I've always dreamed of being pregnant. I mean that literally -- during a brief period when I thought I might have been rendered sterile by a bout of chlamydia given to me by a scumbag cheating boyfriend who tried to trick me into taking antibiotics instead of 'fessing up, I had a series of pregnancy dreams from which I would wake up in tears, afraid I'd never experience the real-life version.
It's not just that I wanted to have children, which I DID -- I wanted to have the experience of pregnancy, to check it off my list like one would check off "running a marathon" or "threesomes." I mean, if my body had the capacity to fly, I'd definitely want to try it out, and growing a human body inside your body is at least equally magical. Think about it: You grow eyes in your stomach. Freaky. So my desire to get knocked up was less about the "tiny little version of me and my man" thing and more of a "join the mystical sisterhood of women who have had small people inside of them" thing.
Plus, pregnant women are sexy as hell and get lots of attention. At least from the time you start to show, it's all old ladies smiling at you and people pushing seats on you and bringing you things in public places. Basically, I wouldn't do shit while I was pregnant but bake that baby. It's like a really long birthday!
Yet, as my life plan has begun to unfurl, it looks less and less likely that pregnancy will be a part of it. I became a foster mom to a baby boy in April of this year. I'm not allowed to write about him on the Internet, but suffice it to say that he is a perfect creation of God and that if he needs to, he can live with us forever or at least until he becomes an adult man and needs to get a job. If any one of his double-digit number of siblings needs a place to live, our home is open to them.
We'll likely take in more children, especially with an agency official who recently flashed us a school photo of an adorable, grinning 4-year-old who is almost unfairly cute and needs to be adopted. For that matter, if any child living in our home becomes available for adoption, we will adopt them.
This is how I plan to build my family.
And while my ultimate Barbie dream is to some day have a ranch-type compound in which I can house 8-10 foster children and some goats, for now I have to assume that my resources, space and time will limit the amount of children I can parent in this life. And when I look at this little dude crawling around at my feet and imagine all the horrible places he could have ended up, I get a niggling feeling that I'm meant to help more little people who already exist or will someday be born into chaos.
Of course, the best way to make God laugh is to put your plans on the Internet, so I reserve the right to change my mind. (I might, for instance, want to find a form of birth control more reliable than monogamy + the withdrawal method, although it has served me well for the past 8 years. I also find the "infrequent intercourse" method, favored by many long-term couples, to be very effective.)
And in case you haven't latched on to the recurrent theme that I very rarely care at all what anybody else does, let me state that this is a personal decision and if you choose to grow like 25 babies in your belly at once that's cool for you. I will ask to see pictures of them. But in my personal stratum of priorities, the desire to be of service to at-risk kids outweighs the desire to bond with womankind/get to sit down a lot/have weird pregnancy sex.
So I might never have my Shiloh, and my kids probably won't have my eyes or my partner's funny ears. We'll still be family. Besides, I have a couple of empire-waisted tops that nearly always get me seats on the subway.