One of my earliest memories was sitting on my mother’s lap, in our green rocking chair, as she sang sweet songs and rocked me to sleep. It was our nightly routine and I must have been around two years old. As she sang, I looked up at her and innocently asked about the possibility of me adopting a baby. I’m sure my question caught my mother a little off guard. She probably didn’t expect that from her tiny daughter. And since I was so young, her response was simply, “Sweetheart, I don’t think that will happen.”

Somehow, the idea of adoption has been in my mind and in my heart long before I even understood what it was. As I grew, the theme of adoption seemed to reoccur over and over again. Our neighbors were foster parents and I spent many hours playing at their home with the children who came and stayed for a time. I also remember a Sunday school teacher sharing a picture of her family and telling us that her brother had been adopted. I was still quite young, but I distinctly remember the feeling in my heart that seemed to be saying that one day, adoption would play a role in my life.

Throughout the years adoption was something I thought about quite often. When I pictured my future family, it always included children who were not biologically mine. Then, when I was sixteen, the dreams started coming. I repeatedly dreamed about a boy who could not possibly be my biological child, and yet, in those dreams I was his mother. The feelings I felt in those dreams stayed with me for years, even as I went to college, got married, and began to have a family. I still felt strongly that some day I would pursue adoption.

With the birth of my fourth child, complications arose that ended my ability to have any more children. To most people, that seemed okay. After all, I had four children. We already had a big family. My hands were full, and many people did not understand our choice to pursue adoption a few years later. But what they didn’t understand was that I was not just choosing adoption, adoption had chosen me.

I don’t know why adoption needed to be part of my life. I don’t know why I was literally born with the idea in my head that someday I would adopt.

In 2012 our son was born and placed by his loving birth mother into our family. He was the little boy I had seen in my dreams seventeen years earlier. It felt miraculous then, and continues to feel miraculous now as we approach his fifth birthday. Every morning I look at his sweet face and am in awe that he is real.

I am a religious woman. I believe in God. I believe that He is good, loving, and fully involved in our lives. I believe He directs things for our benefit, and growth. However, I do NOT believe that He causes crisis pregnancies. I do NOT believe that He somehow causes women to get pregnant so that they can give those babies to other women. That goes against all I believe God to be. But, I do believe that God has given us the ability to make choices, and when a crisis pregnancy happens, all women have a choice in how they will proceed. Will they parent this child? Will they choose to terminate the pregnancy? Or will they choose adoption? Each woman’s circumstance is unique and the thoughts and intents that come with making that kind of decision are personal. But, for those women who feel that adoption is the best option, there needs to be families prepared to receive those children.

I don’t know why adoption needed to be part of my life. I don’t know why I was literally born with the idea in my head that someday I would adopt. All I know is that is the way things have always been. Has it been hard? YES. Has it been wonderful? YES. Have I cried tears of happiness and tears of heartache? Multiple times.  But, I would not trade the experiences I have had with adoption for anything. Adoption has changed me in many ways. It has expanded my heart, it has enlarged and enlightened the way I see the world. It has deepened my compassion for women who have difficult decisions to make concerning the life of their unborn child. It has taught me to have patience, and deepened my sense of gratitude. I still don’t know “why” I was drawn to adoption, but I’m so thankful that I was.