How Infertility and Adoption Made Me a Better Mom

For 1,402 days, I wanted to be a mom.

Shelley Skuster April 16, 2015
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For 1,402 days, I wanted to be a mom.

For 1,402 days, I hoped to see a plus sign on a pregnancy test.

But dozens of ovulation kits, doctors’ visits, ultrasounds, and uncomfortable tests and procedures later, my heart shattered when a reproductive endocrinologist told my husband and me the dreaded diagnosis: Unexplained Infertility.

To some, the years and money spent as a human pin cushion and science experiment may have been a waste.

After all, we had no child.

But during the darkest hours spent curled up crying on the bathroom floor with wads of pregnancy test wrappers and Kleenexes on the floor, my desire to become a mother only grew stronger.

I soon began to realize it didn’t matter how I became a mom; I just wanted to be a mom.

My husband and I just wanted to be parents.

Gradually, our hearts and prayers shifted toward adoption.

We spent weeks scribbling through piles of paperwork, scheduling home visits, sending out criminal background check requests, and soliciting reference letters from friends and family who could attest what we’d been praying for: Chris and Shelley would make good parents.

Then, on a Saturday morning in August, the phone rang.

“Shelley?”

“Yes…”

“You were CHOSEN! How soon can you be at the hospital?”

SKUSTER 1

In the moment we were chosen to be a little girl’s forever family, years of heartache and tears were replaced with joy.

In an instant, we became parents.

Our world changed quickly.

Eighteen-months later, we added another sweet girl to our family through adoption.

I left an award-winning television career and transitioned to become a stay-at-home mom.

I left a career I loved to become a full-time diaper-changer, nap time warden, and chef because I love being a mom more.

Financially, it made sense for me to stay home, but it’s also where my heart was.

More importantly, it kind of feels like doing the stay-at-home mom thing is what God was preparing me for all along.

Because for 1,402 days I wanted to be a mom.

And now that I am, I savor it.

Sure, I’d love a good night’s sleep. I appreciate taking a shower before afternoon nap time and consider it a “good day” when I find a shirt without spit-up stains on the shoulders.

Of course, there are moments where I break, where I want a Mommy time out in the corner of the dining room to just breathe or comb my hair or chug my fifth cup of coffee.

But the truth is, I don’t mind the craziness.

The piles of dirty laundry on the floor or the dirty dishes toppling over the sink don’t bother me. I don’t mind tripping over toys and books scattered across the living room floor. I’m not embarrassed to wheel a cart through the grocery store with two kids in tow and realize I have a crushed Cheerio on my butt from sitting in a messy car.

Because for 1,402 days I prayed for these moments.

For 1,402 days I wanted the beautiful chaos that is motherhood.

And now that I have it, I cherish it.

SKUSTER 2

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes, and she can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


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