“Two lines means pregnant, right?” I screamed in Walmart’s restroom one early June morning in 2012. I never would have dreamed of finding out I was pregnant in a Walmart, of all places, but I couldn’t handle waiting to find out any longer. Not even the 5 minutes it would have taken to drive home that morning. I then walked around Walmart in a daze trying to think of a fun way to tell my husband that we were pregnant. Five years prior, I had a hundred clever ways to tell my husband we were expecting. But after finding out that I had a unicornuate uterus (half the size of a normal uterus), one ovary, one fallopian tube, and a few other issues, I was unable to ever use any of those ideas.
Instead, we were both told in a clever way that we were going to be parents by a sweet 16-year-old in 2009. We were made parents twice through adoption. Our adoption story is unique because our children’s birth mothers are best friends. Our children are 10-1/2 months apart, and we enjoy an open adoption with their birth parents.
I enjoyed being pregnant. I didn’t get very sick. I enjoyed every kick and flip my baby girl did inside of me. I loved watching my belly grow. I would often get the comment from well-meaning acquaintances, “That’s so great you get to have one of your own!” I would cringe a little and kindly reply that they are all my own. People just don’t know what to say, and of course, they don’t mean to be rude.
The big day came to deliver my baby. I was in the hospital nervous and having contractions. One of the sweetest parts of labor was the texts I kept receiving from my children’s birth mothers. They had experience with labor and delivery and were able to give me loving advice. Texts telling me how to breathe, encouraging me that I could do it, and telling me good luck. We were also able to joke about some of the unflattering parts of childbirth, and it lightened my mood while going through the pain.
At 12:20 AM February 1, 2013, I experienced that magical moment of seeing my child for the first time. She took my breath away, and I cried so many happy tears. It brought my mind back to the first time meeting my son and my other daughter years before. It was the same magic. It didn’t matter that my third child was delivered by me: It felt the same.
The next day, my husband Mike and I were sitting in our hospital room enjoying the time with our new baby girl. I was in the hospital bed holding Jocelyn, and I all of a sudden out of the blue said to Mike, “Isn’t it funny how it’s exactly the same?” I didn’t even have to give him any context about what I was referring to. He knew. He responded, “Totally.”
Before getting pregnant, I prayed to God that if there were any way that I could love a biological child more than I loved my children who came to me through adoption, I didn’t want to ever get pregnant. I couldn’t imagine having more love for a child than I already had with my two children. God knew my heart and knew that it doesn’t matter how your children get to your family. It just matters that they get there.
Now, I sometimes hear that Jocelyn was our “miracle baby.” She was and is a total miracle, but not more so than my other two children. In fact, it may have taken even more miracles to get them safely to our family through adoption than getting pregnant with Jocelyn.
The love is the same. The struggles are the same. The magic is the same.