I seriously went through hell. Like no joke - hell.
I can't really compare what it's like to get pregnant and have a baby in the old fashioned way (see what I did there? Just joking.), but adopting a child was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.
(Am I making it sound fun yet?)
I am talking about the part before you actually get your child home. Before you even meet him. The part where you have to decide to become a mother, on your own, because that's what there is. The part where everyone and their mother gets to decide if you are a fit parent and every life decision you have ever made and who you are as a person and every single health issue is scrutinized and put under a microscope. Literally.
And you are alone. It's just you.
And then you are asked if you want to become a mom to two broken girls. And you think about it and plan it, open your heart and say yes, only to discover that oops! They are not actually up for adoption. So you grit your teeth and start again. And then you get truly and genuinely attached to a stunning child, whose birthday you celebrate, who you put to sleep and whose smile you fall in love with - only to find out that oops. They made a mistake again. She cannot be adopted.
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely support everything I went through and if it was my choice to make, I probably wouldn't change very much about the process. Everything is to protect the children, as it should be. But it’s damn hard.
In a way I can never fully express, becoming a mom was the best thing I have ever done. It has lit my life up and transformed me. No, I can't go out at night like before. Yes, I had to give up my playlist for Fireman Sam and my workroom to a mountain of toy cars.
But I run around and laugh in the morning. I play like a child (he doesn't really give me a choice and it turns out it's a lot of fun!) in a way I don't think I even played when I was a child. I slide down the highest slides and race down the block.
I know that everything I have ever mourned in my life led me to this - so I know every single thing is exactly as it is meant to be. It led me to my perfect-for-me son who is absolutely meant to be raised by me, whose very existence makes me happier than I could imagine and I thank G-d I have been given that opportunity every single day.
Though I feared doing it because of the hard stuff. I feared the commitment, the 3 meals a day and the process itself may have scared me off, if I had been younger when I started it. Like, really - I have to go for another assessment? And fill out another form? And take a picture of my kid’s room? That's ridiculous - I am not going to get furniture and a room before I even know if I am going to be allowed to adopt!
If I hadn't been with my back to the wall - if I don't do this now I won't be a mom - would I have gone through with it all? Or would I have made more excuses?
I am so so thankful to myself and everyone who helped me get through the hard stuff and come out the other side (shout out to Atid Hayeladim, a truly loving and noteworthy adoption agency who did everything to make sure it all worked out) because my life is immeasurably richer because of it.
So this is what I am saying - don't sweat the hard stuff so much.
If it’s about becoming pregnant when you didn't intend, if it's about a job being more difficult than you thought it would be, if it's about trying to start a business and getting no after no after no.
Stick with it.
Don't misread this to mean - stay in an abusive relationship or have a baby you truly are not ready to raise. I am saying be very clear on what your fear is. If it’s of something being too hard, don't let that stop you.
Because getting through the hard stuff is what gets you to the best stuff ever.
Written with love