Saturday, March 12, 2011

On being the Dear Husband, Part 1

Remember when I said my husband "occasionally has a few things to say"?  I just had to get him in the blogging mood.  And now. . . a guest post by Vince. 

Some of the dear wives (DWs) may be wondering what it’s like to be the dear husband (DH) during the family’s first adoption journey. We DHs don’t always do well in communicating our feelings, perhaps in part because we hardly understand them ourselves much of the time. But my lovely wife thought it might be good for me to share some of my experiences, as it might shed some light on the inscrutable creature that is the first-time adoptive father-to-be.

I knew we were called to adopt. What threw me was the timing God had in mind, and his decision to share this with Jerusha and not me. Or, more accurately, this is what threw me first. 

I had resigned from my job and had just returned from my final business trip. Jerusha and I were having dinner at Panera Bread when she told me she thought we should start the adoption process. We’d been talking about adoption for months, and she had the look and sound of someone who’s heard from God, so without giving much thought to the implications of my answer, I agreed.

Then I compared the cost of adopting to my annual salary. And we realized we would need a vehicle for six. The plan had been to move into a bigger house soon, to make room for the adoptees-to-be; now our only discussion with a banker would be about a home equity loan. And making this enormously expensive commitment and prospect of further indebtedness even less appealing, I was very concerned that I wouldn’t like my new job.

There’s a line between worrying about one’s financial future and contemplating it for the purpose of wise planning. It’s not a fine line, really, but I’m sure I spend too much time on the wrong side of it. Sometimes I feel torn between competing claims of wisdom. We should get completely out of debt. I should start saving for retirement. We should have 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses in savings in case I lose my job as the economic crisis worsens. We should be more generous. We should adopt a herd of kids. And we should believe God for a bigger house so all these kids won’t feel like sardines. 

As a child of the richest person in the universe, I have no reason to worry. But I have to make non-trivial decisions about what to do with a finite paycheck, and I feel doubtful sometimes about my ability to do this well. My wife doesn’t give much thought to the responsibility and pressures of being a husband and father, and I don’t want her to—she has responsibilities and pressures of her own. But I feel better knowing that she understands that I bring a different perspective and context to my thoughts about adoption.


Adrian Roberta said...

Great post! I love hearing from the 'other side of the bed' every now and then, Adrian (my DH) writes our blog, and I know he'd like to read it! I'm going to forward it to him (-;

His is (your wifey knows:


Adrian said...

Aaah yes, the Husband. ;-) As a fellow husband I feel your pain. I know I've had similar thoughts, and I'm sure similar conversations with the wife.

For the NEXT adoption, she has already committed us to:
- renovating the basement to build 2 new bed rooms
- building a washroom / shower in the basement
- moving the laundry room upstairs
- adding another room onto the house (for the main floor laundry)
- etc, etc, etc...

Its funny how she can so "easily" believe that those worries will be answered. To me, those issues seem HUGE!

But then she worries about our new child being un-accepted by our other children, that they will struggle in school, that they will get teased for being the only Chinese children in the school... where those are small to me - they are huge to her.

Ah well... its all good. I'm sure there is a reason Men and Women were made so "different"... I can't figure it out, but I'm sure HE had a reason to make it so.

Adrian (aka: the Yeti, who was sent here by his wife in the above comment)