if all the stars align and travel approval comes quickly. Thirteen years have passed since our initial wish to start a family, talk about an elephant birth! The important thing though is that we are almost there and soon little Paulina will join us. We can’t wait.