Our Adoption Journey
by Carrie Jeffcoat
Our adoption journey began many years ago, when I was just a young girl. I can remember it as though it were yesterday. I was riding my bike, proudly, with my favorite doll strapped on a seat behind me. That doll was a cherished friend, and I took her everywhere. Suddenly something happened and the doll was jerked out of her seat and landed on the ground. When I jumped off the bike to rescue her, I realized that one of her fingers had been caught in the spokes of the bike, and part of that finger was missing. I was devastated! I ran home as fast as I could, crying all the way. My mother helped me apply Neosporin ointment to the doll's finger, along with a Band-Aid. I feel certain that I said a special prayer for her that night.
Even as a child of 6 or 7, I had a need to nurture. I dreamed of the day that I would have a "real" child of my very own. Eventually I did outgrow that doll, and through the years I forgot about her.
During my teenage years, my love of children grew. When my friends were out dating on Friday nights, I chose to baby-sit--not for the money, but for the pure pleasure of caring for children. Sometimes I pretended they were my own and again I fantasized of the day I would be a mommy myself.
I went away to college after high school and very soon met the man that I just knew I would marry. We often talked about our future together, and when we did, we always included children in our plans. Everyone assumed that we would be the first in our group of friends to start a family. I finished college, and we decided that when I got a teaching job we would begin trying. We just went off birth control and figured nature would take its course. Unfortunately, nature didn't take its course. If anything, I felt the next several years of my life were anything but natural.
I had been having some bizarre physical symptoms that concerned me, so I made an appointment with my doctor. He immediately diagnosed hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease. I was told that the best method of treatment was to destroy my thyroid gland with radiation. The doctor then added that I would have to use birth control for the next year because it would be very dangerous if I were to become pregnant. What an irony that was. What I wanted most in the world was to be pregnant, and now I was being told I had to prevent it.
Of course, it came at a time when college room-mates and close friends were having babies. I got very good at forcing smiles at baby showers while inside I felt as though I was dying. I felt genuine happiness for the new mothers-to-be but often wondered when it would be my turn. Would it ever be my turn?
Finally, that year came to an end and, thankfully, my thyroid problems were behind me. We resumed trying to get pregnant and when it didn't happen we began charting my temperature. When that failed, the doctor decided to do surgery to find out if I had endometriosis. His guesses were right. He found a "small" amount of it but assured me that he had lasered it and gave me renewed hope of conceiving.
Again, our efforts were in vain, so we began a roller-coaster ride of Clomid and six intrauterine insemination treatments. Each month we prayed that it would be successful, and each month we were devastated when that dreaded day arrived. The doctor suspected that the endometriosis had returned and planned another surgery. He was right again, only this time there was a "substantial" amount of it. We could either continue the medical treatments and drain our wallets, as well as our emotions; or we could pursue adoption. We prayed about it and felt that adoption was the answer. It was a very natural choice for me because I was raised with an adopted brother and sister.
We began collecting mountains of literature on adoption, and I began reading books about it so I would feel as though we were entering this new journey with some knowledge of what to expect. We began the home-study process and contacted a couple of local attorneys who handled adoptions. We received a phone call on April 25, 1995, from one of those attorneys, informing us that we had been selected by a birth mother who was in her eighth month of pregnancy. He assured us that it looked like a "sure thing". We were finally going to have our baby! We began picking out names, decorating the nursery, and telling our family and friends.
My mother came over one evening with a big, musty-smelling box. She said she had waited for just the right time to give it to me. In the top of that box was my long-lost doll. My mother had put her in the attic many years before. A sudden rush of precious memories raced through me. All evening I carried that doll around our house. I wonder what our neighbors would have thought had they seen me with the doll, but I didn't care. I had been reunited with a very special friend.
Unfortunately, the following week we learned that we had been the victims of a horrible scam. We also learned just how painful the adoption process could be. Needless to say, our hearts were broken.
Once again, by a cruel twist of fate, I was surrounded by friends, relatives, and neighbors who were having babies, some for the third time. I was so angry at God. I couldn't understand why He could let this happen to us. What had we done to deserve this? I still, to this day, ask myself that at times. I also believe that one day we will be able to see His hand in all of this. I just keep holding onto that.
We recovered from our tragedy and have since had a couple more disappointments, but I can honestly say that each setback was easier to take than the previous one.
That brings us to the present. We have now applied to three adoption
agencies, in hopes of increasing our chances of adopting. The waiting
is difficult. No one ever warned us that it would be such a discouraging
journey at times. It helps me to make things for our baby and to buy
baby items to put in a nursery. At times I browse in the baby departments
and even hold a tiny outfit to my chest and wrap my arms around it.
Yes, I am once again fantasizing about the day when I will be hugging
our very own child. We are trusting in God and know that only He knows
for sure when that day will come. We also know when it does, it will
have been the most worthwhile and wonderful journey of our lives!
© Copyright Carrie Jeffcoat
Real Moms is a newsletter by and for adoptive mothers. Support, information, encouragement, and networking for domestic adoption are offered to adoptive and prospective adoptive mothers.
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