Saturday, April 11, 2015

Lucy turns ten

You all know the story by now.

But the story behind the story, is how we came to terms with adoption.

When we got the very first phone call, when Lucy was still in utero, I was jacked up on fertility drugs. Sam was lining up syringes along the kitchen sink every morning, and watching me cry myself to sleep most nights.

Our responses to the question "are you interested in adopting" were different.

Mine was an immediate yes.
Sam was more "I don't know about this."

My answer was based solely on my desire to have a second child.
His answer was more about the reality of having an adopted child and a biological child, and raising them together, and whether it would feel different or forced in some way.

It took him about 5 seconds of holding Lucy the morning she was born to realize that was not going to be an issue.
It took me 10 years to come to terms with my immediate "yes".

The bottom line is that, in saying yes to adopting, I was acknowledging in some deep down part of myself that I would never have another biological child. It was something I knew. It was not a choice (there were plenty of reasons why I was not able to conceive a second time). It was, rather, accepting that I no longer had a choice.

No matter how badly I wanted it, no matter how far down I reached within myself for the strength to keep trying, I knew it. If I wanted to have another child, I had to look elsewhere. And it has taken me ten years to accept the truth.

Ten years to stop hating myself for giving up.

Ten years to stop discretely scanning the faces in the grocery store, wondering if one of them was Lucy's biological parent.

Ten years of secretly resenting the person who was able to grow this precious beautiful person that is so obviously my child.

Ten years of avoiding the questions about her ancestry for school projects.

Ten years of leaving her family medical history blank at the pediatrician's office.

Ten years of feeling guilty for saying she and Max get their blonde hair and blue eyes from their grandparents. I mean, maybe they both do. But I only know for certain that Max does.

Ten years of tiptoeing around the details in front of Lucy, and wishing them away.
Wishing I had been there to prevent them from putting erythromycin ointment on her eyes at birth, since she had an immediate reaction to it.
Wishing I had been there right from the beginning so that she hadn't spent any time alone in the nursery.

Wishing I could have looked her biological parents in the eye and thanked them.

Today, ten years later, the fact of her adoption is - in fact - not that important. She is so much our child that it is impossible to mistake her for anyone else's.

People talk about the miracle of birth, and the gift of adoption.
But in my reality, birth was a gift, and adoption was a miracle. And I am so glad I can finally see that.

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