In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to thank all my blog readers – the supportive and the critical, the subscribers and occasional site visitors, adoptees and adopters, singles and newlyweds, parents with young kids and empty-nesters, strangers and friends – for reading my posts for the last eight months. Your comments have inspired me, confused me, enlightened me, supported me, and given me a different perspective. But mostly, you all have indulged me by reading my thoughts on adoption through my journey. My goal was to help others by shedding some light on the multitude of issues surrounding adoption, but I have to admit that the cathartic benefits of writing are tremendous.
While I write mostly about my life as a mother of an adopted daughter, I am just as thankful for my two biological boys, who are also the light of my life. My boys were seven and nine when my daughter joined our family, 48 hours after her birth. Since then the family dynamic has been incredibly different and totally enjoyable. In the last ten years, both boys have learned more about compassion and sharing, and we all learned to be more patient. My daughter was a gift that we are all thankful for. She constantly expresses her gratitude to all of us in various ways — not just at Thanksgiving.
I started this “ChildDrenched” blog to begin a conversation about adoption. I have enjoyed the comments from blog readers who have shared their experiences as adoptive parents, as well as their perspectives on the issues I present. Over the last few months, I have found that many of the people who read it are not only interested in, but emotionally moved by the issues I have brought up. More people than I expected have expressed gratitude to me for exposing my personal journey and opinions. Since the issues are so personal, people suffering from infertility don’t often chime in with comments but hopefully, they are finding my blog helpful.
The most surprising comments on my blog are those made by people who haven’t ever had infertility issues and never considered adoption. They comment on their new-found appreciation for the suffering that others may be going through, which is fascinating to me. Before I experienced infertility issues myself, I never appreciated what was happening “behind closed doors”. I thought everyone went through pregnancy and childbirth like I had with my first two children. My experiences with infertility really opened my eyes to the pain millions of women and their partners are facing month after month. Writing this blog, and hearing positive feedback, has given me the incentive and courage to publish my memoir.
I hope to continue my blog, but for the next few months most of my time will be spent publishing my book. March into My Heart, written over the last five years, details our journey to become adoptive parents ten years ago. It is a personal account of the reasons we decided to adopt and the hurdles and joys along the way. Originally written for my daughter so she would know, in detail, what we went through to find her, the book also communicates the possibility of adoption to those contemplating adoption for whatever reason.
As I wrote the story, I found myself back “in the moment” several times. I remembered the doubts I had about adoption, the questions about our future, and the anxiety about the birth mother who chose us to raise her child. I described our very personal feelings in detail, which I hoped would give my daughter insight into how much we wanted her in our lives. This is where the term “ChildDrenched” was born. I was truly drowning in my passionate need for a child.
When the story was complete, I began considering whether others (not just my friends) would appreciate reading the story. I knew the kind of infertility problems I experienced over ten years ago had statistically grown amongst couples in the US and wondered if my story would help people who may be considering adoption as a solution. Over the past few years, my husband and I have told our story to friends. A few have adopted children with our guidance, which has been incredibly rewarding. It also felt like we were “giving back” to a community who welcomed our daughter and to people suffering with infertility.
Publishing this adoption story is risky and exciting, all at the same time. A few close friends have read my memoir and their comments have been constructive, positive and supportive. It’s an extremely personal story which anyone would feel anxious about publicizing. However, when I start to lose my nerve, I feel disappointed and selfish. I don’t expect my story to be a “best-seller”. I will be satisfied if it helps even the smallest number of couples find their dreams of a family through adoption.
I will be publishing posts less often as I prepare my book for publication. I hope that my blog readers will chime in with questions, comment on this post or any previous post (www.childdrenched.com), and suggest ideas for future posts. Most importantly, if you would ever read a memoir by an unknown author, I hope you will consider buying my book. I hope that my story will resonate with people facing these personal issues, help them see that adoption makes having a family possible, and help inform more people why adoption is important to others in their community.