Shana’s Journey to Mama Bear

I am a mom and have been for 6 ½ years. It’s still a little strange for me to say that out loud, which is funny because I have always wanted to be a mom. Ever since I can remember, I knew that I wanted children. I knew that I wanted to adopt a child and I wanted to have a biological child. I had no real career goals, I just wanted to Mom. However, the road to becoming a mother was long and hard for me, so I feel a little guarded when talking about motherhood. Like if I talk about it, something bad might happen and I will be punished.

I know it’s crazy, but when you try for years to get pregnant, you end up feeling like a failure and that for some reason you don’t deserve to have children. After several years of trying, my husband and I shifted our focus to adoption. The adoption process is long, expensive, and difficult, but a year later we finally completed our “adoption training”. A few months later, our profile was miraculously selected by an expectant mother and father who were interviewing potential adoptive families. We met, and I can honestly say that it was love at first sight (I had a similar experience when I met my husband). It just felt right, and I knew in that moment that things were looking a lot brighter in my crusade to motherhood.

We got the green light a week later. Lendy and I had just finished up a work lunch meeting. We were walking to her car when my phone rang—Allan and I had been selected by the birth parents! In that moment I became a mom. I believe that was the first time I saw Lendy shed a tear. Her tears were of joy, mine were of joy, relief, and excitement sprinkled with a wee bit of fear.

Fast forward two months later - Allan and I were at Lendy and Katy’s annual summer party, and we got the call that our bio mom was in labor. It all happened so quickly yet so slowly at the same time. We had less than two months to prepare ourselves and our home for an infant, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t have to be perfect. We had long since learned that nothing in life is ever perfect. It just is what it is. But our tiny infant daughter on the other hand, was perfection.

We brought our baby girl home, and after her first birthday we decided to reconnect with the fertility clinic. Two and a half years, a boatload of money, a miscarriage, and a whole lot of heartache later, we had just one viable embryo left. And that little embryo decided to stick. Nine months later, that little fighter pushed herself into our world. She was blue from the umbilical cord wrapping around her neck, had a cone shaped head from a long labor, and her hair stuck up in all sorts of funny ways… but she too was perfection.

It was a long road, but finally at “advanced maternal age”- as noted by my doctor - I was a mother of two beautiful girls. Mother’s Day means so much more to me now than when I was celebrating my own mother (sorry Mom, I love you… I just didn’t “get it” before). I identify strongly with our Mama Bear card. I fought so hard to become a mom, that you best not get in between me and my children! But I know that the time will come, and I will have to send my kids off into the world on their own… so I’m saving all those Mother’s Day coupons that I get. You had better believe that I’m gonna whip those out when my girls are teenagers to redeem my 20 minutes of snuggle time.