For my entire life, I had one dream: I wanted to be a mother. When the time came to finally chase that dream, I had no idea it would be our most challenging, worthwhile adventure yet.
I had never had a regular menstrual cycle, and after a year of trying to conceive with no dice, we sought help. When it comes to the art of babymaking, you name it, we tried it. We worked with some of the top reproductive endocrinologists in the country.
Five of our children are numbered among the saints, and after our last miscarriage (first one child and then, two weeks later, its twin), I was at the very bottom of the barrel. Four years of trying and five miscarriages in eighteen months had left me sad, bitter, and exhausted.
When friends and family would lovingly suggest adoption to me, I took it as an offense, a vote of no confidence. But on March 17, 2017, as I lay on the couch quietly crying for the umpteenth night in a row, my husband gently suggested adoption again. “Do whatever you want,” I said. I was so afraid of being an adoptive parent—the idea of shared motherhood filled me with jealousy and self-pity.
I imagine most mothers have a more beautiful journey to adoption, but I arrived at adoption’s door on my hands and knees with tear-stained cheeks and no hope.
Luckily, all we needed to plow forward with an adoption was a homestudy. A homestudy is an exhaustive investigation into your life, finances, health, motivations to adopt, family dynamics, you name it, a homestudy has investigated it. It is a very involved process and by Divine Providence, we had already completed one.
They placed our names at the very bottom of the five-year waiting list, and I slowly began to open my heart.
Fast forward 8 weeks. On May 20th, I met my daughter for the first time… Wait, did we miss something? You were at the bottom of a five-year waiting list? Yes, while I was fighting tooth and nail against adoption, my daughter had been born. She was ready to be placed with an adoptive family only eight weeks after I opened my hands and heart. She was 6 months old the day I met her, and our lives have never been the same.
The following March we officially—legally—welcomed our little bean into our family. And the next day, we began our second adoption. After seeing how seamlessly she fit into our lives, how very much we loved her, I was sold.
By taking the road I was so afraid of, I have found everything I dreamed of. My daughter is my all—she has healed wounds in my heart that I struggle even to remember because our joy together is so complete. When we settled into our life with her, I told my husband, “If I had known it would be this wonderful, I would have run to adoption earlier.”
Currently, we are matched with an expectant mom whose baby is due in May, and we are so excited to grow our family again through adoption.
I get a lot of questions about our journey, mostly because the adoption part happened so quickly compared to our months and months of struggling with infertility. The most common question we get is about our daughter’s birth family: do we have an open adoption? The answer is a complicated yes—we keep in touch with several family members through pictures and letters, and we visit frequently with a local aunt.
Shared parenthood is challenging for more than just the adoptive family. We are open, eager, and ready to connect with our daughter’s parents, but they aren’t ready yet. And we respect that. We aren’t going anywhere. We will be here, ready when they are.
People are also very curious about how we talk about adoption in our family. Adoption is a celebration—the best thing that ever happened to us!—and as much as a two-year-old can, our daughter knows she is adopted. Her mother’s picture hangs in our hallway, and she sleeps with a bear she gave her. The course of my life has been permanently altered because of the courage of my daughter’s mother, and I will only ever speak of her with respect and love.
But MY biggest question before adopting was: Would it be the same? Would I “really” be a mother? I am here to tell you that I am living the motherhood dream—the playdough, the tantrums, the potty training, the snuggles, the snot, the complete lack of storage on my phone from the space 20,000 pictures and videos of her take up… I am a mother in every sense of the word. I beam with pride at her successes, I have rug burn on my knees from being a pony, I often wrestle her into bed at the end of a long day, and her name is an indelible mark on my heart.
The best part of being her mother is the experience of the little things, the things only she and I know that we can’t explain to anyone else. A look, a sound, a communication that can only happen between mother and daughter. Being hers is the best part.
This isn’t the life I imagined, but thank God for that. I could have missed this.