The following is an excerpt from my soon to be published memoir, March Into My Heart, about the adoption of my daughter:
Adoption is not something I had ever considered before September 2001 when we first decided to look into it. There were so many issues to face, especially for someone like me who worries about everything. It always seemed like such a difficult thing to do legally, emotionally and logistically when others spoke aboutadoption. I didn’t think I wanted to even know a woman who could give up her own child to strangers, let alone learn some of her most intimate health and family details. Furthermore, I wasn’t sure I could love someone else’s child. When I was in public places, I would glance around and look at someone else’s child and ask myself: “Could I love that child?”. I didn’t think so. And finally, how would I ever find the right child for us when you don’t “know” that child at birth? What if my two natural children didn’t accept a new baby, especially without nine months to get used to the idea? What if my friends rejected the whole idea as crazy? I never knew anyone personally who adopted a child so no one ever talked about it. There were so many unanswerable questions. I was frustrated because I never asked anyone else about their adoption experience, so I was completely in the dark about adoption. I now realize I spent so much wasted time wondering where to start. I had always shoved the possibility of adoption on a theoretical shelf labeled “too difficult”.
I now totally believe in adoption and now it seems so do so many friends of mine! I have found out about so many other adopted children and adults that I never knew about. Good friends who were adopted and just never mentioned it. Friends who had adopted siblings in their families who seemed like they were natural siblings. Now many people, friends and acquaintances, are eager to tell us they were adopted or a child of theirs was adopted. Its like joining a whole new community of people who have found incredible joy as adoptive parents or children. More importantly, I cherish my adopted child as much as my natural children. Its one of the best things we ever did for our family and I want to demonstrate to other people aching for a child, how wonderful the experience can be with a little luck and lots of love.
Life is about making ALL your dreams come true. Having a daughter was my dream and I had to do all that I could to make it come true. The only thing I regretted was not doing it sooner. “What was I afraid of?”, I asked myself throughout the first year of my daughter’s life. So now, I tell this story so other mothers and potential mothers can stop wondering about adoption and start on their own path to happiness.
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After our experience, I have a completely different attitude about adoption. Yes, we had heard numerous heart-wrenching stories about couples who had their hearts set on a child and came home empty-handed after the birthmother changed her mind. We worried continuously throughout the process about the risk we were taking with our lives and the happiness of our two sons. Almost everything worth spending time, effort and emotion on is risky. Typically, the better the payoff, the greater the risk. In the case of adoption, the payoff is extraordinary. The love your child brings to your life is worth the hard work, risking disappointment and the emotional toil. We found that out first hand with our daughter. After our own experience, we had the honor of holding the hands of several couples while they went through the adoption process. Each adoption runs through its own bumps and curves along the way. I hope those who are reading this blog and thinking about adoption take the risk and make their dreams come true. If you are considering it, you might check out the website of the caring individual who helped us through our adoption, Cindy at www.adoptaninfant.com .