By Kelly Nagusky
When my son was around 13 months old, I knew that I wasn’t done. Although I was 40 years old, and my husband and I, in our blended family, had four children, I just couldn’t shake the strong desire to have one more child.
Crazy, right?! That’s what my husband thought too!
I was one of five children and loved growing up with siblings close to my age. I really wanted our son to experience that too. The desire, though, went even deeper. It is not really rational, or something that can be explained. I just felt very strongly that there was supposed to be one more child in our family. I tried really hard to push my feelings aside and be grateful for the wonderful family that I had, but after 18 months I still couldn’t shake wanting another child.
I could not look at a pregnant woman or a baby without feeling alone and empty inside. It took a toll on my marriage and my emotional health. Only after an accidental pregnancy, which ended in a miscarriage, and many open and honest discussions with my husband, did he fully get on board with the possibility of having another child.
The first call I made to an adoption specialist discouraged us from trying domestic adoption, telling us that most birth mothers are looking for younger parents with 1, 2 or no children. This was very frustrating and made me feel helpless. We felt like we were such capable and loving parents with an ideal home for an adopted baby or young child. But I didn’t know enough about adoption yet to challenge the advice, so she steered us instead, toward international adoption, which we decided to pursue.
It was spring of 2012, and after looking at the limited international adoption options, we set out on our journey to adopt from Russia. We completed our home study and met with our agency in early June, but a few weeks later Russia completely shut down their international adoption programs to the United States. We had heard this was a possibility, but it still hurt. I’m just thankful it happened early on in the process.
We decided to attempt pregnancy again and just a few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant!
Again, I miscarried.
At that point, we went to a fertility specialist and went through the battery of testing. Everything appeared healthy and normal, so we decided to attempt pregnancy with intrauterine insemination (IUI), and yet again, I became pregnant pretty quickly. I had just turned 43. At 8 weeks, we saw a beating heart and normal sized embryo. This was IT! This was going to be our baby!
At 10 weeks, the heartbeat was gone.
We were simply devastated.
Our dreams were shattered and having another baby seemed hopeless.
For almost a full year following my last miscarriage, my husband and I didn’t talk much about another child, quietly trying to accept that it probably wasn’t going to happen for us. I was trying so hard to come to peace with it. Part of me was still hoping I’d have a successful pregnancy, but we knew the chances were getting very slim at my age.
I wasn’t at peace, and I didn’t feel like myself. I wanted to get back to the person I used to be, but I didn’t know how.
Two years after we started down the path of international adoption, I told my husband that I felt we had to try domestic adoption. It was the one avenue we had not yet pursued, and if it didn’t work I could move on knowing that we had tried everything. He said he had accepted a while ago that somehow we would have another child, and he understood how important it was to me.
We updated our home study and were ready to get the process moving again. Friends of mine told me about an adoption consultant and we felt we could use all the help and guidance we could get. Again, we heard the same thing – that our chances were not very good for getting picked by a birth mom given our age and four children. She suggested we would be better off advertising by ourselves on-line, which felt too risky for us and was not something we were comfortable with.
Coincidentally, or maybe it was luck, I remembered seeing on Facebook, that an old friend from high school had started her adoption consulting business. After all the adversity we had experienced, it was worth another phone call. While she didn’t make any promises, she did take the time to contact a few adoption agencies to find out what they thought about our chances to adopt and for the first time, we were given hope…real hope of adopting a baby! We moved forward with Rebecca at RG Adoption Consulting and didn’t waste a minute!
Working with the right adoption consultant for us became an invaluable part of our adoption journey. It still wasn’t an easy process and I have to admit, at times became frustrating, but it certainly paid off in spades when we began applying to situations before we had even completed our profile. While we were not selected for those first few, we started to understand just how many adoption opportunities were out there, especially being open to different situations.
By August 2014, two months after we began working with RG Adoption Consulting, our paperwork was complete, and we were presented a situation about an expectant mother in Florida who was due in three months. We were very nervous and super excited. We asked to be presented and thought we had a good chance at being selected, being the only family with this agency who were open to the mixed race of the baby.
We were picked!
Our birth mom picked us because we had a big family! She wanted her baby to be in a family that had siblings and participated in a lot of activities. It was so validating to hear that, and I was so happy that the expectant mom was able to feel connected to us through our profile. We were cautious with our excitement, but thrilled nonetheless. We immediately started loving, dreaming of, hoping and planning for our baby
We met our expectant mother for the first time. The meeting was awkward and emotional. But, we all really liked each other and felt confident moving forward.
Our amazing baby girl was born at the end of October 2014. When we took placement of her, it was surreal and hard to believe she was really ours. It had been such a long and strained journey filled with loss and disappointment, and here in my arms was this beautiful miracle. All the times I doubted that this dream of one more child could ever happen, yet we worked so hard and didn’t give up – and here she was. This part of the journey was finally over; I was so relieved, my heart overflowing. Don’t give up, and follow your heart!