For those of you that know Ron, you probably already know he's pretty awesome! :) He's the nicest, kindest, warmest, most genuine man I have ever met. He's also rather intelligent, funny and a bit handsome! I could go on and on about him...
I knew I really, truly loved Ron while we were dating, engaged, and even when we were first married. We talked about adoption on our first date and he "knew what he was in for" by sticking around. He knew from the beginning that I only wanted to adopt- and that I wanted to adopt several children. Still, he stuck around as he saw the world in the same way that I view it.
Since beginning this adoption process over a year ago (I attended the 1st adoption seminar in January, 2011 while in vet school and Ron was deployed), I have fallen more and more in love with my husband. I know that sounds cliche and a bit cheesy, but it's true.
For starters, there is some crazy way that men are raised that makes them feel they "must" produce one of their own. I'm going to argue against this being a primal instinct, but something that's actually based out of nurture. To many men, and women, having biological children is the most important thing a couple could do and the only main way to have a family. But not to Ron (or me). Ron saw adoption as a way to significantly impact an innocent life in a positive way. It's a way for Ron and I to devote ourselves to someone the world has essentially lost or forgotten. It's a way not to make a life, but to save a life. In that sense, Ron saw adoption as the most important way to have a family (music to my ears)! There are days when I catch myself just looking at Ron thinking, "How on earth are you the way you are?" I know he's seen a lot, especially with the military, but there's something else that let's us share in our view of family. I have yet to figure that one out!
Ron is understanding- VERY understanding. As I have never been pregnant, I'm not familiar with the wait and hormonal changes that occur in that process. However, I have been a part of this adoption process, and I can say, it's not easy. During our Dossier and HomeStudy, I was just a bit stressed out- which, added together with the wonderful weather found in Washington, made me not the most pleasant of all people. But Ron understood and kept loving me! During these past 3 months of waiting for a court date since our referral, Ron has watched me cry as often as everyday. Mind you, this wasn't simple crying- it was very often crying fits as I was tired of waiting, not knowing and not having any control of our situation. But Ron was there, understandingly wiping my tears away. Ron convinced me not to fly suddenly to Ethiopia on 2 occasions. He hasn't been mean, but is always honest. And he's there for me!
Ron also trusts me. When we were discussing adopting from Ethiopia for the first time in the spring of 2011, he never asked about the costs or anything. Although we both work on our finances, I do the Garberson budget. Ron knew this and figured that I wouldn't mention something we couldn't afford. I don't think he's ever blinked at the cost of the adoption or has ever questioned/struggled with writing one of our hefty checks. I honestly cannot say I know of any other man that could be so trusting and open. He also trusted me to work on saving enough to afford the adoption without effecting our other expenses. You know a man loves you and your life together so much that he's willing to
Ron also knows me. He truly knows me. He knows when I'm on the verge of an emotional break-down and works to make everything ok. He knows if I'm becoming impatient and finds ways to explain, re-explain, or re-re-explain the wait! He knows when I want to go the orphanage to play with babies just by the look on my face. He knows if I'm going to do a not-so-attractive happy dance whenever we hear good news about the adoption (he has actually taken some pictures of these secret moments). He knows when to fight- for example, not letting me fly to Ethiopia a month ago and reasoning with me. And he knows when to let go- like realizing me crying everyday wasn't healthy for either of us. As a result, we'll be in Ethiopia with Aidan over Christmas. Since the day our tickets were booked, I have had this immense sense of calm where I'm not longer sad, worried or scared as I know everything will be ok once we're together in Ethiopia where we can work on things there. Ron knew that this would be the best thing for me and for us, and he made it happen!
Ron will also make one heck of an amazing dad! When we first met, Ron didn't know much about kids at all! I even remember him telling me a story about seeing a baby in a "baby cage" (otherwise known as a play yard). Although he knew babies didn't go in cages, I'm not sure he knew much beyond that :). Well, besides Ron having a calm, easy-going yet determined, patient personality, he has shown what an amazing father he will be. He literally becomes larger than life with kids. He will tell anyone here in Chiang Mai that his favorite thing to do on weekends is to go the orphanage and then the walking street afterwards for dinner (some crazy, fun Saturday night, I know- but luckily, that's my favorite, too)! The first few days at the orphanage were interesting as we were learning our place and stride with the children. However, now when we go, Ron is attacked by children who sprint up to him screaming, "PAPA!" He wrestles with them, carries them, plays with them, makes up stories for them, teaches them and cuddles them. It is truly remarkable to watch your husband love and care for orphans. I know the baby thing gets a lot of women- but try the baby thing when it's not his biological child. WOW! My favorite picture is of Ron lying on a bean bag in the nursery with a 10-month old girl he was able to rock/back-scratch to sleep. And that's where he stayed for the next 2-hours...with a little girl who just needed him to be her dad for awhile since she doesn't have one of her own.
Ron knows this since I tell him a lot, but I really, truly, whole-heartily love him. I have seen new sides to him and I am grateful they exist. And I have seen him respond to me in ways that couldn't be written or performed any better, even for a romantic movie. There aren't many men that would willingly adopt over having biological children, or chose to spend their Saturday loving on some orphans. There are a lot of great men out there, but I think I got lucky- VERY lucky!
Ron- these next few weeks and months will be some of the best of our lives. They'll also be the most emotional, scariest, nerve-wracking weeks as well. There isn't a single person I would rather experience this crazy ride of adoption, family and marriage with and I am eternally grateful for you as my partner!!!!! I LOVE YOU!