This guest post is by Michelle, a hopeful adoptive mother.
This past weekend, we planted a lovely garden filled with lilies, snapdragons, daisies, English moss and roses of every color at my brother and sister-in-law’s house.
It was just our immediate family, but in the bunch there were six moms supervising, digging in the dirt, telling stories, laughing, corralling the kids, hugging and crying. Each plant was set into the earth with care. Each plant a remembrance.
The garden being planted was to honor our nephew, who was born still on Mother’s Day last year.
Waiting with the moms-to-be
Remembering Mother’s Day last year is hard and beautiful at the same time. We paced the maternity ward waiting room with moms-to-be, knowing that our experience was very different from theirs. We were so overcome by aching sorrow, yet were joyous when we finally met James. He was so perfect – the spitting image of his beautiful mama with the long limbs of his handsome daddy.
Nothing could have prepared us for his birth, his death, and the connection to life that deepened within all of us because of his too short existence.
Why is this part of our adoption story?
In the hours, days and weeks that followed the death of this precious, beautiful child, our family realized that everything was not lost. Out of the most complete heartbreak we’ve ever known, we remembered that time is precious. A few minutes – a few seconds – changes everything. And my husband Kevin and I knew we just couldn’t wait any longer.
The years that Kevin and I had spent talking about starting our family through adoption just dropped away. We had known for years that we wanted to adopt a baby as we were unable to conceive and we knew we were meant to adopt.
Created our plans for adoption
We talked about how we would give our seven nieces and nephews another cousin through open adoption. We had already changed the diapers of children in our lives for years, wiped their tears, read to them and made them giggle with delight. And we didn’t want to wait anymore to find our child and bring her or him into our lives.
We registered with an agency, formulated our plans for an adoption, and completed our home study. In February of this year, we were approved to adopt domestically.
Throughout the past few months, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves through the intense self-reflection of the adoption qualification process.
We’ve also learned a lot through stories about others who are pursuing adoption, those who are adopted and those who are the birth parents to children who are adopted. The stories people have told us in the past few months reinforce why we choose to grow our
family through adoption.
We choose to adopt because we both have the desire to have a big family – one that is knitted together through birth, open adoption and community. That’s how our parents raised us – to form relationships and make special people part of the family.
Seeing ourselves as open adoption advocates
We’ve learned that we need to be tenacious and wait until a birth mother and/or father chooses us to be parents. In the meantime, we see ourselves as open adoption advocates and are spending time writing about our journey, educating people about adoption, listening to others tell us about their journeys, and using all forms of media to help us find our future children.
Every Mother’s Day will be a remembrance for us that everything’s not lost. We will always celebrate and honor the short life of our nephew and the joy and meaning his brief existence brings to us.
We will always celebrate our mothers and grandmothers and our sisters-in-law who gave us our nieces and nephews. And we will always celebrate the birth mothers and adoptive mothers who give life and hope to the children of our world.
Right now, we continue to count our blessings as we are searching for an infant to bring into our lives through open adoption.
Michelle, and her husband, Kevin, are a Virginia couple hoping to adopt an infant domestically through open adoption. You can find out more about them at their website.
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