A couple years ago, I received an email from a woman who had just had her third miscarriage. A mutual friend put her in touch with me. She was trying to decide what to do next, a common scenario for couples that encounter infertility. Do you put money into treatments, do you put it towards an adoption, or do you decide that maybe childlessness is your fate?
I responded to this grieving woman through this blog entry. I figured, if it could help one person, maybe it could help two. Who knows who reads these things. I visit an adoption message board on Babycenter and I know this decision is a common struggle. Many are driven to carry on their genes, but maybe their genes won't cooperate. On a related topic, may I pass along a pet peeve of mine? The phrase "can't have children of my own" makes me cringe. I see it all the time on the message board. I don't try to pretend that my daughter carries my DNA, but I have taken care of her every need since the moment she was born. I tuck her in after a bad dream wakes her up. I read to her (and yes, I alter voices accordingly). I make her eat vegetables against her will. I know every inch of her and I can pick out her "Mama!" from a sea of other children. My heart knows . . . she is my own.
The other day, I received an update from the woman who emailed me two years ago.
I don't know if you remember me. I am a friend of J's and about 2 years ago, you wrote a blog post for me as I was trying to decide if adoption was the way to build our family.
I thought I'd give you an update. Well, my husband and I made the decision to pursue domestic adoption and signed up with our agency in Oct. 08. We were home study ready in Mar. 09 and our son was recently born out of state in May 2010. He is now nearly 4 months old and the absolute light of our lives! All of this time I thought we were waiting to be parents and in reality, we were waiting for C, so we could be his parents.
Sometimes when he is sleeping in my arms and looking particularly angelic, I will look at my husband and almost say "Can you believe we made this (him)?" and then I remember "Oh, right, we didn't." Even though realistically I know that I did not give birth to him, I honestly think I feel the same connection and love as if I did. I can't picture loving anyone any more. He is my son and the one we were waiting for. I feel so blessed that we pursued domestic adoption. The suffering beforehand sucked, but what was waiting on the other side was totally worth it. Thanks for your support all that time ago. I just wanted to let you know that your words really made a difference.
Now, obviously I realize that my words were only a teeny, tiny fraction of what went into this decision and subsequent placement, but I can't tell you how happy I am that she is a mom now. Pretty soon, she will start to wonder what she did with herself (and her time and her money) before she became a mom. So many firsts are ahead: first steps, first words, first violent stomach flu. One moment my daughter hugs me around the neck and tells me she loves me, the next moment she stomps down the hall and informs me, "You make me one hundred sad!" (That is very sad indeed, ya'll.) As with the woman who emailed me, the journey was tough, but this mom thing ain't half bad.