This guest post is by Allie Ferguson, a hopeful adoptive parent
I don’t think my inability to conceive a biological child was some random tragedy. I simply don’t think it was supposed to happen.
I believe, more and more with every passing day, that I was always meant to grow my family through adoption instead and that my heart has been preparing for this all of my life.
It started when I was a little girl. I would bring home stray animals because I just could not bear to see a tiny creature abandoned and fending for itself.
My heart just couldn’t take it.
So I’d bring the little kitty I found on the side of the road home and keep it in my room until my mom helped me find another home for it. And when I was finally old enough to have my own dog, I refused to buy a purebred from the pet store or from a breeder like everyone else.
I didn’t want the perfect dog. I wanted to give a home to a dog that needed one. It wasn’t just animals. I’ve always felt a strong sense of compassion for people who get left out or left behind.
I feel for them. I always have.
The first time I went to New York City I remember being shocked that some people didn’t have homes. I remember worrying that entire trip about the homeless people I’d seen on the streets or in the subway.
How could some people not have a place to live or families that loved them?
It was the most heart-wrenching thing I’d ever seen. I think I was seven years old and I distinctly remember crying about it and thinking if I could only build a big enough house I would invite them all to live there.
I’m not trying to compare rescuing a pet or having empathy to adopting a baby—of course it’s nothing at all like that—but even as a child I felt a sense of responsibility to care for animals or people that didn’t have homes.
As I got older and learned about adoption, I thought how wonderful it was that people opened their hearts to children who needed them. It just makes sense to me: adoption is beautiful and courageous and necessary in a world where not all biological parents are equipped or able to raise their children.
I figured I’d have a biological child too, though, because that’s just what you do. But I couldn’t seem to get pregnant. My husband and I tried for what felt like a very long time. I went to acupuncture and drank strange herbs, ate a special diet, swallowed supplements and vitamins and tried two rounds of fertility drugs.
It was awful: the roller coaster ride of emotions, the disappointments, the depressing negative pregnancy tests. I somehow knew deep down that none of it was going to work. It neither felt good nor right to either of us and I quickly realized that I needed to stop and listen to my heart.
When I did that, I realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that I shouldn’t be going to such extreme medical lengths to make my body do something it might not be meant to do. I finally acknowledged what a deeper part of me had known all along—
I was an adoptive mother by nature.
Pregnancy had never been the goal. Starting a family was. I knew that I didn’t have to be pregnant with my baby to love and adore him or her. I’ve been blessed with a heart much bigger than that.
My capacity to love runs deeper than mere biology—my baby does not need to share my eyes or my hair or my skin color. I will love him or her as fiercely and as fully as any mother has ever loved a child. Maybe even more.
Throwing away the IVF information sheet was like taking a deep breath after being deprived of air—ahhhh. Trying to get pregnant had felt like a prison sentence, but adoption felt like the exact opposite. I felt free and light and hopeful and excited—a far cry from trying to have a biological child. I knew this was it.
For the first time, I felt like I was finally on the right path to becoming a mommy. It was as if I had been wandering around in a dark room, banging my head against a brick wall, and then suddenly found my way out to a bright, beautiful, sunshine-y day.
Even though we are still waiting for a match, I know that it will happen soon—exactly the way it was meant to. I may not be an adoptive mother quite yet, but I have been one all along.
Allie Ferguson lives in Charlottesville, VA with her husband, Jamie, and two dogs. They are currently waiting to adopt their first child and she’s blogging about the journey at Adopting Charlie.