Perhaps to the annoyance of my friends and social media followers, I celebrated National Adoption Month with gusto.
For probably the millionth time I posted the photo of my husband and me holding our newborn baby girl in front on an incubator in the NICU.
There was nothing wrong with her, mind you, it was just the only space the hospital staff could find for us that day. They had to make us a small space to visit our new child.
I also posted that photo to my Twitter Page, the one usually reserved for sports scores and updates as I am a sports writer by trade.
It got a few likes from players, coaches and fans alike.
Then I got a thank you.
A friend and fellow scribe, who also is an adoptee, thanked me for adopting my child. It caught me slightly off guard. Why was he thanking me for the greatest thing to happen to me in my life?
I didn’t do anything special. Oh, adoption definitely is a lot of hard work. It’s very time-consuming and it involves tons of paperwork.
We didn’t even have the Internet to help us. Well, it was in its infancy at the time and an ad on an adoption web site cost upwards of $100.
We didn’t have Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We did buy a few ads in a few newspapers and sent everyone we knew a letter detailing our search and our personal lives.
One day we got a call from a woman who got our letter from a friend of a friend. Just that was a miracle in and of itself. She got a letter. She read it. She chose us. She could have just tossed it.
Then, about three months later, we got another call. She was going into the hospital. She still was choosing us.
A few days later, that woman handed a beautiful, perfect, pink baby girl to me and asked, “Are you ready to meet your daughter?”
Eighteen months later a judge signed the papers saying, yes, we were worthy to be her parents.
And the last 16 years have been filled with love, laughter, silly songs, Sesame Street, Elmo, Disney princesses, tea parties, sleepovers, birthday parties, field trips, concerts, dance recitals, funny faces, hugs and kisses.
Over the years I’ve also gotten a few comments in the vein of, “She’s so lucky to have you.”
Let me say straight up: I am the lucky one. My now 16-year-old daughter is simply stuck with us, whether she likes it or not (of course, sometimes she does not).
Would her life have been different if she had stayed with her first mother and family? Certainly. Would she have been less lucky? I don’t know that.
But I know I would.
Lori Lyons is a Louisiana journalist and author who blogs about life, motherhood, adoption and sometimes baseball at The Lyons Din. She self-published the book, Adopting in America: The Diary of a Mom in Waiting, recounting her journey to motherhood.
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