Most people would say children or love. I say the two go hand in hand.
I relinquished my child for adoption in the 70’s when I was a teenager. It was at a time when a young girl’s cry went unheard. I never held my baby or looked into her tiny face. She was taken from me immediately and I was moved to another floor. I cried for my baby girl to be brought to me, but the nurses ignored my pleas. When the Dr. broke my water they didn’t change my sheets. I cried for them to bring my sister to me when I was in labor but they never brought her. I couldn’t comprehend the cruelty because of my age and I had never experienced treatment like this before. It would be years down the road before I would realize that it was because I was young and unwed.
My pain with the loss of my daughter would be long lived.
When my husband and I married we wanted to have children right away but months went by and still no pregnancy. I went to see my OB/GYN and we entered the very popular world of infertility testing. We found out that we both had issues and we would need to have In-Vitro-Fertilization, better known as IVF. Our first two attempts failed and each time I felt a pain that I could not put words to. When we were attempting it a third time the Dr. ordered a test that puts dye into your tubes to see if they are open or closed. I questioned why she was ordering this as I had had it done twice before and after all, IVF bypasses your tubes. Her reply was that “she just wanted it”. She did not do the procedure herself ~~ an intern did and I was punctured. I was in the hospital for 17 days and when they rushed me into emergency surgery, I was within 6 hours of death. I had so much infection in my body that it claimed a tube and an ovary. I was too afraid of dying to grasp the concept that our chances were now very slim of having a child. That would come quickly enough though.
I moved forward with the help of God and grief counseling. I didn’t consider adoption in the beginning because I thought, “What if I’m trying to replace my birth daughter with another child?” I started praying for God to help me let go of my birth daughter~~ that she had a family that loved her. I asked for healing for myself. I prayed that same prayer for over 1-1/2 years and then God answered me. One day I woke up and knew I could adopt and for all the right reasons! Now I just had to get my husband on board. I researched different countries and found that Guatemala was the right one for us. We attended adoption meetings and met with other people going through the same process. The thing that sealed it for me was when we went to a picnic with other families that had adopted from Guatemala. These children were so beautiful and happy that I could not wait to start the process. I told my husband who was still unsure about the whole thing, “Let’s just start the paper work and move forward. If it doesn’t feel right, then we can talk about it.” I handled all the paper work and my husband went through the process ~~ he was becoming interested, attached and taking baby steps. When it came time for us to have the home study done, he was ready. Our baby girl was born on July 7, 2002 and we went down to visit her when she was eight weeks old. When they first put her in my arms, I sobbed but when we left the adoption home, Casa Quivira, and went to our hotel, I found myself becoming terrified and numb. We were down there for 4 days and I cried all the time calling home to my mother and sister. Here I had waited for this child for what seemed like a lifetime and now I was an emotional mess. I asked myself what was going on and why I was so terrified. It was a question that really didn’t need asking ~~ I knew I was dealing with old baggage from the relinquishment of my birth daughter. I told my husband that I needed to go home and ground myself ~~ in other words, work through and process all this terror and pain that I felt. We went home and I went to my Dr. and he told me that his sister had gone through the same thing after relinquishing a child for adoption. When her second child was born she felt as though she could barely cope. Too often women blame themselves for feeling a certain way and many hide behind a façade of “everything is fine and wonderful!” There is shame involved and these emotions can spiral into self-loathing. I commend and thank Brooke Shields for being so open about her post-partum. I believe she has helped many women through similar issues. Post partum not only affects women who have given birth, but also those that have adopted. Sometimes we can’t figure out where all the emotions come from, but we need to be able to allow ourselves to feel and work through them. When I went back down to Guatemala 4 weeks later, I fell head over heels in love with my baby girl, Sophia.
I have since divorced and adopted another baby girl from Guatemala, this time as a single parent. Gabriella came home on April 11, 2007 at the age of 6 months.
I know firsthand the pain of relinquishing a child, never being able to conceive again and finding the greatest love I would ever know along with healing, all through adoption. With all the suffering that I felt, I would never go backwards. I hope that if anyone reading this is also experiencing the pain of not being able to have a child, that you would allow yourself to embrace the possibility of adoption.
My journey led me to start a doll company, the Precious Baby Doll Company, about adopting baby dolls from around the world. These dolls are for both adopted and biological children. I wanted to give the message to others that the heart knows no boundaries, no color ~ only love, and thought that it would be a wonderful way to do it through my dolls. Too often parents want a doll that looks just like their child, but children have a different idea. Children see only through eyes of love. Think how wonderful it would be for an adopted child to see their friends playing and loving an ethnic baby doll. It would give self esteem and a pride in their heritage and it would teach biological children more about adoption and loving without limitations. My next doll will be an African baby and then onto other countries!! All children need be able to celebrate the beauty of their heritage! We as adults can help them. www.preciousbabydolls.com
I have a loving relationship with my birth daughter who is beautiful and has a generous heart. I am grateful to her parents that loved and raised her. She herself has just adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia! I managed to locate her birth father’s family and she has connected with and met her half-siblings. Her half sister also gave birth and relinquished a baby girl for adoption.
For me, I have come full circle and have a content and happy heart. I cherish and adore my little girls and when I lie down by them at night, I often feel the tears of gratitude and I give thanks.
What pulls at your heartstrings? My girls do mine…………………
Link to information on Brooke Shields dealing with depression and post partum http://www2.oprah.com/tows/slide/200505/20050504/slide_20050504_101.jhtml - 13k - Cached - Similar pages