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Major Life Change (a more personal post)

No pictures this post.  Sorry!

Saturday night, I had a company dinner to attend.  While I work for a large company, the team I’m a part of is small.  As in, there’s five of us including my boss.  This dinner was with a bigger group though, as it involved spouses and several people higher up on the totem pole than my boss.  I’m not the best small-talker in the world, and I was somewhat nervous when I found myself in discussion with one of the Executive Vice Presidents (number 2 in the company).  Somehow the topic of running came up (I can’t remember who brought it up, but it wasn’t me!), and it came out that I had run a hundred miler.  I’m quite sure that this VP won’t remember my name a week from now (and I’m ok with that!), but I’m confident that when we cross paths again he’ll remember that I’m the crazy guy that thinks its fun to run stupid distances. 

Although I had sworn off ultras after my hypothermia episode earlier this year, I forgot how much I like being “that insane guy.”  And so I started looking into some ultras that I could fit into my schedule this fall.  Even before this ultra-reincarnation, I had begun to create a bucket list, so-to-speak, of things I want to do this year.  Not because I plan on dieing (sp?) before the end of the year, but because my wife and I are anticipating a pretty major life change. 

For years, we’ve talked about expanding our family, but the timing never felt right.  Everything has started to align though, and we are now in the beginning stages of adoption.  But, we are doing things a little untraditionally.  First, we’ve decided to adopt through the foster care system.  Second, we’ve also decided to adopt an older sibling group.  So, we’re essentially going to be going from 3 dogs in the house, to being parents of multiple kids (possibly as old as teenagers).

Let me just give you the answers to the most common questions that we’ve already received: 
1. Yes, we are crazy.
2. Yes, we know that it will be hard.
3. No, we are not dealing with infertility issues. 

I fully realize that I have no experience in parenting.  I also fully realize that kids don’t end up in the foster care system because they’ve had an easy life.  I know that I will make a sh*tload of mistakes.  Thankfully though, these kids don’t need a perfect parent.  They need someone who isn’t going to give up on them.  Someone who isn’t going to write them off like most of the world has.  I can do that. 

Adoption is something that we’ve discussed since before we were married (which was 11 years ago).  It has been something that both my wife and I have felt strongly about.  Evidently, I’m learning that we are in the minority in that adoption is our first choice for kids.  It’s never been our backup plan in case of fertility issues.  Even our initial adoption application asked “what fertility treatments have you sought?” and not “have you struggled with infertility?”   Now that we’ve started the adoption process, I scheduled my vasectomy for after my half-marathon (tmi?)  It’s important to us that we can look at our kids and tell them that they were our first choice.  We chose them.  For kids that have already faced a life of rejection, we both feel like this is an important message for us to send them.  You are not a substitute for something else that we wanted but couldn’t have.  It is you that we want. 

(I don’t care that people adopt because they can’t have kids of their own – I have a family member that has adopted multiple children for that reason.  I’m just trying to say that for my wife and I, it was never important that our family be born from our DNA).

I know that life doesn’t end with kids, but I also know that my life will not be the same.  I already struggle to find the time for quality training, and I’m not sure how I’ll fit in in with kids around.  And that’s why I’ve been spending so much time lately thinking about goals I want to accomplish in the near term.  Starting the adoption process has been the impetus for me to work towards my first triathlon later this year.  It’s gotten me thinking about trying for a sub-3hr marathon.  After this past weekend, it’s also made me think about another hundred miler.   Not because I can’t do those things after we have kids, but just because it will be harderto make the time to train adequately (especially at first).

I’m not sure how much I’ll actually talk about the adoption process on this blog, as it doesn’t really jive with the whole “bike-commuting and running” theme.  I’ll obviously post about it again once we have the new members of our family, but in between now and then the mentions of it will likely be sparse.  Unless I get royally pissed off at people’s comments and need to vent.

Until then, I’m going to focus on knocking out a triathlon.  And cleaning up my potty-mouth.  Sh*t, that’s going to be hard for me.

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19 Comments

  1. Wow Jesse- this is really exciting! I am happy for you two! I think adoption, especially of foster children, is one of the kindest things anyone can do.
    I also have a pre-child bucket list of things I’d love to do before we attempt to start a family.
    Good luck with the adoption process, and I hope you get some events checked off!

  2. So Awesome!! Good Luck! Looking forward to hearing about it!
    Are you going to share the bucket-list-to-dos-this year?

    • My list is still evolving, but right now it is essentially made up of run a sub-3hr marathon, race a triathlon (don’t really care the distance), and maybe another hundred miler. I’m sure I’ll think of more to add though!

  3. Jill says:

    That is truly exciting!! You don’t have to justify why you want to adopt a shit load of kids, possibly teenagers – your heart is huge and I know you’ll make an excellent father. Very happy for you guys! 🙂

  4. evelinruns says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! Made me tear up a little bit. I wish you all the best with the process and look forward to maybe hearing more about it in the future?

  5. Indi says:

    You both have such big hearts! Any child that ends up being part of your family is a very lucky kid indeed. I thinks its a amazing and wonderful thing that you are doing! Best of Luck!!

  6. Wow, good for y’all – what great people you are!! I have the same feelings on children and training. I know life doesn’t end, but I want to do things now when I have time for the training. That’s why I’m thinking of IM Texas in 2014. Oh, and my husband has already told me we’ll need to scrub my playlists once kids come around – oops!!

    • Lucky for me my music library is pretty out-of-date, and is mostly comprised of U2. So I won’t need to scrub my music, but I’m sure our kids will think I’m incredibly old and uncool.

      Completing an Ironman is on my life bucket list. I just don’t think I’ll get it done before the kids arrive, especially considering I haven’t done any triathlons yet!

  7. You’re an inspiration, bravo Jesse. I think occasional updates on the process would be great, it even be fodder for running motivation.

  8. chasingthekenyans says:

    I support you! I

    • chasingthekenyans says:

      Ok my phone is jittery… But I support you guys! Kids are a personal decision but yet so many people feel its ok to get all up in your business about it. I think it’s great that you want to adopt!

  9. Fantastic post! How exciting for you, your wife, and a wonderful child you know you want but have yet to meet. I understand the before kids list and had some of my own pre-child goals as well. Things change so much, but in a good way. Maybe you’ll have to train before the rest of the house wakes up or maybe you’ll find ways to excercise that include the whole family. My little one is a toddler now and simple things like getting ready to leave the house/getting in the car seat and bringing everything we need can be tough. An older child has more independence so you should have an easier time leaving the house than we do 😉 Good luck! Hope to see an update w/your newest family member soon~

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