Motherhood and infertility: You can’t help who you fall in love with

Jasmine & Mama

“I did NOT expect to get in your car and fall in love with that face. They always say that the pets tend to pick you versus you picking them. You can’t help who you fall in love with!”

A very dear friend of mine, who has been down a long and heartbreaking road the last few years of her life–losing her mother after a difficult battle with early onset Alzheimer’s, and an unexpected struggle with infertility–fell in love a few nights ago, and it was instantaneous.

Through a completely unexpected turn of circumstances, that theoretically never should have lined up that way, she hopped into another friends car (who had her foster dog in tow) and her four-legged child found her–instantly. The above picture was about one minute (or less) after first meeting. She just knew, I mean really, really knew.

Her story reminded me of one of the most touching adoption stories I have read <If Not Me, Than Who?>. The story was part of the <30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days> series, which not so coincidentally this same friend had shared with me.

Excerpt follows:

“I felt a strong inclination to take in a baby boy, but when I was asked to meet a two-year-old girl on April 17, 2008, I felt a profound calling to go ahead and see her. . . .

When I first walked into the room, welcome gift in hand, I saw this little ‘roughneck’ girl who glared at me with an intimidation factor stronger than any adult I have ever met.  Since I am a gang specialist probation officer, this was no small feat.

I attempted to speak to her and she grunted at me.  The social worker informed me the child was not very verbal.  When it was time for me to leave, I asked her, “would you like to come to my house maybe?”

She ran away.

“Great,” I thought, “she hates me.” So much for that.

And then suddenly she ran back to me, her little shoes on the wrong feet.  She was ready to go home with me right then and there.  I struggled to keep myself emotionally intact.  I learned a couple of life lessons in that moment: 1. Don’t make assumptions.  2. Never ask a two-year old if they want to go someplace with you unless you intend to bring them with you immediately.

When I explained that she could come and see me in two more days, she did not understand why she was not coming now.  She cried ‘come with you!'”

Even as I read this story again now my eyes well up with tears.

You see our children come to us, I suppose both two-legged and four-legged, the way they are suppose to find us–they pick us. And when they arrive we can’t help but fall in love with their beautiful faces (and tiny feet with the shoes on the wrong foot).

Some of us are picked for their arrival through our womb; others of us will meet our child through a completely unexpected turn of circumstances, which really never should have lined up that way. And when they do, magic happens. We both know that we are home.

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