At the risk of later having to eat my words.... Adoption. We're going for it. Open, domestic, newborn, specifically.
We went to an info session on Saturday with the Independent Adoption Center, a non-profit adoption agency that works in several states and has an office in Raleigh. K and I really liked them - they pretty much "wrote the book" (in the case of the executive director, quite literally) on open adoption, and they have a focus on non-coercive counseling for expectant mothers, which is really important to us.
Sitting in that session, I had a solid confirmation of the feeling that I've had off and on for a while: I don't want to be pregnant again. I'm not good at it. I want a baby. I'm good with babies. So is K. M likes babies. And we all feel like our family isn't complete yet.
Why open adoption? Well, first off, adopted kids who know who their first/birth parents are have less angst about adoption, esp. during their teen years - there is no mystery and often feelings of abandonment and loss are lessened. First/birth moms who place children in open adoptions are more likely to come out of the situation as whole, healthy people. Watching their children thrive just re-confirms their decision to place their baby. Having given birth to a baby, I cannot imagine not knowing what happens to my child as she grows up. Also, if divorce and my father's extended family have taught me anything, it is that "family" is not based solely on blood...there are a lot of ways to be a family. So, one of my children will have another mother/father/family out there to love her/him - so what? That is awesome. My identity as a mother and my importance to my child is not diluted by the existence of other mothers.
It was interesting to be in that room with those other couples (and one single). K and I were the only people there who had a child already. It definitely seemed to give us a different perspective, particularly about first/birth moms. Everyone was somewhat nervous, including us, but the presenter was good and people slowly thawed, especially during lunch.
I will try to update more frequently as we work over the next couple of months to save $$ to pay for it!