“My husband and I received ‘the call’ that we were selected as adoptive parents of a yet to be born little girl around 7 p.m. on December 31st, 2014. We had just sat down to dinner at a small sushi restaurant in Whistler, British Columbia – it was the first day of a weekend ski trip. I think most people envision the call as an instantaneously, joyous occasion, the fulfillment of a dream after months of waiting. For us, it was a little more nuanced.
A birthmother due in 2 weeks had chosen us, but there were potential health risks with the baby and the pregnancy. There was a higher than average possibility that we could adopt a child with special needs, either intellectually or physically challenged, or both. We had only been in the adoption pool a short 3 months, and we didn’t expect a call this early. We had many questions: could we parent a child who would require more dedicated time, devotion and care? Would we be enough for her? How would this change our original dreams for parenthood? Our fantasies of attending our child’s college graduation or soccer games may not ever be realized. We agonized and sought counsel from doctors, family and friends with wildly differing opinions. My husband and I also did a dangerous amount of internet research.
We decided to take a break and enjoy what we came to Canada for: ski! Between the exhilaration and hazards of negotiating difficult terrain, we discussed what we wanted out of being parents and particularly adoption. The long chairlift rides with amazing views of Northwest snowcapped mountains were a perfect place for us to confront our fears and realize our limitations. At the end of the 24 hours we were given to make a choice about going forward with the adoption, we came to the conclusion – that adoption was about what was best for the child, not about the parent’s dreams and fantasizes. The truth of the matter was, this little girl was going to need parents who would love her no matter what. If she never left home, or went to college – we’d still care for her. We chose adoption over surrogacy as a pathway to parenthood because we wanted a child who was already in the world and needed parents. This was our opportunity staring us in the face. Without looking back, we called our adoption social worker back on New Year’s Day 2015 and said yes.
Less than 2 weeks later, we met M and took her home at 24 hours old. She was a tiny 5 pounds at full term, and despite being small, she was perfect. We came back from the hospital in state of shock, delight, and some healthy fear, ready to face whatever challenges presented themselves. At every subsequent Doctor’s visit – she presented as a completely healthy, average, albeit, tiny baby girl.
Today, M is still small, but she is curious, vibrant, extroverted and fearless. We have no doubt she will pursue bettering herself intellectually and will challenge her body to do amazing things from skiing to soccer. We still go back to the same Canadian ski resort every year as a family. A ski lift is where my husband and I committed ourselves to becoming a family. Fast forward to 4 years later, and we’re riding up that same mountain together.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Richard Kocher. 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, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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