My Adoption Story.
Carley and Matilda were meant to be my daughters. During the waiting process, it seemed that everything happening was random, that there was no order to the events taking place. An expectant mother might randomly find our adoption agency and then look at the approximately 40 families waiting to adopt and based on a feeling or a detail about a specific family might inquire to the agency about them, then she might meet with that family and if the meeting went well she might choose to match with them and then after delivering the baby she might choose to go through with the adoption or she might not. Becoming a mother to my children involved way too many ‘mights’ to give me a sense of peace or order. If any one of those ‘mights’ didn’t happen, then I wouldn’t be a mother to that child. It just seemed like such a huge thing to not be more certain. Now I am the mother of two beautiful girls who came to me through the miracle of adoption and looking back, I can see how much order really was taking place the entire time. My girls were spirits that lived in my heart and waited until they found the perfect way to get to me and there was no way I ‘might not,’ become their mother. They are my children and they were always surely going to be mine.
When my husband and I first went on our agency’s waiting page, we were filled with optimism that we would be chosen quickly. What an experience it was to wake up every morning and think, “Today is the day I could become a mother.” Days turned into weeks which turned into months. After eight months of waiting, we received that long-anticipated call from our adoption counselor. There is an expectant mother, Victoria, who has just entered her third trimester. She is raising three children already and would like to meet you. We were thrilled and were matched with her officially two weeks later. Over the next three months, we would meet in person with Victoria twice, we would send dozens of texts (many would go unanswered), we would manifest, meditate, pray, wish on stars and talk of nothing else but her.
One day, about a month into our match, she called off the adoption. We were devastated but were quickly reassured by our adoption counselor that there was another expectant mother who wanted to meet us. We couldn’t believe the timing and felt so positive until two days later when Victoria reached out apologizing and asking us to match again with her. We had to make a choice, and we chose Victoria. I had people ask me why I wouldn’t try someone new when it was clear Victoria was not fully set on her decision, I didn’t know how to answer that, it was just a strong feeling I had that we were meant to stay with Victoria.
Imagine our pain 6 weeks later when our adoption counselor called us to say Victoria had given birth and chose to parent the child. We weren’t mad at her, of course not, she was trying to make an impossible decision and did what she felt was best. We understood, but my goodness, did it hurt. I was laying in bed in the morning I got the news. I was felt shocked as I got up, got dressed, looked in the mirror feeling nothing and then suddenly felt everything. I collapsed on the floor heaving sobs and hysterically crying out, “It’s never going to happen for us. Why did we stay with her? We messed everything up. It’s never going to happen. I’m never going to be a mom. I. Am. Never. Going. To. Be. A. Mom.” The next few days felt like a numbing blur. We had friends drop off a care package at our door filled with funny movies, comfy socks and a bottle of wine, we had coworkers give us sympathy cards and gift cards for meals, my family all loaded up in their cars and came out the next day to just sit with us; we really were met with such love and kindness that helped us move on.
It was nine days later we received our first email from Natalie, an expectant mother in Iowa and thirteen days after that our Carley was born. I became a mother to the most beautiful, vivacious little girl who I instantly recognized as my own. I often thought back to Victoria and realized that if she hadn’t kept us on hold for those three months we would have been chosen by someone else and wouldn’t have our Carley. I always felt grateful to Victoria for that and I thought of her often that the first year, wondering how she was doing raising four children and I hoped she knew that we only wished her love.
I felt the draw to adoption again when Carley was 10 months old; I could feel another child out there looking for me. So my husband and I began the paperwork and training for the second time. We were finishing up right as Carley turned one but before we could be listed on our agency’s webpage we got a call from our counselor. Victoria was pregnant, she knew for certain she could not afford to raise another child and hoped we would give her another chance. Much to the surprise of our friends and family, we didn’t hesitate. Yes, of course, we would match again. This time I texted daily with Victoria, and she and I developed a true friendship. After two and a half months of support, laughs and honest conversations about parenting, she gave birth to Matilda. I stayed in the hospital room with them, just us three girls. Victoria never wavered and confidently signed the papers alongside her husband. As I drove home with my sweet, perfect Matilda sleeping in the back seat it dawned on me how Victoria was the most instrumental person in me finding my daughters. I needed her to make sure I was ready for Carley’s birth mother and she made sure I ended up with Matilda, not her biological sister.
Looking back at my adoption journey I realize that there was always an order, there were always my children that I was going to end up with, I just needed to trust in others, forgive freely, and love openly. I am so glad I did.