I can keep a secret! In fact, keeping a secret is no problem for me, easy peasy. Well, usually!!!
Mike and I kept our “adoption secret” for quite some time. At first it was just a consideration so we only talked amongst ourselves. But even once we had our minds made up, we weren’t quite ready to share. We had a little more to learn, a little more to consider before we let our secret loose.
We did tell our parents right around the time we officially began the process. Having their support was imperative for us on this adventure. And their blessings we got immediately. But telling our children had to be done at the right time. We had to be sure this was happening and we had to be sure we did not foresee any permanent roadblocks before we let them in. And we had to be prepared for the ups and downs, the easy and difficult, that would come with this new family dynamic.
Then, once we were ready to tell them, we had to find the perfect way to share!
Let me pause my “secret sharing” story for just a moment and let you into how my mind was working.
Once we submitted our applications and gathered information about the next steps, we began to get flooded! Flooded in the best way possible, of course, but flooded none the less. We quickly got emails, phone calls and mail. We had to make calls, print documents, create a way to organize our stash. So our house was full of “adoption”, yet the LITTLES didn’t know a thing. It was NOT EASY! Anastasia is 11! She is inquisitive. And unless I am asking her to do a chore, she HEARS EVERYTHING.
We whispered, we snuck, we told the most innocent white lies (we all have to tell them sometimes!!!). And it got hard!!! It was so hard to get things done, to talk, to be excited! We knew it was time to share our SECRET with them!
I wanted to tell them. I couldn’t wait to tell them. I knew from the bottom of my heart, with nearly 100% certainty that Anastasia would be elated and possibly fly through the roof of our home (not kidding here…she has a lot of energy, and is rarely still, or even right-side up for that matter). Anastasia is a mini-mom. She loves newborns, infants, children of any type! She plans to have seven children (eeeeeekkkkkk…let’s see how that goes…but I will happily spoil every single one…MANY, MANY years from now!), work as a neonatal nurse practitioner (all because of her Auntie!) and has talked about adoption many times.
Callum is TWO! He goes along with anything. But honestly Callum would have no clue! I knew he would be part of our secret, but I honestly knew he would not truly understand what this next adventure has in store for him for quite some time.
Danika, though….Danika is my emotional roller coaster. She is my free spirit. She has a sign in her room saying “She had the soul of a gypsy, the heart of a hippie, the spirit of a fairy” and it couldn’t be more true. But…I was not sure how Danika would feel about this. Now, don’t get me wrong. Danika is beyond compassionate. She will run to a hurt child and rub his back. She proudly gives back to others in many ways. So, the thought of a child somewhere in this world that needed her as a sister would likely be all she needed to hear. But I wasn’t sure. A small part of me thought she may not be terribly keen on the idea of adding another LITTLE to our already large Fitz clan.
So I prepared for this. I worried about this. I thought about this. A LOT! But Mike reminded me, as he always does, that it would all work out. I assured myself that even if she was not initially thrilled with this new plan, with this big change, she would grow to accept it. So I had to let that be enough, let that be ok.
So we came up with our idea. I snuck around, I stayed up late. Then on Saturday, February 20th we shared our secret!
We had a necklace for Anastasia quoting “LOVE CROSSES OCEANS”. For Callum we had pants and a shirt with special CHINESE touches. And Danika was going to get a “not easy to find” but “couldn’t be more perfect for her” Asian boy doll!
We made Chinese food. I went to the party store and we hung up Chinese lanterns, red and yellow balloons, banners, Chinese take out containers. Let me tell you, it was merely weeks after Chinese New Year and finding Chinese decorations proved to be very difficult! But we improvised! We also planned to put on a perfect cartoon, “Kung Fu Panda”, or “Mulan”, perhaps. But wouldn’t you know NETFLIX was not working! Yup, thats’ right. Saturday evening and NETFLIX was out of order!!!
The kids thought this was so cool! They had no idea why we were having a Chinese themed evening, but it was cool none the less.
So we ate, and we had a blast. Then…we gave them their treats! They were excited. They loved the unforeseen presents in the middle of February! Ok, ok, I won’t lie, Callum, as predicted, did not care one bit about the shirt and pants. But he sure did love the balloons!
Mike asked the girls if they knew what was going on, what the gifts represented. He guided them to look at the “sign” we hung, saying “LOVE CROSSES OCEANS, a Fitzgerald Family Adventure”. Ana thought maybe we were taking a trip! Well…in one sense she was correct.
And, then we told them! “CHINA IS WHERE WE ARE GOING TO GET THEIR BABY BROTHER OR SISTER”!!!!!!
And the girls screamed!
They. Were. Happy!
Anastasia and Danika didn’t even take an instant to settle into the idea of our family adopting a child.
And they haven’t looked back since that glorious evening!