The following is a guest post from Sharon Simons of MomAtLast.com.
A woman’s personal struggle to become a Mom is now something that can be discussed worldwide. From celebrities to your next door neighbor, most people today know someone that desires to be a Mom. Whether it is infertility, your age, not finding the right partner, or financial issues, many women are having difficulty becoming Moms.
Fortunately, women now have many options to make their dreams come true including Adoption. It is much more open and accepted, not shrouded in secrecy as it once was. It gives hope to the many children waiting and makes many families complete….
While there are many women who are fortunate to become mothers easily and naturally, there are many women who are struggling and can only hope for a chance at motherhood. Their efforts may entail anxiety, discomfort, and stress. They need to know that one day all they have endured… the paperwork, the injections, the waiting, and the expense will all be worthwhile.
As with most things in life, those who have true appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams. I consider myself blessed and fortunate (and hopefully a better mother) for all I have endured on my journey. My journey included IVF, pregnancy, pregnancy loss and finally adoption.
I offer my journey as an example of success and hope. My husband and I are the proud parents of two of the most perfect and precious boys adopted from Russia. Our story, as many other Russian adoption stories, involves hardship but has a fairytale ending.
The journey that eventually led to our Russian Adoption started on a long and winding path. Like many women at age 39, I was single but had a terrific urge to be a mom. Thankfully, a chance knock on the door led to me meeting the man of my dreams. This man not only captured my heart but also dedicates his life to the healing of hearts as a cardiologist. My new husband had survived a divorce and had three children from his previous marriage.
When I rather quickly brought up my desire to be a Mom, he graciously agreed we should try to start a family. IVF was our first option as he had vasectomy years back, and before long we were proceeding through the IVF process. To our surprise after our 1st IVF procedure I was pregnant and we were told the fabulous news that we were expecting twins.
Life was just about perfect, I started reading baby books, buying clothes, and preparing myself for motherhood. But at approximately 5 months gestation I was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. We lost our twins that night…and I became critically ill. After recovering both physically and emotionally I jumped back into the IVF process.
We became pregnant again, but not for long as we unfortunately had a tubal pregnancy. Before restarting IVF again I began researching the adoption process. After another failed IVF procedure and once more recovering emotionally, we decided adoption was our calling as parents.
We initially received conflicting information regarding various aspects of Foreign Adoption, including Russian adoption. But we found every agency has different guidelines and capabilities. After much determined research (mostly on the internet) we fortunately found an excellent adoption agency 3000 miles away from our home. The agency, based in California, had Russian children of all ages available for adoption.
Since we had already completed our state required “homestudy” process and were approved as adoptive parents, we were immediately e-mailed photos of two little baby boys who are now our sons. The process was quick and scary… we signed contracts, mailed checks and after extensive paperwork we were off on our first adventure to Siberia, Russia.
The trip was long and an emotional rollercoaster. The orphanage was obviously underfunded and bleak, with the staff doing the best they could under trying circumstances. We finally met, accepted, and named our two emaciated and frightened babies as our sons. We very badly wanted to take them home with us immediately.
Knowing we had to leave them in this sad and desolate place to return to the U.S. to complete more paperwork was the worst feeling in the world. Fortunately we were returning on our second trip within two months to meet with the Russian judge and were awarded our children. Two additional weeks in Moscow caring for two babies and finishing more paperwork was exhausting and stressful, but most of all a bonding experience.
During our time in Russia we experienced the culture and kindness of many people. But touching ground at JFK airport in NYC was the happiest moment knowing that our boys were both officially ours and US citizens. Home at last, and most of all I was finally a Mom at Last!
After an adjustment period, our boys Dylan and Hunter began thriving. Our beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed boys are not only intelligent and athletic, but most of all happy. They are our pride and joy. We are extremely fortunate to have had the chance to adopt from Russia. We will give our sons the gift of every opportunity to grow into wonderful young men. But the gift these boys have given us is the most priceless of all, the gift of being a family.
Although my journey had some bumpy roads, I am blessed and fortunate to become a Mom through adoption and the love I have for my sons is both unconditional and immeasurable. These boys were not born to my body, but they were born in my heart, and I am a “Mom at Last”.
I’ve since started a website www.momatlast.com capturing the different journeys both to and through motherhood such as IVF, Adoption, Pregnancy, Surrogacy and more. “Mom at Last” is a place not only to share and learn but for emotional support.
A note to my boys…To Dylan and Hunter,
I will be a better Mother because I have waited and struggled for you both. I will take time to notice everything about the both of you and appreciate the gift I have been given. I will try my best to show you every day how much you are loved and how much appreciation I have for being your Mom. I consider myself so lucky and fortunate that we have all found each other. I will marvel at this miracle for the rest of my life…
All my love forever, your Mom…
Sharon Simons is the owner and founder of MomAtLast.com. Her full story can be read in her soon-to-be-released memoir titled Mom At Last.