My mom wrote the following article for our local adoption agency's newsletter. She has an incredible way with words and thought I would share her talent. I love you Mom.
Adoption – A Gift to the Whole Family!
By Linda Davis
I am the grandmother of a beautiful little girl named Sara, who came to my daughter and her husband through adoption.
I’d like to share the story of what lead to the day that Sara came into our lives. I tell everyone, that there is no doubt that the arrival of Sara was the best day in my life. Just thinking of that day still brings tears of joy to my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, all five of my grandchildren are a gift to me, but the arrival of Sara was an extraordinary event that stands out as one of the most memorable for our whole family.
Although the decision to adopt is a very personal one, there are many people who share the journey with the couple choosing to adopt.
My husband and I have three daughters. We are a close family and we share each others’ joys and we feel each others’ pain. When my daughter Laura and her husband Chad first shared with us that they had been trying to conceive for a long time I was shocked and concerned, but still hopeful that whatever was the problem could be fixed, if indeed there was a problem at all. There were months of tests and waiting. They wanted a child so badly. They were such a good aunt and uncle to our grandchildren. I’d go to their house and see that Laura was taking her folic acid and vitamins to prepare for a pregnancy. My heart ached for them. Tests and more tests, and we prayed for good news.
There was one final test that the doctor wanted done. Laura was so sure that nothing was wrong and that this was probably a waste of time. She had me convinced that everything would be OK. I was with Laura at the hospital the day they told her that she did indeed have a problem and that conceiving a child would be difficult. I remember driving home from the hospital that cold dreary evening in December with tears streaming down my face, not quite able to grasp what they had said. Then came more months of waiting, and surgery, and medications, and then inevitably the look on Laura’s face each month as she again discovered that she wasn’t pregnant. I could see both her and Chad trying to remain positive. Eventually the options seemed to be running out and I told my friends that it felt a lot like a death. There was a grieving time. To me it felt like a huge loss. Grieving for what was probably never going to happen for my daughter. It was a constant ache of a wound that wouldn’t heal. I truly wanted nothing else than for a baby to come to Laura and Chad.
Our whole family felt so helpless as Laura and Chad were dealt with this huge blow to their life plan. I could see the pain and longing taking its toll on Laura. It was a roller coaster of emotions that she was having and I was feeling…each step of the way. I would have done anything to take away her pain. I watched Laura have a meltdown due to the stress this caused. At the same time I could also see the strength in them as a couple. How supportive of each other they were! I was in awe of them as they tackled each new challenge to becoming parents along the way. It’s a good thing they were strong, because as I have learned this is not a journey for the weak! I have to tell you that to me, it all seemed so unfair. I would see babies in the mall and long for one for Laura and Chad. When our family heard of someone expecting, we all wanted to keep it from Laura, not that she ever wanted us to do that. She was always happy for others. My other two daughters who, before Sara came to us, each had one child and both of them now wanted another. They were afraid to get pregnant, because they did not want to cause Laura any more pain. Although of course I would have been thrilled to hear the news of another grandchild on the way, I knew that at the same time my heart would go out to Laura and Chad as they would celebrate once again, someone else’s joy. It was a tough time.
And then, the tiniest glimmer of sunshine came to all of us as they made the decision to look into adoption. They finally came to understand that it was not a pregnancy that was the end all and be all. It was to parent that that was the ultimate goal. We could talk about babies again in our family as we experienced renewed hope for a child to come to them. It was a huge decision that would eventually alter our whole family’s life in such a wonderful way. In the beginning we were almost afraid to be too optimistic and yet, no question about it, things seemed brighter. There was hope again. No it was not the usual nine month wait that most people experience when they announce that they are going to be parents. Instead, it was a process. Oh my goodness…SO many questions. They were tough questions, but they needed to be asked. There can be some tough times, but oh so worth it in the long run. The waiting was hard. The months of wondering and hoping seemed like forever.
And then came the day that changed our whole family’s life forever. Laura and Chad were able to keep Sara’s coming to them a secret until they brought her home. They walked into our house with their little pink bundle and we have never known such joy. It was instant healing for our family. We cried, shouted, jumped up and down and literally screamed with joy. It was as if instantly all was well. We were all so in love with this beautiful baby girl. Our other two daughters and their spouses were ecstatic. I have a picture taken the day Sara came home, with each of our three daughters holding their children. All was well. For days, my husband and would look at each other and say out loud “Laura and Chad have baby girl..right?? We’re not dreaming”… I can’t even put into words the elation we felt. To this day, when I hug Sara, I often say a silent prayer of thanks. We are still not over the wonder of her. I don’t think that we ever will be.
And now we wait for a brother or sister for Sara to come to us from a land far away, through an international adoption. Once again, the waiting is not easy. The process seems to take forever and again many of the old feelings come to the surface. I long to hold and cuddle my new grandchild and see my daughter’s dreams come true through the most incredible gift of all, the gift of adoption. I know firsthand from our experience with Sara, that although the waiting is difficult, the new gift to our family will be well worth the wait!