Have you ever crossed a high, narrow, rickety bridge, made it safely to the other side only to realize that you are suddenly stuck in the middle of that same bridge swaying back and forth, knees buckled and unable to move? Where did that come from, you ask yourself? How did I find myself unable to move once again?
We have a wonderful son adopted from Moldova in 2003. I am fulfilled. I am a mother. When I finished my book, After Miscarriage, A Journey to Healing, a tidal wave of tears flowed as the memories resurfaced, the pain, the isolation, and the hurtful comments. This moment does not go on for days or years any longer. It is temporary. I allow myself to feel those emotions that to this day are quite honestly still raw at times. What I had yet to discover was the buried regret I was harboring from not being able to have another child that I so deeply desired.
It was my second trip to Moldova to pick up our son. Seared into my mind forever was the day we visited one of the privately run orphanages in Moldova to bring shoes for the children. When the Director of the orphanage opened the bag, she was overcome with gratitude. Having shoes for the children was a treasure. She escorted us to the courtyard to let us visit with the children. One young boy with white blonde hair was hoping to be noticed by playing hide and seek and giggling when I met his eyes. When I returned home, my thoughts constantly drifted back to those children. After a few years with our son, we were determined to adopt again.
Unfortunately, adoptions from Moldova were not being allowed for United States citizens. We tried to adopt from the neighboring country of Ukraine. After years of paperwork with no success, we sadly closed the door to ever being able to adopt a little sister for our son. I never considered other options. Ironically, I had joined a support group after suffering four miscarriages that saved my mental state, but I regretfully did not seek professional to help navigate options for a second child.
Over the past fourteen years, I have been happily absorbed in raising our son. It wasn’t until recently that the wound reopened. As I stare back at the 53-year-old image in the morning, I reflect on an uninformed decision that I regret. I wish I had explored surrogacy as an option for a second child. It is a wonderful alternative available to help couples suffering from miscarriage or infertility. It is a decision I live with and frankly need to release sometimes daily. My door is closed, but for women out there like me, seek help, explore your options, envision your family, and find the path to a family that works for you. You can be a mother. You can become a grandmother one day. I leave you with this.
My Pastor once said something similar to this during one of his sermons, “When we reach middle age, we begin to regret the things we did, but as we get even further along in years, we regret the things we did not do.”