Menu

My birth story: How adoption made me a mama

My infertility made me a fighter. It made me believe that anything is possible.

My birth story: How adoption made me a mama

Three years ago if you'd asked me how I felt about my infertility I would have had some not-so-positive four-letter words to share with you. I was angry and heartbroken and ashamed.

But mostly I was scared.

Scared that I'd never see those little pink lines.

Scared I'd never know how it felt to wrap my baby in a blanket and rock them to sleep.

Scared that my dream of motherhood would never be fulfilled.

Like so many women I know, I spent many nights crying just hoping that this would be the month everything changed. Then finally, after a few months of working with a fertility doctor, I saw those two pink lines.

But it wasn't how I expected it to happen.

I was having really intense abdominal pains and my doctor told me to take a pregnancy test because she thought I might be pregnant and having a miscarriage. I was and I was. That was the first and last time I'd see those pink lines.

After another seven months of getting poked by needles, we decided to put a pause on fertility treatments.

During our journey, my husband and I began to consider adoption. The more we educated ourselves and the more we talked with adoption professionals, the more we felt our journey was changing.

In 2017, we took the leap and began working with a local adoption agency. We learned everything we could about the process, the ethics and how to raise a child successfully in an open adoption. We lived and breathed adoption. Week after week, month after month we were presented with potential adoption situations.

We said "yes" almost every time. Over the course of the next six months—which is not long in the adoption world—we got really used to seeing "another family was chosen" emails from our agency.

Then, one day in November, our lives changed forever. We got a call that a mother looking to place her 6-week-old son for adoption had chosen us. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving and we were told we needed to be in Texas on Monday to pick him up. Sunday afternoon we loaded up our car with as much as we could fit and left South Carolina for the 16-hour drive to Texas. The weekend was a blur of tears and interstate signs. We could barely eat or sleep as we prepared to meet the mother who had chosen us.

I will never forget the first time my son was placed in my arms. What it felt like. What he was wearing. How every moment leading up to him instantly washed away. Time stopped for a moment. I took a breath and I rejoiced for our new family, but at the same time, my heart broke for his first mother. Since then, she and I have talked about that day and the first days after. So bittersweet, but so full of love.

Without my infertility, I wouldn't be the mother I am today. I wouldn't have my son and I wouldn't know the beauty of open adoption.

My infertility made me stronger. It made me resilient and persistent.

My infertility made me a fighter. It made me believe that anything is possible.

My infertility taught me how to have hope. How to dream and never give up. I knew I was meant to be a mother, it just took a little extra time and work.

My infertility brought me friendships from all over the world. I was able to connect with other women facing the same struggles. We celebrated with each other during the good times and we cried with each other during the difficult times.

Was it a hard road? Absolutely. But we are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and I know this now. Adoption won't be the answer for every family, but if you feel it in your heart that you are meant to be a mama… Never give up. Trust your gut and chase your dreams.

As we prepare to add baby #2 to our family I'm facing a lot of the same fears I had before our son joined us. But this time around I feel so much calmer. I feel in control and optimistic. The path ahead may not be the one I plan for, but I know that the end result will be worth every moment.

You might also like:

Create a school-ready capsule wardrobe for your kids

Dress for success whether virtual learning or in the classroom!

Tina Meeks

Going "back to school" this year may be less of a literal statement than in years past—but there is just as much reason for your kids to celebrate moving on to new grades. Just like in every new school year, a big part of the fun is refreshing your kids' wardrobe with clothes that allow them to express themselves.

Even if finding back to school clothes this year doesn't include a trip to the mall, you can still make an event of it by shopping H&M's kids collection from your computer. Pull up another chair for your shopping buddy and get the cart started with these fave capsule wardrobe options we've already scouted.

Here are our favorite picks:

A t-shirt made for play

H&M t-shirt

Call them essentials, not basics. A graphic t-shirt aces the test when it comes to being perfect for school. And because your little student will probably want to wear something that expresses their personal style as often as possible, it's great to know the shirts can stand up to school time, playtime, downtime and everything in between!

$4.99

Dressed-up casual shorts for total comfort

H&M boy shorts

Whether pulling up a chair for a virtual meeting with the class or heading back to the school for in-person learning, some comfortable, yet stylish, shorts will help your kid focus on the real tasks at hand: learning—and having fun while doing it!

$19.99

Layers for when seasons change

H&M sweatshirt

When it comes to feeling comfortable at school, layers are the MVPs. Whether the AC is blasting or the day started off cool and is warming up quickly, having a unique sweatshirt to shed or add will help your kid look cool while staying warm.

$9.99

A bit of flair with distressed denim

H&M distressed jeans

A school staple for generations, denim is both classic and continually fashionable with updates like distressing and new wash colors. If you're shopping online for jeans this year, take note of H&M's generous return policy—your kids can try on the orders at home and return anything that doesn't fit without a trip to the store.

$24.99

A fashion statement piece

H&M girls skirt

What's better than expressing yourself through a stylish outfit when school is back in session? Still feeling perfectly comfortable and ready to tackle anything the day holds while looking so good. With so many fashion-forward looks available at budget-friendly prices, H&M's children's collection means every kid can find an outfit that speaks to them.

$14.99

Some comfy kicks

H&M boys shoes

A sure way to put a little pep in your child's step this year, cool and cozy shoes are a staple on all back-to-school shopping lists for good reason. (Plus, it's fun to compare them to last year's shoes to see how much your kid has grown!)

$19.99

Anything-but-basic blouses

H&M girls blouse

Whether in the classroom or showing up for a video call with the class, a styling blouse or button-down shirt is a great way for your student to comfortably dress up the day. Better yet? Style doesn't have to come at the expense of comfort with so many made-to-move tops designed just for kids.

$14.99

A shirt ready to go whatever the day holds

H&M boys shirt

With "going to school" meaning anything from showing up in the classroom to doing a virtual session, it's important to have clothes that are perfect for anything the day holds. A classic, cotton shirt with a fashion-forward design is a great way to keep your student feeling ready to start the year with an A+ attitude.

$9.99

This article was sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

In Montessori schools, parents are periodically invited to observe their children at work in the classroom. I have heard many parents express shock to see their 3- or 4-year-old putting away their own work when they finish—without even being asked!

"You should see his room at home!" or, "I ask him to put his toys away every day, and it's a battle every single time" were frequent comments.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play