It was after our third, 2nd trimester miscarriage that put me in hospital, - needing another emergency blood transfusions and life-saving surgery - that my husband finally mustered up the courage to ask me "are you really willing to kill yourself to become a parent?"
Perhaps I had been lying to myself; that all these fertility treatments, surgeries, medications and possible pregnancies were the answers to our prayers. We spent the first few years of our life fighting against this horrible disease that caused me to not be able to bear children. We spent these years angry, sad and broken. It wasn't until my husband had the courage to speak what we were both thinking, that we finally changed our idea of what parenthood truly meant to us. Regardless of the path it would take to get us there, this is what our hearts ached for. So after a long and hard recovery from my pregnancy loss, we sat down and started the paperwork to adopt.
Now I can spend a lot of time talking about the homestudy, the pride training, the policies, the red tape... or about the anxiety, the frustration and how easily adoption can consume your every waking moment. I can tell you about how crazy and hard it is to foster-to-adopt and that going to court and seeing your children's birthmother for the first time is an image that will follow you for the rest of your life... But you see as I write this, my three beautiful adopted babies (now aged 5, 3, and 6 month) lay quietly in their beds (because Lord knows once they wake, the house will be filled with life again). To any person who is reading this, no matter where you are in the process, please know, that no matter what, do not stop fighting. And that yes, there will be days where you will want to throw in the towel. Don’t. Just, don’t. You have to get up and try again. Why? Because that's what us parents do! Our oldest daughter has severe disabilities - something that we said we didn't want...but as soon as we saw her, we knew she was ours. We continue to fight the courts to finalize (after several mistakes were made by those involved in her case). Are we frustrated? Sure! But were too busy parenting, to let it be a problem for us. Adoption is the hardest, craziest, most complicated and amazing thing you can ever do. I know our journey isn't over; we have many more court dates to attend, more documents to sign, and more meetings to attend to. But ultimately, we, as adoptive parents have two choices; to allow this broken system to turn us jaded, or not to let that consume us and just love our children. Our oldest daughter may not be able to speak and needs help in every aspect of her life, but she has taught us so much more than we can ever teach her. She shows us that above all this anger and frustration...all you need is a little Serenity.
Ontario can do better by providing services to awaiting parents during their adoption journey before and after placement.