As the eldest of five children, I grew up with three brothers and one sister. Starting when I was young, I loved to help my mom out in caring for them. Watching children felt natural to me, and I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a mom. I enjoyed collecting baby clothes and blankets, and kept them stored away for the child I would have one day.
The man I fell in love with, Bill, also wanted to have children. He specifically wanted to have a son he could teach how to throw a ball, ride a bike, and fish. From our earliest days as a married couple, we set out to have children.
Two years passed by, but I didn’t get pregnant. Our friends seemed to get pregnant so easily. I went to dozens of baby showers, where I laughed with my friends and admired the adorable gifts the mother-to-be opened. But inside, I was heartbroken that I couldn’t have a baby of my own.
My husband and I decided to see a fertility specialist, where we learned that we both had fertility issues. I started on fertility drugs, and it all seemed a blur of tests, mapping of ovulation on the temperature chart, poking and prodding, and the unhappy start of one more menstrual cycle.
I dreaded family get-togethers because of the embarrassing questions my husband and I always got asked. As were got ready for a family Christmas party, Bill and I guessed how many offensive comments we’d hear. He guessed 10, and that was about right. The most humiliating was when my Grandpa asked at the dinner table, “Haven’t you figured out how to do it yet?”
“We must have missed that page of the instructions,” I said as I tried to smile, but his question really hurt.
I’d shared about our infertility struggle with a few friends. They suggested some remedies that worked for people they knew. We were supposed to eat fish twice daily, have sex on the night of a full moon, and then afterward, I was supposed to lift my legs over my head.
Anticipating that someone would ask if I was pregnant yet, I began avoiding those friends (and even my business colleagues.) My husband Bill and I kept seeing a specialist, but she was becoming less hopeful. As month after month passed with no pregnancy, life grew gloomy.
As the CEO of a manufacturing company, I believed that if you worked hard and smart enough, you’d achieve what you wanted. But that mindset didn’t work with pregnancy. In my career, I could just pick up the phone when I needed something and have it delivered. However, I definitely couldn’t order up a baby!
I love to read, and so I got tons of books on infertility, newborn care, and human reproduction. It was like I was hoping that from all that reading, somehow a baby would pop up out a book. I went to the library all the time and made friends with the librarian. She passed me a book about adoption, but I couldn’t bring myself to open it. I finally looked at it that night, but it was about the old kind of adoption, closed adoption, which seemed so secretive and cold. But then I found a book about modern adoption, and it in it open adoption was discussed. Open adoption seemed like a much warmer, honest, and comfortable style of adoption.
My husband and I stayed up late one night talking, after we got some really bad news from our fertility doctor. We agreed that it seemed like the door to making our own baby was closing shut, and the door to adopting a baby was opening.
A few days later, we decided to adopt. Immediately, it was as if there was a light at the end of the tunnel. We were so excited about our future with children. Adoption was the answer to my desire of becoming a mom!