The Mister and I had only been dating a few months when a medical test revealed that birth children were not possible for us. (How’s that for jumping right into the story?) I cried for two days.
Not only was this a defining moment in our lives in general, but it was also a defining moment in our relationship. It’s a sobering consideration when you’re married, but it’s even shakier when you are just barely dating. While the initial news was difficult to swallow, the sorrow truly only lasted two days. That’s it.
You see, it seems the Mister and me were just made for adoption. Before we knew of our medical difficulties, each had thought about adoption and hoped the other would consider it if we ended up hitched. Adoption grew in our hearts just as rapidly and solidly as our love for one another.
Once we tied the knot in 2007, it was three years before the idea of adoption became a “let’s-find-out-more” scenario. In July 2010 we started vetting area agencies. By September 2010 we picked Hope Cottage . . . or they picked us. (If you want to read more about the nuts and bolts of picking an agency and/or the step-by-step process, click here.) Because of my husband’s Native American heritage, we initially thought it’d be neat to adopt a wee one with similar heritage; although that was an idea, we still agreed we were open to whatever path God took us down. But Hope Cottage had a Native American birthmother who was ready to deliver in December. We “unofficially” matched, a la Baby #1.
By that November, the communication from the birthmother dwindled quite a bit. It was uncertain what direction she wanted to go. We found out the week after Thanksgiving of a hospital referral of another Native American baby. However, before we could decide if we wanted our profile book shown, a cousin of Baby #2 agreed to raise the child. December 1 we found out Baby #1 was not a possibility for us. December 2 we had news of another birthmother wanting to choose adoption. After reviewing profile books, she decided she wanted to parent Baby #3. Two weeks later we said no to Baby #4 due to terminal health conditions (as in less than two months terminal) and no to Baby #5 due to being uncomfortable with some details in the birthmother’s situation.
Hello Happy New Year!
On January 24, 2011, we learned of Baby #6, but ultimately and painfully said no because of hepatitis, which I had not been vaccinated against (a 6-month process). The next three babies–Baby #7, Baby #8, and Baby #9–were placed with different families. Has the term emotional roller coaster entered your mind? Because I was on the ride of my life!
Yet, in the perfect timing and in ways too precious to utter, Baby #10 became mine . . . as if she was meant for me from the beginning (because she oh-so-was).
Truly, in an instant, all the waiting, wondering, and agonizing of the previous four months melted away into “meant to be” and “home.” Those fears of “sacrifice” and “what ifs” were now just ridiculous. She feels like mine. She functions like mine. She is mine. As any parent will tell you–whether the pregnant or adoptive kind–no two journeys are alike. So please do not read my story and think “you could never do that” or “what is she belly aching about.” No doubt, no two adoption stories are alike. And I can prove it.
We’re only days away from receiving our letter of approval from Hope Cottage, meaning we’ll be a waiting family by the last week of September, ready and waiting to welcome another wee one into our arms! This adoption process is already different–and quick! Stay tuned! Sweet things are happening ’round here!
What “unexpected events” are part of your journey to parenthood?
I hadn’t heard, Emily! Congrats! Can’t wait to watch the new baby grow just like Anna Zane.
Emily, it is incredible the highs and lows but yet how fast it went – less than a “normal” 9 month waiting period ;). Now that you are headed into this process for a second time, is it any less ‘anxiety ridden’ and are their things you will do differently (ie, preparing mentally, etc)?
What a sweet story! It’s such a good reminder that the road to motherhood is never easy, but the reward is worth it. The obstacles look different for everyone, but there are challenges all along the way! Exciting news for you too, lady! Can’t wait to hear more details!
After having two biological children, my husband & I adopted three through our local foster care within 4 years. Biological children cause labor of the body, but adoption causes labor of the heart. We are often asked if we are worried about what the future holds for our adopted children (due to their biological pasts), I always reply, “Yes, just as worried as I am about what the future holds for my other children”. God doesn’t guarantee a bed of roses, but he does guarantee to hold our hand, whatever life brings us. Congrats! Emily!
This midwife was thinking the same thing! You had a “preterm”-er! I do think that emotional roller coaster makes up for it though! Congratulations! I loved your story!
Congrats Emily!!! So excited for baby #2 for you!
Thanks friends!!!! We are REALLY excited!!! And so far, the second adoption has been easy breezy and less of a burden on my mind, thanks to the non-stop wonder of raising a two-year-old. Happy distractions are the best sort. 🙂