The stair master and I have this love-hate relationship. I keep showing up, and it’s always there waiting. I’m a mom of three, so I try to cram as much as possible into each hour. At the end of the day, I am exhausted. I look back at all I’ve accomplished in the last 10 hours – it doesn’t seem like much, but if my house is somewhat presentable, and my kids are fed and asleep, then I know that, yes, I succeeded as a mom today. Becoming a mother is something that I always wanted for as long as I can remember. But for a few years, I didn’t think that becoming a mom would happen for me until I found adoption.
After suffering through two stillbirths within two years, I felt hopeless.
I felt as though the universe was trying to tell me that I didn’t deserve to be a mother. That I did something wrong and somehow deserved this suffering. So, I gave up on having a baby myself and decided to pour myself into adoption. It was literally a month after our second loss that my husband and I attended an informational meeting at an adoption agency. We signed up then and there to move forward with domestic infant adoption.
If you aren’t familiar with modern adoption, it’s very much like online dating these days.
The agency has you build a profile which includes your bio, likes and dislikes, and flattering pictures of yourself. In addition to the online presence, adoption hopefuls also make a fancy brochure so that pregnant women can browse through something tangible to pick a match whom she thinks will be good for her unborn child. After three months of editing, we were in the “field” and ready for a pregnant woman to choose us. Overall, the process is quite daunting. You need to look good in your pictures (friendly, approachable, motherly, etc), put enough descriptive words in your profile to make yourself appealing, and become completely vulnerable in hopes of being chosen.
In December of 2013 we were placed “on the market.” In March of 2014, I got the call. A pregnant woman called me, and it’s a phone call I’ll never forget (I get misty just typing about it now). We spoke for over an hour, and she seemed confident in her decision to place her baby. She checked every box on my list of an ideal match. Her name was Amanda – she was 13 weeks pregnant, only a year younger than myself, already a mom to a seven-year-old boy, adopted herself, and was 100% sure that she did not want to become a mother again. When the call ended, I wanted to scream with joy. I felt as though I had just won the adoption lottery.
After a few texting conversations and a video call, we arranged to meet.
I was beyond anxious. What do you say, wear, or do to show someone that you’re worthy of their baby? I kept telling myself to just relax and be myself, but the butterflies I felt were worse than any first date I had ever been on. When we finally met, I realized quickly that all the time I had spent being nervous was a waste. Talking to Amanda was like talking to an old friend. We just clicked. And after experiencing two losses, I was sick of hearing people say, “Everything happens for a reason.” But for the first time ever, I felt that it was true. Maybe all that heartache and grief were leading to this.
Amanda told us that night that we were it.
She chose us. She chose me to be a mom of the baby that she was carrying. I was over the moon. This would be the beginning of my path to motherhood. This would also be the beginning of a very special relationship I now share with someone who selflessly gave me her own flesh and blood.