Adoption made me a mother, which was my main goal in life from a very young age. I didn’t plan my career or daydream about a husband. I thought about my babies.
Then I fell in love when I was twenty. He was upfront with me from the very start that he didn’t want kids, but I was young and absolutely smitten. I convinced both of us that I was willing to make the sacrifice for him. Secretly, I was sure he’d change his mind. We got married within a year of meeting.
I finally opened up to him ten years into our marriage. I wanted a child so badly I could barely focus on anything else at times.
After months of long talks, he revealed that it wasn’t so much that he didn’t want to be a father as he didn’t like babies. He liked the idea of older child adoption but had never mentioned it because I seemed so set on babies.
I realized I just wanted to be a mother. I didn’t care how it happened.
So we started the process to adopt an older child from the foster care system. It entailed many hours of classes (complete with homework each week), physicals, home inspections, background checks, and mountains of paperwork.
We first saw our daughter’s sweet face five months after being approved to adopt. I remember looking at her photo on the computer screen and saying, “I could be your Mommy.”
We were chosen to be her parents the next month, but because she was in another state, we had to wait six months for paperwork to clear before we could bring her home. I was so anxious during this time that I literally ground holes in two of my teeth in the night!
We met her on a Monday and flew home with her forever the following Sunday. We were her 12th placement. She’d been bouncing around foster care for five years. Despite that, she was willing to trust us and love us.
She suffered extreme trauma, which has left her with special emotional and behavioral needs. However, she works hard to overcome them. I tell her all the time that she’s the bravest person I’ve ever met.
I loved her from the moment I knew she existed, and it continues to intensify each day. I love her so much that I sometimes grieve for the years I missed with her.
My husband has excelled at fatherhood. I love watching them laugh and play together. He teachers her about 80s music and takes her to the used book store after school.
Becoming a first-time mom to a 9-year-old foster child isn’t how I imagined motherhood, but I’m thrilled with the way things turned out. I’m so proud to be her mom.
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