My wife Margie and I are pleased to announce that we are now the parents of a beautiful baby boy, Matthew Elijah Breen! It has been a difficult path over the past three years, and we had several near misses over that time: even one where we’d loaded up the car with baby items and found out along the way that the birth mom had changed her mind. Throughout, Margie and I have been privileged to have folks throughout Lombard thinking about us and praying for us.
All those prayers were answered this past August 9th, when our little Matthew burst into the world, 700 miles away in Virginia. We were blessed to be there to meet him soon after he was born, and we spent the first two weeks with Matthew in a hotel room in the Cavalier State, waiting for the interstate adoption paperwork to clear.
You’d laugh if you watched us navigate all the “first-time-parent” cliché moments, from the first sponge bath for the squirming, screaming little guy, to the blurry-eyed cleaning up of his 3 a.m. diaper explosions. And we’ve both been awed at those quiet times late at night when we each realize that we’re no longer (just) “Aunt Margie & Uncle Peter” but now “Mommy & Daddy.”
Probably the toughest part of a new baby is learning to operate on very little sleep. I turned 40 last week: the all-nighters and near-all-nighters are a lot tougher now then they were when I was in my 20’s. I also get varied reports from friends and family on whether the sleeplessness gets any better—as one experienced mom told me, “you won’t sleep soundly again till he moves out of the house!”
The other part you don’t fully realize, until baby arrives, is that every carefully crafted plan you had is out the window. Baby is now in charge of the schedule!
This column is generally about politics and policy, and briefly on that point, I was reminded by a friend that we’ve brought a baby into Illinois at a time when many folks are leaving, all because of a government that has severely damaged our economy and communities. But if you really want to view the most compelling reason to fix our state, look at a brand new baby, bursting with potential and growth. We can’t pass on a corrupt and broken government to these little ones, and we can’t in good conscience load them up with tens of thousands of dollars in debt—all before they’re even potty-trained!
Finally, I’d like to say something about our adoption experience, because it seems that adoption is one of the most misunderstood institutions in modern America. In our case, we’ve gotten to know the birth mom and her family well, and we remain in regular contact with them. Our birth mom, faced with a unique and challenging situation, carefully reviewed her options. She reviewed many hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles of potential adoptive parents, and she chose us to be the parents of her baby boy. We visited before the birth, and she was able to see our joy at becoming parents, and we know that she found strength and comfort in that joy.
And the circumstances of our adoption are not unique. Many birth moms today choose a more “open” adoption, and there are many thousands upon thousands of couples just waiting to be chosen to become parents. So, if one of your family members or friends finds themselves in a difficult or untimely pregnancy, you can feel confident in recommending that they consider adoption, as a positive and viable option for them.
In our case, we’re just over the moon about our little Matthew, and we can’t imagine our lives without him.