In honor of National Adoption month in November, I thought I would share my adoption story…
When I first started blogging, I wanted to share recipes and homemaking ideas, but I soon felt compelled to share my story as well. I wrote this essay a few years ago, soon after my first adoption was finalized. It was even published in the book “From the Heart,” a charitable publication from Write for Charity.
The dream of ever becoming pregnant came to a screeching end with these words: “You have Premature Ovarian Failure” (aka early menopause).”The only way you will have a chance to become pregnant is with donor eggs.” They hit me like a mack truck. Seriously? I was 24 years old! So I cried, I prayed, and I scoured the internet, bought a book, and was determined that I would get pregnant. I chose a fertility specialist, knowing that the younger I was, the better my chances of conceiving, no matter the method. Donor embryo was the only option at this point. There was a myriad of tests, procedures, and home therapies, some painful, both physically and emotionally.
After six months, I was told that I would have about a 24% chance of actually achieving pregnancy through implantation, and the odds that it would be a successful pregnancy were not great, but that the choice to attempt to conceive was mine. I decided to go for it – after all, it may be my only chance. A few weeks later, feeling very unsure of myself and my decisions up to that point, I was walking with a friend and crying and praying out loud, begging God to please hit me with the answer – WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO??? The next day, my body made the decision for me. I spoke to a nurse and told her what had happened. Her response? “Well, that’s not good. We’ll have to postpone the procedure for another month.” My response? “No, I’m done.” I had asked God for an answer, and I got one. Pregnancy was not for me. Childbirth, looking into my own eyes, seeing my smile reflected on my child’s face; these things, these simple, wonderful, beautiful things, were not for me. I was devastated and heartbroken, and yet knew there was a plan. I felt it, and through my tears, I thanked God, for helping me to close that door, and to open another. I began looking into adoption.
Many adoptive parents have a saying – “Adoption is not for sissies.” Never has a more perfect and true statement been uttered. I chose to go through County Social Services in their “Concurrent Planning” program (fostering to adopt). When you decide to adopt, your life is examined, your choices and lifestyle put under a magnifying glass. There were statements to write, extensive forms and questionnaires to fill out, physicals to take, and classes – lots of classes – to sit through. It took about nine months from the time I sat in the first class to the moment I was certified and considered “in matching,” or waiting for a placement. It was September of 2006.
I finally received a call in March of 2007. There was a baby boy, just two months old, waiting for a family. I had the presentation, said yes, and then waited. There was some indecision on the part of the current foster family, and on the day I was supposed to receive this little boy, the dreaded call came that the family had decided to adopt him. Devastation again. So I packed up the baby clothes and crib bedding, and sat to wait again.
The next call came in June. A little boy, 15 months old. I wavered, not sure if it was right, but said yes. Carlos was with me for three amazing months. He was a very strong and sweet little boy, but because of a mistake made on the part of the investigating worker, he was returned to his grandparents on September 17. More devastation; I spent two days in tears and was ready to give up. Once again, baby items were packed away.
A third phone call came in November of 2007. There was again a presentation, a photo for me to take, a choice to make. I said yes again. This time there were issues with another family member, and I sat on pins and needles for two weeks, not telling many people about this child; the child who I would eventually call “Cooper,” who would be my son.
Cooper was born on September 18, 2007; one day after Carlos left my home. One day after. That’s God’s perfect timing. There was a plan in all of this, that started when I was 16 and came to fruition at 30 years of age. I look back now, and realize how I have been blessed; by the children I cannot give birth to, by the one I never met, and by the one I rocked to sleep for three months. But the most gracious blessing of all, is the one I call my son, who I love fiercely, and marvel at every new discovery; who challenges me every day. My road to motherhood was paved with brokenness, but I am so grateful for the journey.