Growing up, I was never the little girl that played house and wanted to be the mommy. I was the girl that had to go to work. As I grew up, I knew I was not a woman that wanted to have children. I was okay with getting married but the thought about having children never occurred to me. It just wasn’t part of my plan.
I shared this with a friend who just found out she was pregnant with her first child. The day we discussed her great news, she asked me if I wanted children. I said, “No!” I expected the shocked disbelief which usually followed this admission. However, she was the one person that totally understood this decision. She explained that she had felt the exact same way—until she met her husband. Her next statement has stuck in my mind for years. She stated, “I didn’t want to have children either because I hadn’t met the person I wanted to have children with.” I wondered if that could be the case for me as well.
Well, a few years later, I met my Prince Charming. Within three days of our first date, I knew this was the man I would love for the rest of my life and…wait for it…HAVE A BABY WITH!!! Yes, suddenly I wanted to have a baby.
Being a practical woman, I knew there was a possible kink in this plan. In three months, I would be thirty-eight. He had just turned thirty-three the month before. When he asked me one week after our first date: “How long do I have to wait to ask you to marry me?” I knew, before this went any farther, we needed to get real for a few minutes. It was time for me to interrupt the amazing moment and say: “I am going to be thirty-eight in a few months so my biological clock is TICKING, to say the least. If you want children really badly you need to remember that may not be a possibility with me. My time is running out and I have never been pregnant before so I don’t even know if I can have children. So if you are a man with the mindset that your children have to be your biological children, then I may not be the woman for you. If having children is a tipping point for you, we need to part ways right now.”
He looked at me and admitted, “I want children in my life.”
I said, “Then do you have the capacity within your heart to love children that are not your biological children as your own? Can you do that?”
He said, “Yes.” He also said if it doesn’t happen that was okay too.
We married seven months and six days after our first date. It took that long only because we decided that we wanted our families to be present on our wedding day. Otherwise, we’d have gone to a justice of the peace the next day!
The night of our wedding was the first of many attempts to “make a baby”. After five months and with nothing happening, we began to seek medical help. We found out I had large fibroid tumors in my uterus. We decided to have surgery to remove them. Once the tumors were removed, we continued to try. But, after two years of fruitless attempts at pregnancy, we learned that the tumors were back with a vengeance. The tumors had reached a point where I was in pain and had to use the restroom constantly. The doctor said they were so large they were pushing on my bladder. I could actually feel them inside of me. I came home from the doctor and told my husband that I was going to have to have a hysterectomy. The tumors could be removed but they would only grow back.
My husband took the news like a champ. He said he wanted me to be healthy because we are supposed to spend our lives together and he wanted us to have a long life together. We never mentioned children but he knew—well, we both knew—that having children was a dream that might never come true for us.
After the surgery, a friend told me over lunch one day, that she and her husband were adopting a foster child. I asked a lot of questions and went home so excited about the information I had gathered. My husband listened attentively and then said, “Let’s give it a shot. There are kids out there that need homes.”
We had thought about private adoption but we saw friends almost clean out their life savings for a little girl. The birth mother did more than just back out. She scammed them. She knew she wasn’t giving up her baby. She was looking for someone to finance her life until she gave birth. We were reluctant to get our hopes up only to have them dashed as had been the case with our friends’ private adoption.
So, we took the classes mandated by the state. We were finger printed. Background checks were completed and our home was inspected. We were ready to become parents. The waiting began.
Suddenly, one day, we received a call. Child Protective Services (CPS) had two little boys in their office. They had just been taken from a horrible home situation and needed someplace to go, immediately. Sitting at my desk, I said, “We will take them.” We knew only their names and their ages. That was it.
Three hours later, CPS arrived at our doorstep with Juan and Manny ages 7 and 9. They had only their book bags and the clothes on their backs. And, they had many questions: Where is our room? Can you take us to the zoo? How many dogs and cats do you have?
When my husband came home, he, too, was immediately in love with both of the boys. That was March 9, 2010. We officially adopted Juan and Manny on December 21, 2011. My husband and I finally had the babies we wanted to have together.
If you, too, are trying to have children and it isn’t working out, I urge you to consider contacting the Child Protective Service in your area and becoming foster parents or adoptive parents. You, too, can have your dream of having children come true!
Do any of you have similar experiences to share?