For many years, my husband and I struggled with infertility. For many years, I talked myself into thinking that my career, was enough for me. But deep down inside, as I became closer to 40 than 30, I knew that not the case. The need for motherhood was so deep in my being that all the vacations, gourmet meals and fancy coffee, that came with a dual income childless marriage, could not compete.
At first, the idea of adoption terrified me. My mind was filled with fact and fiction of adoption horror stories, both domestic and international. We had personally known friends who waged an expensive and protracted court battle for their son. Yet, that small, quiet voice called me to that journey towards motherhood.
I would be a Pollyanna to say that this journey was an easy one. The two adoption processes for our children were intrusive, sometimes insulting, and exhausting. When asked about the adoption process, I jokingly say,
"Rick and I can run for public office, we are fully vetted."
Many say adoption is rooted in loss. The loss of the child of her birth parents, and the loss of the birth parents of a child. In the case of international adoption, many warn of the cultural loss for the child. In the case of trans-racial adoption, many cite the loss of an ethnic identity for the child. I am aware of this debate, however I can only offer my own perspective. To me, adoption is rooted in hope.
Hope for a better life, hope for the future, hope for the children. The birth mothers of my daughters choose life, instead of the alternative option which is widely available and accepted in America and China. Stephanie Chan sums it up in Karin Evans' book, The Lost Daughters of China:
"I'm sad my daughter's mother will never know her child, but I'm happy she was brave enough to give birth to her."
In the same book, another adoptive mother shared:
" that they (birth mothers) must have some special kind of love for these unborn souls because it is very easy (and encouraged) to have an abortion here."
Our journey of adoption has just begun. My children are three and five years old. They are cute, and sweet, and win the hearts of almost everyone they meet. I know the hard work is yet to come. My five year old is already asking me tough questions about her and her sister's history, and about our rather unorthodrox yet loving family tree.
My family does not look any other family in my neighborhood. I am also aware of the discrimination that may come to my oldest daughter who is Chinese. I hope that my children grow up with the faith in God and self confidence in themselves to rise above diversity.
Hope, adoption is rooted in hope.
My journey towards motherhood was a direct result of my faith journey. Through the eyes of faith, I was able to hope.