The What-Ifs?

The month of April is of special significance in our family. If you are a longstanding reader of this blog, you might remember that one April afternoon, four years ago, Bill and I walked into the Delphin Baby House inKostanai,Kazakhstanfor the last time and emerged as a family of three with our newly adopted son, Dylan, in our arms. That baby boy, whom we love madly, is about to turn five years old next week. I can’t believe how time has flown by.

It was also in April, one year ago, that we got the call from our new adoption agency letting us know that we had been chosen by a birth mom who was having a baby boy. As you know, that baby became our second son, Liam, and this month we are not only celebrating getting “The Call,” but also the finalization of his adoption and officially becoming a family of four.

All these special dates make me reflect on how awesome life is and how everything seems to somehow fall in its place. However, it also makes me wonder about all the “what-ifs.”

Everyone plays this game in their mind every so often. What if your child had been a boy instead of a girl? What if you had been born in one country instead of another? What if you had had the nerve to go up to that guy you had a big crush on in college? How different would your life be then?

Most of the time there is no point in pondering these thoughts, especially when it comes to our children, because we have no control over the way things are. They are how they are and you get what you get with kids.

Except for the fact that, for us, that statement is not true. We did have a choice. As adoptive parents, we choose our path and sometimes it feels like we are on a roller coaster we can’t stop, but ultimately we always have the power of saying yes or no to a particular situation.

In Kazakhstan, there are no adoption referrals (at least this is the way it was when we adopted – there have been some changes to the laws and I don’t know if this is still the case). When you adopt from Kaz, you travel “blind,” and when you arrive you are presented with various children that (hopefully) meet your criteria. You then choose which child you would like to continue visitation with and ultimately adopt. Of course, most people feel they chose the right child – we certainly and absolutely do – but it’s also weird to wonder “What if I had chosen the other one? How different would our lives be then?”

What if we had ended up adopting the baby girl we originally thought would be our second child? What if her birthmother had not had second thoughts, leading us to withdraw from the match?

Last December, my cousin inBrazil had a baby boy born with Duodenal Atresia, the same medical condition this baby girl had. My cousin’s baby underwent surgery and all was going well. When he was three days old his little heart stopped beating.

It makes me wonder, what happened to that baby girl? I wish I knew if she was alive and doing well. No matter the outcome of the match, we will always care for her. Of course, it also makes me think, what if we had ended up adopting her? Would we be dealing with a child with serious medical conditions? How different would our lives be then?

In the end, of course, we couldn’t have picked a better match. We absolutely adore baby Liam and have a wonderful relationship with his birth mother. Besides the little hiccup with the finalization his adoption could not have gone more smoothly.

When I look at my boys' gorgeous faces, all these questions vanish away. I KNOW they were meant to be our children, just as we were meant to be their parents. Despite the many bumps we encountered throughout our adoption journeys, our family is complete and absolutely perfect the way it is.


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  • Khadine, of all your blog posts, this one might be my favorite. Your series of posts about the failed adoption moved me, and now this one invites us all to be thoughtful and appreciative of life. Your statement that you continue to care about the little girl who touched your lives briefly warmed my heart. Enjoy your blessings - you deserve it.

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