If you had told me four years ago that I was going to be the Mom of the four most amazing children under the age of 4, I would never have believed you! My husband and I started our long journey to parenthood six years ago. We visited two fertility clinics and were told due to my PCOS and my husband’s fertility issues that IVF would be our only option to conceive naturally. Prior to that we tried Clomid and Metformin the combination of which made me so sick and my continued lack of ovulation made me disheartened. Years of ovulation test kits, pregnancy tests and tears on the bathroom floor followed.
In November 2011 we made our choice to pursue adoption as we had always planned to adopt at some point. By the summer of 2012 we had been through PRIDE training and completed our home study and were what is called Adopt Ready in Ontario. We were presented with several cases many of which had severe special needs and then finally in August of 2011 we were presented with a sibling group. A boy and a girl who we were told were beautiful children with big brown eyes and brown hair. We read their story and imagined those little faces – We were in love with children we had never met.
Soon we found out we had been selected for an interview, we carefully read the possible questions and discussed our feelings and how we would answer based on the needs of our potential children. Would we be open to an open adoption? Would we be open to adopting other possible siblings in the future? How would we handle special needs? We stressed and imagined and I spent hours on Pinterest imagining the rooms I would create for them and all the cute outfits I would get them and just was in full nesting mode. After what seemed like an eternity we were told we had been selected to Foster to Adopt these beautiful children. Trying to walk this fine line between being our children and having them ripped away at a moments notice was impossible. From the moment we knew we were selected they were ours. They were loved.
Later that day their current Foster Mom sent us photos, I wanted to shout and announce it from the rafters. I wanted to show these pictures to the world. We couldn’t though because there were definitely no guarantees and what if the children hated us? A week later we met at the foster home. A lovely missionary family with the three most kind and loving daughters. I thought I would be jealous of the Mother relationship the children had with her, but I wasn’t, it was beautiful. My heart had been changed about open adoption forever.
It was three months of weekly visits before the children came to live with us, which seemed like the longest three months of my life. I decorated and sewed and made preparations. I read and read about holistic parenting and about how to make baby food that was healthy. I read about herbs and vitamins and about attachment. Derek and I took attachment classes and other classes to prepare and met with an attachment therapist to be sure we were prepared. On Owen’s 1st birthday he moved into our house and he and 2 year old sister Alice occupied a big piece of our heart.
Alice had bad reactions when she had visits so only Owen went for visits and those times away were traumatic for his sister. Life wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Alice screamed for hours a day, cried, hit, bit and otherwise terrorized the household. One day after we had been together about a month she had an allergic reaction so I gave her some Bendryl, she was allergic to that and went on a rampage. She bit me hard enough to draw blood, broke my glasses, tore out a hunk of my hair, broke several dishes and peed on the floor. I cried wondering why I wasn’t able to get the hang of this motherhood thing. Everything was coming up roses when Daddy was at home and when I was alone everything was a disaster. Thank God I am not one to ever give up! Any relationship takes work, how could I expect this little person to love me immediately as much as I loved her, her life had been turned upside down.
We did attachment therapy and worked with an occupational therapist and slowly but surely over the months that followed things got better for everyone. The screaming stopped, the biting stopped everything just became good. Love can move mountains if we are patient enough and work together. My relationship with my daughter and our special times make that adjustment period so worthwhile.
In May of 2012 we found out that the court had made the children crown wards. I was so happy and relieved but at the same time I cried for the loss the birth mother must be feeling. At that point we didn’t think a relationship with her would be possible because she wasn’t in a healthy place in her life. We were given her email address to correspond and it was suggested we make an anonymous email address. We signed the papers and had a huge adoption party with an awesome balloon guy, face painting, bouncy castle, food food and more food. This was finally our chance to shout it from the roof tops the joy we had inside could finally over flow and be shared fully with our family and friends. In September of that year all the paperwork was finalized and we could finally start planning our first family trip! Where would we go? Disney of course!!!!!!