I'm glad you brought this up. I was thinking last night about posting along the lines of the same thing.
I'll be turning 41 in 8 days.
I don't have biological children. DH and I tried fertility treatments when I was 35 - 36. Lots of money down the drain. Heartache, headache and constant hormonal imbalances. People always wondering if it worked that month or not. I finally gave up. Let it go about a year or so ago, saying - well I have my dogs! I'm going to change my entire life now and start living as a 40 year old couple and have some fun! I went back to school, and really started concentrating on our business's again. It was an emotional breakthrough for me, and us. The dogs were still our dogs, we loved them and played with them.
In May, my great niece was born. Long story short - my niece, the baby's mother - has severe mental illness along with a few other labels. CPS stepped in immediately and said the baby isn't going home with her. (I was thanking the powers that be, I was terrified this baby was going to be abused by her and alleged father before CPS stepped in) I was so glad that this little girl baby wasn't going to be abused by anyone! I had previously resigned myself, and my other family members that live here had resigned themselves to not taking the baby. We wanted this cycle to end. It was now 3 generations of neglect and abuse and having to deal with mental issues.
Then I sat back while I was holding the baby in the room, she was one day old. I looked at her and it hit me hard, how do I know this baby isn't going to be neglect or abused by someone? How do I know that? Just because she isn't going home with her mother, doesn't mean that it can't happen.
My husband and I have been raising her since she was a day old. She is now going to be 7 months old in 5 days. Parental rights have been severed - and she is free for adoption. In January we will be turned over to the adoption agency to start the process.
She is joy, a blessing and we are so very much in love with her. She is our daughter, through and through.
The dogs got kicked out. LOL. They aren't at the pound, they don't suffer from lack of food or water. But they don't get the attention they once did. Is that wrong? Probably. But when you go through a life changing event, things happen. I never ever thought I'd become a parent that sort of shoved their dogs to the side when a baby came along. But I am one, for now.
It's just different. I was thinking last night when I was kicking the ball for them, I really need to find a routine to get them involved again. I'm not going to "neglect" them for the rest of their lives, but when you have a baby under the age of 1, I understand now.