This guest post is by Angela Boucher, an adoptive mother.
It’s a question I’ve been asked many times — by my closest friends, by my mother and most importantly, by my son’s birthmother: “How do you know you will love a child who is not your own flesh and blood?”
For me, the answer is simple: My journey to motherhood may have been unimaginable, but the love I had for my son always existed!
Let me explain: I was raised in a large Italian Catholic family. My mother was one of seven children and my father was one of five children.
My parents instilled in me the belief that with hard work, commitment and dedication, you will be able to get everything you want out of life.
I naturally assumed that after I got married I would be able to start a family. It never crossed my mind that it would not happen for me as it did for everyone else in my family.
I grew playing up with dolls and I was always the mommy. Whether it’s through the messages in the media, television or social settings, you always assume that you will have the ability to start a family when you are ready.
But when you don’t have children “of your own,” when that dream is taken from you, what do you do?
For me it was difficult at first. Some of the people closest to me would say the most hurtful things, even though they thought they were helping me.
I can still hear that statement, “Maybe God did not intend for you to bear children.”
I asked myself why were they chosen and not me? I deserved this just as much as anyone else!
Infertility changed me. It made me a better person. It taught me what true strength, resilience and commitment mean.
I had always dreamed of motherhood and I was not going to allow my infertility to steal my dreams from me.
What I wanted more than anything was motherhood. I came to the realization that pregnancy lasts nine months but motherhood lasts a lifetime.
My husband was always supportive of whatever I wanted. When we discussed adoption, his greatest reservation was money.
To be honest, our fertility battle was costly and by the time we began exploring adoption we were financially drained.
Our immediate family and friends knew what we had experienced and also understood how much we wanted children. They also knew that we had exhausted every resource trying to start our family.
I’m sure many other hopeful families would have said, “What’s to be will be!”
Not ours! They rallied around us and helped us in any way they could. They even had a benefit for us to help with the costs of the adoption.
During this time I researched anything and everything that had to do with adoption. I had a friend of a friend who had adopted and she became my guide.
I truly believe she is one of the angels on my shoulder. She was amazing. She answered any and every question and she also helped calm my fears.
Most importantly she was a mom and she knew what unconditional love was!
As I reflect back to the night my son was born I can’t help but think of his birthmother. She is an amazing woman who gave me life’s greatest gift.
She was in labor for nearly 20 hours and I never left her side. During those hours we laughed, we cried, we talked, and we shared. We bonded through our love for this child.
At one point she asked me that very question, “How do I know you will love this child?”
My eyes were filled with tears, and as they streamed down my face and touched her hand, I told her, “I have always loved him and I always will!”
That love is something we will always share. The love for our son.
After our son was born, my husband and I called home to share the news. We had finally held our baby!
Our families were anxiously waiting by the phone. They cried tears of joy because they been on our journey to parenthood with us.
They felt every loss and every disappointment along the way. They wanted this as much as we did.
Today, our son has just turned three. He is happy, healthy and loved so very much. He is never referred to as “chosen,” “special” or “adopted.”
He just is, and we are a family. He is as much a part of us as we are of him.
For those of you who are reaching out to prospective birthparents and questioning if you or those around you will be able to love a child that is not your own flesh and blood, I say this: Love comes from your heart, not from your blood type!
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