Some things I have learned over the past year…

Today is an important day for our family. It’s the baby’s birthday. She is 1. But one year ago today, I had no idea she would be coming and the impact she would have on me.

Both my children are adopted which means we didn’t meet them on their actual birthdays but a few days later; in her case, 2. I do distinctly remember what I was doing on her actual birthday last year. I was grieving. I had hit rock bottom and was most likely depressed. I was overwhelmed by the trauma and  the losses we had experienced over the previous year when we endured 3 failed adoption placements. But more specifically, I was putting away baby clothes from a baby we had in our home just a few weeks earlier who we hoped and prayed was going to be our daughter. When her birth parents changed their mind and decided to parent after 1 week of her living with us, it was devastating. For that one week, she was our baby. We had named her, she had spent Christmas with our family, we had held her at night and rocked her back to sleep. It was compounded by the fact that we had already seen 2 other similar situations where we were chosen by a mother and after weeks of waiting or days spent visiting the baby in the NICU, things changed and that baby and our hope was gone. So, on January 14, 2015, while my daughter was being brought into this world, I was putting away the remnants of another baby and trying to remain strong for my 5 year old.

Two days later, when we got the call that we had been chosen again, I remember my husband asking me if I was ready to do this again. I said yes, I didn’t really have a choice. I wanted to grow our family and I wanted a sibling for my son. Giving up wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I remember going into the bathroom and looking in the mirror and saying to myself “This is it. This is your baby.” I didn’t leave any room for doubt even though it was trying to creep in like ivy vines on the side of a house. When we met her for the first time, I was more nervous than I had been when meeting previous babies but I remember that the nervousness tends to melt away when you imagine this little life and all the wondrous things she will do and become. We were more cautious this time when telling friends and family and everyone around us was equally cautious because they had lived through our previous failed placements and they had seen how quickly things could change. The days went by and the phone didn’t ring. She stayed with us. Her birthmother, a woman I have the most respect for in giving us the incredible opportunity to be mommy and daddy to this baby, had made her decision and we were to be her forever family.

Today that little baby turns 1. She is officially ours in every way and was meant to be here. What I have learned over the past year is that giving up even when things look impossible will never get me where I want to be. So, you might be wondering what this post has to do with healthy living or getting fit. The answer is: nothing and everything. The lessons learned through the trials and tribulations of my daughter’s journey to us need to be applied in all aspects of life. Sometimes a leap of faith and swallowing our doubts for a moment to make the hard decision can lead to the greatest rewards in life.

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