The Gift Of Adopting

This guest post is by Elizabeth, a hopeful adoptive parent. 

I’ve always been someone that gets what she wants. Yes, I just said that out loud.

Before you scowl at me in disgust, please let me explain what I mean. You see, up until July 2011, things in my life came easy for me. Ugh!

Ok, I’m still not coming across the way that I want to (insert embarrassed face).

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always worked my butt off for everything that I have wanted.  But, I’ve…well…always been able to get what I wanted by doing so. I excelled in high school, college, and even law school because my competitive nature kept me fueled up almost constantly to work for my good grades.

I always had a goal, knew what it would take to attain it, and did just that. Now, let’s be clear, I was never a person that could ace a test sans some serious cram sessions. But, if I wanted that “A” bad enough, I knew just how to get it. Working hard = a satisfied Elizabeth.

Counting my blessings

Of course, in some aspects of my life, I can’t discount that luck (or fate, maybe?) has played a big part. Fate was definitely on my side the night I met my hubby, Mike. We met at the wedding of our mutual friends, almost exactly seven years ago, when Mike was in town for a brief two-week leave from the Army.

We were then almost immediately engulfed in a romantic whirlwind of long-distance phone calls, e-mails, and letters—followed by a romantic proposal just five months after we met.  Mike had a very smooth transition out of the Army a couple of years later, and we got married after he moved back to Illinois. Again, I counted my blessings. I knew that I was lucky enough to have found something so special.

Even back in 2008, when we decided that we wanted to be parents, we saw that faint pink line on the home pregnancy test just a couple of months after we started trying. I will never forget, for the rest of my life, that magical moment when we found out.

And on the night our daughter Morgan was born, I knew that no matter what else would ever happen to me, I had experienced the greatest joy possible.  My realization on that hot summer night was that I had won the lottery of life.

So, that has been my life up until recently…pretty smooth sailing. I’ve had some bumps in the road, some stressful and anxious times, and even a few brief but bizarre health issues come up. But I considered all of those things to be just minor inconveniences on this crazy road we call life. I knew I had it good, and for that I was thankful.

Our first ectopic pregnancy

Then, in July 2011, my smooth-sailing turned into the perfect storm when we endured our first ectopic pregnancy. By the time we found out, I had already passed out twice (from either the pain or internal bleeding), and required emergency surgery. Then, just three months later (we wanted a baby sooooooo bad), I had another ectopic pregnancy.

I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, “again?  This is happening to me again?”  The good news is that we caught the second ectopic early enough to be able to treat with the chemotherapy drug, methotrexate; the bad news is that the whole process was drawn out over 2 months!

That was two months of getting my hormone levels checked bi-weekly, two months of making fairly regular middle-of-the-night trips to the ER because I was in so much pain that I was convinced I was dying, two months of not knowing whether I would make it into work that morning (or be able to stay all day), and two months of all kinds of other horrible side effects that I won’t disturb you with right now.

When I had a moment to come up for air, I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck happened to my smooth sailing!?!? I’m working hard for what I want, so why am I not getting it!?  Where had my good fortune gone?

The answer?  It was (and is still) right in front of my face.

Enriched by the adoption process 

Truth be told, with my sweet Morgan in my life every day, it’s hard for me to focus on the sadness of our recent fertility struggles. I still have my husband standing beside me, and I still know that I have won the lottery of life.

In fact, our fertility struggles have made me realize even more what a true miracle our daughter is. Sometimes I look at her sandy blonde hair, her bright blue eyes, and her big smile (which looks exactly like my husband’s smile), and I just reflect on how amazing her little life is.

And now, through it all, we are being given the opportunity to experience another wonderful gift, adoption.  It’s something that not everyone is able to be touched by, and for that, I should count myself lucky.  I just know that my life is going to be enriched beyond words throughout this process.

I’m not quite in the “wouldn’t change anything for a minute” or “wouldn’t have it any other way” state of mind, but I can honestly say that I’m happy and at peace with where things are now. The biggest compliment I get from readers of my blog is that I help encourage them in the adoption process with an honestly positive attitude.

My theory is that there’s no sense in focusing on what I don’t have, when I have been given so much.

Elizabeth is “Mama” to Morgan, wife to Michael, and hopes to soon be a mom again via domestic infant adoption.  

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