Saturday, June 16, 2007

Anniversary of a Miracle

Today, June 16th, is a very special day for our family. One year ago today, we BECAME a family! It was on June 16th, 2006 that we met our sweet baby girl for the first time. So today we celebrate our first Family Day/Gotcha Day.. whatever you wish to call it. Hooray! We could not be more happy! Attached are some photos of our family on that spectacular day last year! The one to the left is our very first view of Maya in person!

Time to ponder how we got here (I warned you earlier that a long reflective post was coming!!)…

Oddly it feels as if the past year has flown by in a minute.. and at the same time it feels as if we have been a family forever. We missed our child’s birth and first nine months, and I thought that I would anguish over this ‘missing piece’ of her. While I’ll admit that it is sad that we did not have her with us during this time, I still feel as if we have been with her since birth. Maybe it is because she adjusted so well to our family, I don’t know. I just know that I worried for so long that we would have adjustment issues.. that I might not feel bonded to my baby.. that I would continue grieving my inability to conceive a biological child.. All of these fears have gone unfounded.

For years my husband and I tried to conceive a child. We both desperately wished to be parents. Month after month we grieved over our failure to succeed with this. We paid exorbitant medical fees at fertility clinics. I went through medications, injections, uncomfortable (if not occasionally painful) procedures and surgeries. It was eventually determined that I had severe endometriosis which had caused too many permanent medical problems for me to conceive a child on my own. It was donor eggs or nothing.
Devastating news after inves
ting so much – financially and emotionally.

Finally, at the beginning of 2005, we decided that we were going to go all-in and see what God had in store for us. It was important for us to be parents.. it was not as important for us to give birth to a bio child. I was a patient of a doctor with the #1 rated fertility clinic in the country, and we signed up for their donor egg program. It wasn’t an easy decision – I had some ethical-type concerns and wasn’t looking forward to the med process.. but I also wanted to ensure that I would never regret not having tried every option. DH, the amazing husband that he is, had always said he only wanted to go as far, fertility-wise, as I did.. but I wanted to make sure I did everything to help him continue his lineage.
We were told the wait list was 4-6 months.

At the same time, we signed up with our adoption agency and began our ‘paper pregnancy’. We had heard horror stories about both international and domestic adoption.. but we had always talked about adopting a child from India sometime in the future. We just were not sure 'when' in the future this would happen.
We were told to expect a 3 year wait.

We settled in and decided that whatever was supposed to be would be. Our thoughts were that we would get a donor egg, have a baby, then receive a referral not long after – and adopt our second child.

Months went by. As the months passed and we became engrossed in the adoption process, we both began to lean toward adoption rather than the donor egg route. We were still a bit scared of the possibility of an adoption never happening or falling through.. so we did not completely close the door on the donor possibility.

Finally our paperwork was finished and we were on the referral list at our agency. At this point we decided we definitely were not going to do the donor egg route unless something crazy happened with the adoption. We were positive by this time that our child was waiting for us in India. I’m pretty sure that in the last few months of waiting for a referral, we forgot that we were still on the donor egg waiting list!

Finally, in January of 2006, we received the referral of our precious little girl – Ruprekha (Maya)! We saw her photo and read her information.. and we knew that she was ours. Hoorah!!

Now the funny thing is.. we never did receive a match for a donor egg. We were on that list for 9 months. And.. a few months after we were united with our baby Maya, I had some emergency-type health situations arise and was forced to have a hysterectomy. The surgery proved that, not only would it have been impossible for me to have become pregnant on my own, but a donor cycle would likely have put me in a life-threatening situation.

So.. the moral of my story is.. I have no doubts that we were meant to adopt our children. We almost pushed it to far – trying to force a pregnancy that just was not in the cards for us. I thank God every day that things turned out the way that they did – especially that we were able to bring Maya into our family prior to my surgery. This prevented me from doing something that could have been disastrous. Sometimes you have to put your faith in God and just be.
Not always easy to do, that’s for sure.. but it can have wonderful results!

Anyhow.. here we are one year after bringing our family together, and it has been an amazing year! Maya is the light of our lives. Our house is filled with such joy – so many smiles and so much laughter! We still cannot believe how lucky we have been to achieve our dreams of parenthood with such an amazing child. I would hope that if anyone reading this is considering adoption – they understand what an incredibly rewarding process that it is. Not only in becoming parents to our child, but in meeting other great adoptive families, and in having the ability to share our experience and hopefully lead others to journey in the same direction. There are so many children in this world that need families.. and so many families that need children.. please don’t ever hesitate to at least consider this marvelous way to create your Forever Family!

Btw.. a big happy welcome to our new nephew, Arjun, who was born on Thursday!! Welcome to the world you handsome little man!


Nadra said...

Happy Family Day!!! I loved reading your post Amy. It brings back such warm memories of the day I popped on your blog and saw Maya in your arms for the first time.

Hope you had a wonderful day!!!

Pam said...

Happy Family Day! Maya is such a doll. You are truly blessed! Enjoy every minute!

Sheri said...

Happy Family Day!! Maya is such a cutey!! I have really enjoyed following your blog.
Your family is truely blessed!
Sheri (Home with Maya Atmoja for 3 months now).

Starfish said...

Congratulations, and what a lovely post. I can relate to your story on so many levels, it's amazing!!

The HOPE House said...

Bumped into your site from another adoptive family blog. Enjoyed reading about your decision making process. Brought back so many of my own memories. Your daughter is beautiful.