Have you ever had one of those moments, weeks or years where you say to yourself, “Why me?”
I used to have them often when I was in my early thirties and trying desperately to fall pregnant. It felt like all my friends, colleagues and acquaintances were popping babies out left, right and centre. I often screamed internally “WHY ME?”
Looking back now I realise that there is so much truth in that saying by Morris Kline: “The most fertile source of insight is hindsight.” [MORRIS KLINE, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty]
Because of my infertility, I have been fortunate enough to embark on the most beautiful and treasured journey with my son. I have built a family, changed my career, engaged with, helped and inspired many people, written a book, been invited to speak to large gatherings of people and I have no regrets.
Instead of: “Why me?” I now say: “Lucky me!”
After five years of fertility treatment, I finally took a friend’s advice and looked into adoption but it was a minefield of American websites and rumours and I could not find anything very helpful. I procrastinated for another year and eventually I got in touch with the social worker who would walk me gently through the entire process. We encouraged early on in the process to understand that there were no white babies available for adoption in South Africa and it did not matter to us. We wanted a baby and we did not care much about the shade of the skin.
We started to prepare our families and very close friends for the arrival of our new baby. We bought a few things and we got the room ready. We had been advised that the wait could be around nine to 12 months so we were mentally prepared for the best part of a year to pass. Six weeks later, we got the call. “Your son has been born. Can you be at the hospital in two hours?” We were overwhelmed, excited, elated, terrified and instantly parentally protective of our new baby.
We arrived at the hospital to be presented with the smallest little human. He had been born prematurely weighing 1.6kg and he was on a ventilator. (As it turned out, our son is white)
In the following weeks, we became dab hands at caring for a premature baby (with the help of the NICU staff) and finally one month after he was born, we were able to take him home weighing a whopping 1.9 kg.
Our beautiful adventure had started.
Our son is about to turn 10 in October and is the love and light of my life. I cannot imagine it any other way. I now spend a great deal of time in my counselling practice helping people cope with the emotions around infertility and getting started with the adoption process. I am still overwhelmed with joy whenever I get a call from a client to say that they are getting their baby.
Article by: Terri Lailvaux – Adoptmom, Counsellor – Dip C (Inst NH)