“When I think back to my childhood bedroom the image always comes with my walls carefully lined with baby dolls and their little homemade ‘beds’ made from blankets, napkins, and dish towels. Every birthday I would ask for a baby doll, every Christmas I hoped a baby doll would be sleeping under the tree waiting for me to be its ‘Mommy.’ When I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, the only thing that remained constant through every age and every phase of my life was I wanted to be a mom.
I was 14 years old when I was told I had endometriosis. It ran in my family so the second I found out, I knew what it meant. I knew the one thing I had always wanted may not happen. I still often think back to every Mother’s Day after that, the heavy feeling in my stomach I carried with me all day. I remember going to church on Mother’s Day where the little children would head to the front of the room and sing the sweetest little off-key songs while energetically waving to their moms, and thinking ‘I can’t have that.’
To have to mourn the loss of motherhood from such a young age was hard, and I remember vividly so many times when it would hit me like a smack in the face all over again. I would tell my close friends about it to which they would typically reply, ‘There is always adoption.’ Adoption became a source of hope for me from such a young age. I suddenly felt maybe it was a possibility for me to have what I had always wanted, a family! Maybe, just maybe, I could have a child someday, waving to me from that sweet little children’s choir.
When I met my husband and we started to date more seriously, I was so scared to tell him I wouldn’t be able to carry our children, I felt like a failure and worried it may scare him away, but I also wanted him to know, as it was his right to decide for himself. As we sat in the hallway of our college dorms, I told him I didn’t think I would be able to carry any children and I wanted him to take some time and think about it. I didn’t want him to feel like I had deceived him in any way. As I sat with tears in my eyes trying my best to explain my condition to him, he whispered words I can still hear him say to this day, ‘I don’t need to think about it. There is always adoption.’ I knew I was going to marry him at that moment and we did just that! We were married not long after that and we always knew adoption would be part of our life and part of our family.
Fast forward two years, I got pregnant. We were so excited and completely surprised it had happened. We were over the moon that somehow my body, which I always thought would fail me, had done it. It was making a baby, and there was nothing that could have made me happier.
I remember feeling so proud of my body. The fact I felt nauseous and sick didn’t phase me. It was like a ribbon I carried around and I couldn’t have been happier. But then I got sicker and sicker and we knew something wasn’t right. After having nurses in and out of my home daily and using IV’s and medications, it felt like that ribbon I was once so proud of was torn away. Once again, my body had failed me and I was devastated. My pregnancy that was once something I had wanted so badly instead became a very dark and difficult time. I was able to have a sweet little boy from that pregnancy, which was an absolute miracle and something I wouldn’t trade for the world, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it again. My body wouldn’t make it and I was devastated, but then it was like all of the puzzle pieces came together. Adoption! I knew it would be part of my story and here it was professing itself again!
We started the paperwork with so much hope and excitement. We finished everything quickly and were so excited to think this was going to happen for us! In the first year of waiting, we were full of hope and I remember buying gender-neutral items thinking we would be using them ‘so soon.’ I put together a nursery in our home, thinking the crib would soon carry a sweet little one. However, we waited… and waited with not a single interest. I remember watching other families be chosen before us and feeling so inferior. Why didn’t they choose us? What did they have that we didn’t? It drained our hope very quickly and what was once a little family completely overjoyed and excited for the future soon became a little family wondering why we weren’t allowed to have the things we wanted so badly.
I remember getting the call like it was yesterday. A sweet birth mother wanted to meet us and I remember squealing like a little kid. We matched with his birth mother at 10 weeks and were able to get to know her and watch her grow and progress in her life before the birth of our sweet little boy. When I think back on our adoption, the thing that always comes back to me is this sweet little boy was always supposed to be part of our family, and he was supposed to join us at this exact time.
I still find myself sitting with tears in my eyes, thinking about what a huge village it took to get this sweet little angel into our family. He is a miracle and will always remind me to never give up hope.
Adoption will beat you down. It will make you feel like you aren’t good enough, like you aren’t deserving of the things you want. You are so deserving, my friend. You deserve the things your heart wants and you always, ALWAYS deserve to feel hopeful in the path to the life you want and are meant to have.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by April Lynn from Utah. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories about foster care and adoption here:
‘I don’t think any social worker will jump to place a child with a 20-year-old, single male.’ I agreed and said, ‘I’ll be patient.’ I checked all the boxes.’: Former foster kid becomes adoptive dad to 3 boys, ‘Fostering is love’
‘At 11, his adoptive parents abandoned him at a hospital, never to return. ‘Mr. Peter, can I call you my Dad?’ I began to cry uncontrollably.’: Single dad adopts 11-year-old boy from foster care after biological, adoptive family abandon him
‘Oh, are you babysitting?’ ‘They’re mine.’ I’m a 30-year-old single black woman with 3 white kids. Love has no color in my home.’: Woman adopts 1 boy, 2 siblings from foster care, ‘love is love, no matter the color’
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