How do you leave a place that feels like home and wish farewell to everyone you love there? How do you accept altering a dream that you’ve harbored for years? What does it mean to make such a dramatic change while in the process of trying to adopt?
Stephen and I are about to find out. We’re moving across country to Raleigh, North Carolina, giving up on our dreams of raising a California flower child. Now, our child will be a born and bred Tarheel, raised with sweet tea flowing in their veins, and fried chicken in their bellies (well, at least once they’re eating solid foods).
This change may seem out of the blue, as we often waxed poetically about the love we have for our Bay Area home, the amazingly diverse community that surrounds and supports us, and our desire to raise a child among the wonderful opportunities available here. The idea of leaving it all behind was a tough one to wrestle with, but when I was presented a job offer that was impossible to turn down (and Stephen was supportive enough to let me say yes), we had to seriously consider it.
After pondering the implications, including leaving our current jobs, our friends, and our community, we realized that the move had a number of positives for us and our future child. First, we’ll be significantly closer to our parents, and thus our child’s grandparents. By relocating to North Carolina, we’ll be in the same state as my mom and a short plane ride from Stephen’s, in New Jersey. Knowing that our child will grow up with their grandparents around is an incredible opportunity for us and our family – and our parents can’t wait to be the doting, candy-providing loved ones for our child. We’re also closer to many of our friends who also have young children, so our child will get to know his or her cousins on more than a once-yearly trip back east.
Additionally, since I grew up in North Carolina, the return to the state is very much a homecoming for me. I know this state and it’s soil grounds me. From the bluegrass music streaming down from the mountains, to the porch sitting, lazy afternoons of summer; from the foods of the heart and soul I grew up on, to the friendly waves and greetings from your neighbors, moving to Raleigh is going back to what I know from experience to be an amazing childhood, and one that I can’t wait for our child to have.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that our adoption agency has a North Carolina office, making this transition a lot easier than it might otherwise be. We’ve still had to fill out a bunch of paperwork and will need a new home-study, but we’re almost done and will be “live” again soon. Now if we can only survive the long drive across, we should be good to go!