Twelve years ago, I found myself at a crossroads; I was facing an unplanned pregnancy. Denial, fear, heartache, excitement, confusion, and hundreds of other emotions raced through me daily. Until this point in my life, my decisions were about me. I alone was responsible for my irresponsible choices (or so I thought). The instant I saw those two pink lines, my whole world turned upside down.
It took several weeks for reality to finally sink in: I was pregnant. This was not my plan! I had always envisioned a beautiful wedding, followed by the pitter patter of little feet, and of course my very own HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Well, I was not happy, there were no wedding bells, and the pitter patter of little feet were quickly approaching. Suddenly, I realized that my decisions were no longer just about me. Every decision I made, from what I ate to where I worked would have an impact on those little feet. Talk about pressure.
Recognizing that I couldn't face this type of pressure on my own, I decided I needed some professional guidance. As I met with a caseworker to discuss different options. Adoption seemed like a logical solution; Raging hormones, a history of depression and the natural motherly instinct urged me to reconsider. Surely "giving away my baby" would leave me broken, shattered and most likely hospitalized in a mental institution for the remainder of my life. So I continued to search for other options.
No matter where I looked, the path always seemed to lead back to adoption. My journey was physical, emotional, and spiritual. Pregnancy became more than a burden or something horrible that had happened to me, I recognized I was creating life! There was actually a human being growing inside of me! As I felt her move and grew to know her, suddenly my perspective changed. Suddenly, HER needs became my number one priority. I just needed to figure out how to meet them.
As I prayed for strength to place her needs above my own and discernment to know the path we should travel, adoption was the clear choice. I was scared. No. I was terrified. Determined to do what was best for my baby, I began the search for her family.
Meeting with the couple that would parent my daughter (M as they would call her), I was overcome with gratitude. I felt so confident that they were meant to be hers, and she was meant to be theirs, and grateful that I could be a part of this journey. But most importantly, I felt grateful for this sweet baby who ultimately rescued me from a dangerous path toward self-destruction. Nothing could have convinced me to change, nothing except HER.
Twelve years later, I'm on the path to my happily ever after. This December my husband and I celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. We have 5 beautiful children, 4 boys and 1 girl (who is unfortunately stuck right in the middle). Our adoption (yes, it belongs to ALL of us) is very open now. Earlier this year, we were able to spend the entire day together at the zoo. All of my children know M; they know who she is, they know her family, and they know about adoption.
Talking to my children about adoption is not always easy. Parenting isn't easy. There are days I'm faced with an abundance of difficult questions to answer. Explaining to my children (then aged 4, 3 and 1) who M was, and why we were going to meet her was one of the most uncomfortable conversations of my life (aside from telling my mother I was pregnant out of wedlock). Now, adoption is part of our natural conversation. Adoption has helped to facilitate open communication with my children, and helped me to learn to listen to them and to answer their questions. It has made me a better parent.
Don't get me wrong, I still struggle. I feel inadequate, especially compared to M's parents. They are the greatest people I know, and I'm so happy they are HERS.
Then and Now, adoption is a miracle. M is a Miracle. She saved me, and I will be forever grateful for our relationship. Her parents are my heroes. Our relationship is founded on a miracle and full of LOVE. -Nicci Lovell