A woman’s struggle to become a mom is now universal. From celebrities to your next door neighbor, most of us know someone who wants to be a mom. Whether the roadblock is infertility, age, finding the right partner, or finances, many women have difficulty becoming moms. Fortunately, women today have many options to make their dreams come true including IVF (in vitro fertilization), surrogacy, and adoption. IVF and surrogacy have made significant advancements through the years and have helped many women achieve their goals. Also, adoption is much more open and accepted, not shrouded in secrecy as it once was. Adoption gives hope to the many children waiting and makes many families complete….
While there are many women who are fortunate to become mothers easily and naturally, there are other’s struggling, those who can only hope for a chance at motherhood. Their efforts may entail anxiety, discomfort, and stress. They need to know that one day all they have endured, the paperwork, injections, the waiting, and the expense will all be worthwhile. As with most things in life, those who have a true appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams. I consider myself blessed and fortunate (and hopefully a better mother) for all I have endured on my journey. My journey included IVF, pregnancy, pregnancy loss and finally Adoption.
I offer my story of adoption as an example of success and hope. My husband and I are the proud parents of two of the most perfect and precious boys adopted from Russia. Our story, as many other Russian adoption stories, involves hardship but has a fairy-tale ending.
The journey that eventually led to our Russian adoption started on a long and winding path. Like many women at age 39, I was single but had a terrific urge to be a mom. Thankfully, a chance knock on the door led to me meeting the man of my dreams. This man not only captured my heart but also dedicates his life to the healing of hearts as a cardiologist. My new husband had survived a divorce and had three children from his previous marriage. When I rather quickly brought up my wish to be a Mom he graciously agreed we should start a family. IVF was our first option as he had a vasectomy years back, and before long we were proceeding through the IVF process. To our surprise after our first IVF procedure I was pregnant and we were told the fabulous news that we were expecting twins. Life was just about perfect, I started reading baby books, buying clothes, and preparing myself for motherhood. But at approximately five months gestation I was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. We lost our twins that night…and I became critically ill. After recovering both physically and emotionally, I jumped back into the IVF process. We became pregnant again, but not for long as we unfortunately had a tubal pregnancy. Before restarting IVF again I began researching the adoption process. After another failed IVF procedure and once more recovering emotionally, we decided adoption was our calling as parents.
We initially received conflicting information regarding various aspects of foreign adoption, including Russian adoption. We discovered that every agency has different guidelines and capabilities. After much determined research (mostly on the internet) we fortunately found an excellent adoption agency three thousand miles away from our home in Delaware. The agency, based in California, had identified Russian children of all ages who were available for adoption. Since we had already completed our state required “homestudy” process and were approved as adoptive parents, we were immediately e-mailed photos of two little baby boys who are now our sons. For us, the adoption process was both quick and scary… we signed contracts, mailed checks and after extensive paperwork were off on our first visit to Siberia, Russia.
The trip was an emotional rollercoaster. The orphanage was under funded and bleak, with the staff doing the best they could under trying circumstances. We finally met, accepted, and named our two emaciated and frightened babies as our sons. We very badly wanted to take them home with us immediately but Russian adoption rules prohibited this. We had to leave them in that desolate place to return to the U.S. to complete more paperwork, which was the worst feeling in the world. Thankfully we returned to Siberia, Russia two months later where we met with a Russian judge and were awarded custody of our children. We spent two additional weeks in Moscow caring for our two babies and finishing more paperwork. An exhausting and stressful process, and at the same time a bonding experience. During our time in Russia we experienced the culture and kindness of many people. But touching ground at JFK airport in NYC was the happiest moment knowing that our boys were both officially ours and US citizens. Home at last, and most of all I was finally a mom at last!
After an adjustment period, our boys, Dylan and Hunter began to thrive. Our beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed boys are not only intelligent and athletic, but most of all happy. They are our pride and joy. We are extremely fortunate to have had the chance to adopt from Russia. We will give our sons every opportunity to grow into wonderful young men. The gift these boys have given us is the most priceless of all, the gift of being a family.
Although my journey had some bumpy roads I am blessed and fortunate to become a mom through adoption, and the love I have for my sons is both unconditional and immeasurable. These boys were not born to my body, but born to my heart, and I am a “mom at last”.
Mom at Last is a place not only to share and learn, but to get emotional support.