After eight years of trying to get pregnant, years of praying, crying, anxiety and frustration, I decided to post a prayer request on a popular Nigerian church website. I think the subject was ‘when will I carry my children Lord.’
There were many responses to my prayer request but only one stood out for me. It was from a woman who asked if I had considered adoption as there were many children out there in need of parents. Several emotions flitted through my mind after I read the comment; shock, disbelief and then anger… Anger that she dared to suggest it, without even knowing me.
Does she know my story? Does she know my pains and tears? What gave her the right to even dare! I came to one conclusion – she must have children of her own and now feels she has the audacity to suggest adoption to me, how very selfish of her! Like most young brides, I assumed babies would come once we were ready to start.
My husband and I had agreed to wait for a year so I was not too concerned when I did not conceive in the first year of our marriage. However, I should have known something was wrong since I was not using any birth control device and yet did not get pregnant. Well, I was too comfortable in the euphoria of marriage to worry about it then.
Looking back, I’m glad I did not start worrying right away. It would have robbed me of the early joys of marriage. I definitely worried for several years after that. It became the defining issue in my life and marriage. As if it that was not bad enough, I had to deal with all the looks, the glances from family members, colleagues at work and neighbors.
This was not something I could hide or deal with in the quiet of my room. Eventually, the stares and glances became questions and comments. Some were borne out of genuine concern and some were meant to ridicule. It seemed like everyone had an opinion on why we were unable to have children. We went for several prayer meetings and looked forward to the month when it would finally happen.
Months rolled into years and years rolled into more years. Hope led to disappointment and disappointment became disbelief. Why would God let me go through this? Why would God let this happen to me? I could not believe this was happening to us. While trying to deal with all this, random people would offer suggestions that perhaps it was something we had done in our past that was finally catching up with us. Maybe an unconfessed sin, some evil that we deserved.
It seemed everyone had a right to suggest a solution whether they were solicited or not. I finally sought medical intervention ten years into our marriage and one of the procedures led to pregnancy. We were ecstatic; it was unbelievable, too good to be true. And indeed it was as I lost the pregnancy after six weeks. What! After all that, only to have the joy be short-lived! The pain was indescribable and can only be understood by someone who’s been through a similar experience.
After the initial pain, we were ready to try again. We threw ourselves into more procedures and surgeries and two years after the first pregnancy, I got pregnant again! We were so excited, we finally have what we have been looking for and I thought I would be able to manage my emotions better this time around. Unconsciously, I blamed myself for the first miscarriage – I assumed that it was the over excitement that caused it.
This time around, I was going to be cool, calm and collected. Six weeks later, I knew something was wrong and in a matter of hours, my worst fears were confirmed. The pain this time was much worse, it was unbearable. I was simply inconsolable and I cried all the time. Nothing seemed to make sense. Along the line, I believe God allowed my path to cross with a woman who had a car accident and lost members of her family.
She showed me her scars and I was jolted back into reality – it was not the end of the world. No far from it, for as long as I was alive, I could hope, I could dream. That encounter was the beginning of my healing. Just when you think it could not get any worse, I was diagnosed with stage two thyroid cancer – I believe it was a side effect of some of the fertility medications. All of a sudden everything changed. All these years, I thought being childless was the worst thing that could happen to me until this happened.
Having a child became a distant thought, and then I understood the meaning of that phrase ‘where there’s life, there’s hope’. All I thought about, prayed for and hoped for was to live. I went through surgeries and treatments and thank God everything went well. By God’s grace, I am alive and well.
After this medical challenge, I experienced a paradigm shift. My opinion about motherhood changed completely. All of a sudden it was less important whether I was able to carry a pregnancy to term or not. It really did not matter anymore; all that mattered was to have a child of my own. A child that would call me ‘mommy’.
I no longer cared what anyone thought about me – God spared me and gave me another chance and I was not going to waste any more time crying. There were several children waiting for mommies and daddies and I believed this was something I was called to do. Adoption is not just my prayers being answered but also the prayer someone said for that little child being answered.
Today, my husband and I are proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. Our daughter came in the fifteenth years of our marriage, she was 10 months old when we first met her and she is the most beautiful thing that’s happened to us. Adoption is a beautiful thing and I am fulfilled as a woman, as a mother and as a wife.
All the years of praying eventually led us to this wonderful gift from God, a child of our own. Although not from our biological frames but very much birthed through our spiritual womb in prayers. She is every inch a daddy’s girl and our lives have been enriched because of her. Someday, she will read this story and she will understand how truly loved she is.
So loved, that her mommy and daddy had to go through all this, before meeting her. I dedicate this story to all those out there who have waited and longed for something so desperately yet it seems the more they search for it, the more out of reach it has become. Don’t give up – keep hope alive!