It’s an exciting and busy season right now. With Bella Rustica (story here) only a short 2 weeks away, my FOLK Magazine Christmas writeup due this Saturday, and helping put together a family slideshow for Cindy’s Celebration of Life coming soon, my DIY plate is a little on the shy side. So I felt this was the perfect time to share something personal.
Let’s just say The Lettered Cottage helped to inspire this one. They posted on adoption and I joined in the comments. But then I had to tell more, which ties in beautifully with what’s next.
The reason Bella Rustica came to be is to help raise funds for Agape, which is an agency that offers support and placements for foster and adoptive families. And one of the reasons I was chosen to be a part of the vintage show was because I’m an adoptive mom.
That’s right. My now 13 year old young man is my adopted son and I couldn’t be happier with the way it all came down.
I’ll be sharing more at Bella Rustica, however, here’s a good start.
Adoption was never on our minds when we first married. The plan was eventually to have a child of our own as it is with most families.
My then husband and I tried to have our own child for many years. We jumped through alot of hoops and tests and surgeries to make it happen. But it never did. We then climbed on board the adoption list.
The wait for a local newborn through our local ministry at that time was a 7 year wait. SEVEN. However, my own heart said newborn and since we had a choice, we chose the wait.
Life carried on, not all of it easy. I was growing so weary of being jealous of pregnant women and staring at other’s children wishing they were my own. And don’t even get me started when I saw a child cry. I wanted to save each and every one of them, full knowing I’d do it all perfectly.
Anywhoo, I slowly got over all that stuff and simply decided to accept life as it came and make the most out of my given situation. We traveled, I ran my own successful biz, we bought our dream home on acreage… life was pretty darn great! Except for that little empty space in my heart.
And then, one day out of the blue, the phone rang. It was the ring that changed our lives.
I’ll never forget it. The message was a birth mom had chosen us and she was due in 3 months!
I couldn’t think. We head out to Tim Horton’s over coffee, dreaming about all that we would do with our child to be! And so the shopping and decorating began. We started a full blown mural in a spare bedroom, purchased furniture, eyed up some newborn clothes… and then the phone rang again well before 3 months.
Birth mom W was in labour 3 weeks early. DOH!!
The house was torn apart, getting ready for the baby’s arrival. The mural was far from done. We hadn’t even finished picking up all the newborn necessities! Basically put, we required those 3 extra weeks but didn’t get them. But, it didn’t matter. It was finally time to drop the perfection thing and learn to roll with the punches in grand style. At 2am, we head out for an hour’s drive to where my son’s birth mom was.
I called into work, told them I was gonna have a baby, (LOL) and I was up for the next 20 hours. I was the birth mom’s coach, offering her Popsicles, catering to whatever she desired even if just to chat, and rubbed her aching back. We were going to do this together.
The birth was amazing. I was asked if I wished to cut the umbilical cord but politely declined. I held onto ‘birthmom W” instead. I wanted to be a mom, not a doctor.
After the birth, it didn’t feel right to leave my baby. I requested to be admitted into the hospital just like any other mom . This was a first time an adoptive parent requested to say. Intrigued, they said yes! I got a room and learned how to feed an underweight newborn 1.5 ounces of formula every 2 hours. And yes, it was an absolute labour of love from minute 1.
I was there for 2 days when it was time to come home. And while it was amazing to have this gorgeous newborn son in my arms, my heart was abit troubled.
In BC, a birth mom has 30 days to change her mind. So every day I watched the calendar and gulped hard. You see, I had a choice. I could have left my son in the hospital for 30 days then claimed him after the approval went through, but I chose not to. If she changed her mind, so be it! I needed this baby to have the BEST possible chance right from the get go, regardless of what it could do to my heart.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I now know I held a small part of me back. I was falling in love with this sweetheart but was so frightened to get ‘a call.’ I cringed when the phone rang for an entire month.
And then on day 30, I woke up and burst into tears. The phone didn’t ring! He was ours!
See this stroller? It was prepurchased but I refused to use it until day 30 to celebrate in grand style. We ripped open the package that very day of this picture taken, and head out down our long quiet country road for our first official walk as parents for certain.
Upon our return, the phone started ringing off the hook. Well wishers, crying in relief… it was a very emotional day. It was like winning 20 million lotteries. Or something!
Check out my shoes. I was in such a rush I didn’t even put them on right.
And today, my lil’ bub is now 13 years old. He’s as tall as I am and his voice changed over summer. I look at him every day with just a smile on my face, wondering who swapped that baby for this young man. But that must mean something was done right. He’s growing, he’s stronger, and he’s my son!
There are many ways and options to adopt. We chose a local ministry for budget reasons. But I honestly felt I didn’t require it any other way. It just felt right, even with that horrendously long wait.
The adoption process can be intense, however you ARE with full support. They really do teach you how to prepare for most anything, from a birth mom changing her mind right down to health issues down the road. Because just like having your own child, there are no guarantees. And even less when you really don’t know the health of the birth mom other than what you’ve been told.
I honestly can’t imagine having my son any other way. It was meant to be and right for me and worth every minute of waiting.
So how did it go raising my son? Did he end up liking all the things his birth mom did? Did he develop any of my own traits? Did we stay in close contact with her?
And what about the birth mom’s side of things? How did she deal with her decision? How did it work out to have open communication with her?
Well, I have something to say about all that too. Which I’ll be sharing at Bella Rustica. So I guess you’d better just come.