I am sharing the story I wrote for my column with The Hinsdalean. When I showed the article to my dad his comment was “that’s it” and he is right 500 words cannot begin to tell the whole story. However, I knew that I wanted to share just a part of this love story so that I might give others on the same path hope. Adoption is a long journey, and we are forever grateful for those who helped and loved us along the way.
No matter how much you prepare or plan for it, parenthood has a way of writing its own story.
Its love has a strength that is greater than I could have ever known. My own journey to become a mother looks nothing like I thought it would, but looking back I am grateful for that.
My struggle with infertility meant that having a family the way I had imagined needed to change. Determined that my diagnosis would not be the end of my dream for a family, we immediately began to think about adoption.
It was a long journey that took nearly two years, but we were overjoyed and nervous when we finally got the call that our first daughter was going to be born. We weren’t sure what to expect as we packed my husband’s Ford Explorer and we made the four-hour drive to the town were my daughter was born. We met her birthmother in the hospital waiting room. We felt small and barely equipped to handle the enormity of this gift. However, we did our best to help as she labored to bring our little girl into the world. When our daughter, Gabriella, was born the doctor handed the baby to her birthmother and then she turned to me and said “do you want to hold her?” When I picked her up and looked at her, I said “Hello sweetheart, I’m your mommy.” Then suddenly my tiny daughter opened her eyes and looked straight at me. Her birthmother turned to me and said, “I think she knows.” That wide-eyed moment brought us both peace. The room was filled with love for this little girl. Even though her birthmother handed her to me with tears in her eyes, she truly believed that placing her baby with our family would be her way of giving her daughter everything she wanted for her.
Eighteen months later, when we got the unexpected phone call about our second daughter, we were surprised to learn that she had already been born. It was amazing how swiftly our family worked to help welcome Alyssa. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to meet her birthmother, everything we learned about her showed us how much she loved our daughter.
November is national adoption month. There are many amazing families who have been touched by adoption. For our family, November is a time to reflect on the journey and give thanks for their birthmothers and everyone who helped us find and welcome our daughters. It’s also a time to recognize the gift of family. As we talk about adoption to our daughters, we remind them that family is ultimately as big as your love allows.
Our journey to parenthood may have taken a different path than expected, but I wouldn’t want to change it. Somewhere along the way we learned to trust that when the details get difficult it’s best to let love write the ending, because family is a miraculous gift no matter how it finds you.