If you’ve visited my ‘Dedication‘ page, you’ll know my daughter is precious to me. Here’s how she came into my life…
I have a big heart. This predominant feature encountered much criticism and belittling from the family I grew up in. But I found it would not be diminished. This big old heart persisted and endures. In fact, it has proven to be the single driving factor within me that led me to embrace all that I’ve encountered in my almost six decades of life.
This big heart was the voice within that told me I would someday adopt a child. It was one of those things I knew about myself at 7 years old. I simply ‘knew that I knew that I knew’, ya know? 🙂
To be honest, though I knew as a young girl that I would adopt, the knowledge got buried for awhile. Thwarted by derision from my early family, I figured I’d better do things according to plan – their plan. The “grow up, meet a man, marry him, get a house and give birth to children” plan. So I tried like crazy to fit that mold.
My heart had another route in mind, though. I remembering mentioning adoption to my children’s father. He said adoption would be okay with him, if that was part of our road. But we pursued the trying to get me pregnant plan first. I got pregnant the first time. And miscarried. Got pregnant a second time. Miscarried again. The third time was, as I later would learn, an anomaly for me. I bore and birthed a wonderful person, my now adult son. Since I gave birth to him, we assumed I would be able to do it again. It didn’t happen. And after two more miscarriages, I knew I was done. Even if somehow I COULD get pregnant again, I emotionally was no longer willing to try. I couldn’t go through the frustration and fear and nerve-wracking anxiety of even thinking about being pregnant again.
I looked at my son’s father and said I was done. I wanted more children but I was done with the physical and emotional toll it was taking on me. He responded with a great idea. Since the due date for my fifth baby was likely to be another awful day for me, we would instead birth an adoption plan that day. So, after much research, reading and soul-searching, we filed an application for adoption.
It turned out to be an easeful path for us. Exactly six months to the day later, I held my sweet 5-month-old daughter in my arms. I cried and giggled and was filled with relief and joy and so many other emotions when I first greeted her. My dear, sweet friend Gloria, unbeknownst to me, was taking photos that evening at the airport. I still have the picture of that first moment when I held my new daughter, Sara. We call it “Ellen and 74 Emotions” and, to this day, when I look at this beautiful young South Korean woman I have had the honor to mother for the past 22 years, I still feel every single one.