March into My Heart

Today’s Drip: Are you letting your fears of adoption keep you from realizing your dream?

After my two sons were born in my early thirties, I had extreme apprehension about adoption after struggling through miscarriages and infertility while attempting to have a third child after the age of 35.   It took a few years of disappointing episodes to realize that my body wasn’t going to give me another child.   We tried many treatments and new science available to us, but nothing seemed to work.  I became truly ChildDrenched; I was saturated in emotion over the loss of my fertility when I really wanted another child.  I couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to raise a daughter and could not recover emotionally.   Many of us have read about the agonizing years of infertility in other blogs, books and magazines. So today, instead of reiterating sad tales about the physical problems many of us suffer through during the ChildDrenched years, I want to focus on one of the mental issues many of us face when we realize our bodies may not be willing to provide a(nother) child.

Apprehension about adoption is totally understandable;  I was there.  I was focused on two main questions:  First, would I have to live my life without the one thing that would truly make me completely happy? Most women want children at some point in their life and most of those people can’t imagine aging without ever having children. In my case, I wanted a daughter.  My ultimate happiness in life depended upon having a daughter and each day the struggle became harder and harder to live with.  I loved my sons and the incredible family experience they provided my husband and me.  However, I wanted to experience it all, including being a mother to a daughter.  I had the pleasure of a wonderful relationship with my own mother and couldn’t imagine not sharing that magic with my own daughter.  For those who want children, deciding to live without is very difficult to accept.  My second question was, what if adoption didn’t work for one reason or another?  I was worried about the birth-mother changing her mind, or the baby being unhealthy.  I was, and always have been, a worrier.  I got it from my mother, may she rest in peace.  Back then, I didn’t know anyone else who adopted that I could talk to about all my fears.  I imagined the worst but as we moved through the process, I ended up praying for the best.

Ten years ago, I found my beautiful, perfect daughter through adoption, after wrestling with many issues and concerns about loving and caring for an adopted child.  Today, I know why I never had a naturally-born daughter; it was because she was waiting for us to find her in another state. She was born six months after we decided to start the adoption process and my apprehension was gone the minute she was born.  I considered her mine instantly and loved her as much as my two sons who I carried for nine months.  I know there are women wondering about adoption—those with kids and those without.  Many women have reached out to me with questions about our adoption experience.  Some of them have two boys like I did and want a daughter but aren’t willing to risk the odds.  Some have been trying to become mothers for years.  If you are truly ChildDrenched, drowning in the passionate need for a child, and nothing else is working, I’d like to encourage you to consider adoption. It can happen quickly and it can happen here in the U.S.   Many think adoption only occurs in foreign countries, requiring months of travel, waiting, and documentation.  That’s not true.  Many think its too expensive and legally cumbersome in the U.S.  That’s not necessarily true either.

If women really want to make something happen, they can make it happen.  Adoption is one of the best (and most surprising) things I ever did after I allowed myself to become optimistic and truly explored the possibility.  My daughter is everything I dreamed of and our family couldn’t be happier she is a part of it.  We all deserve to make our dreams come true, even if it takes a little more effort than expected.  Do some research, ask more questions, and look into your heart before deciding against this incredibly wonderful opportunity.  My next drip will include an excerpt from my memoir about my daughter’s adoption.  I hope you will subscribe to this blog and read it!

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