“Oopsie Baby” Simple words and seems harmless, right? I had someone say that to me last weekend when they asked my kids ages. “9, 7 and 11 months”, I said. “That’s an oopsie baby is what that is”, this person joked to about 10+ people who were around. This was the first time I had met this person and I am going to be around them for a bit so I said nothing ( which if you know me is hard), but really? If she was an “Oopsie baby” as you put it, she is still loved and wanted regardless. That being said, man who knows nothing about me or my families journey….. This baby is the most prayed for, worked for, and cried over baby for nearly half a decade. This baby took hundreds of hours between our adoption attempts of training and paperwork, doctors appointments and interviews, background checks and fingerprinting, dossier submittals and home checks not to mention the dozens of literal checks that had to be invested. If she is an “Oopsie baby” then holy crap, I can’t even imagine what an “intentional baby” should in theory feel like.
We are coming up on a year of Cadence being a part of our family and she does not feel one iota less than our natural child. It is a weird place that we are in because as many were posting their infertility stores a few weeks ago, I felt their pain and yet, also felt like an imposter. My sister has had a very long battle with infertility and many of my other friends have over the years as well. Having had 2 bio children of my own before our issues makes it easier I suppose, but it still is a part of our life, and quite frankly sucks. I had wanted to post about what not to say to people who can’t have children anymore and what not to reassure people of when they have no clue. To not ask if we are having more or assuming that since we had one of each sex that we are good either. However, being in that weird middle range, I didn’t. I didn’t because it felt like I would be a “me too’er” and well, we have 3 kids now and that seems like a lot to some. To get to where we are we have had 2 miscarriages, an oophorectomy, a hysterectomy and 3 different agencies for adoption. The simplest of questions seem long-winded and wierd if I tell you the whole story, and well, I am honest and normally share too much.
In adoption there are the awkward conversations with your employer when you tell them you are adopting, but you can’t tell them when. Believe me, I would love nothing more than tell you our “due date” and to be able to do this myself, but it’s not something that is possible. It could be literally tomorrow with a fall in your lap phone call or 5 years from now, this is our reality. As a control freak, there is little more stressful than this.
We hear, “you are such good people for doing this”. Um, sure, I’ll take it? The truth of the matter is, if you know us, we are sarcastic Northeasterners that talk too fast and wear our emotions on our faces (including the “you are a dumbass look”). My husband is an atheist and I swear way more than I probably should and make jokes that a teenage boy does. So are we good people? Sure, but not the humble, quiet and faith-filled people you may normally associate with adopting. The important thing, however, is that we love each of our babies more than life itself. We aren’t good people for adopting, we were just lucky enough to be able to.
“Why didn’t she (the birth mom) want to keep Cadence? She is perfect”. Yes, yes she is, and so is her first mom for being so unselfish that she had her and gave us the most beautiful gift. Yes, she knows what causes that and yes, we still talk to her. Today, on Mother’s Day, I sent her a note and she sent me one back. It is nontraditional and yet amazing all at the same time. I will be forever grateful to her first mom and grateful for the fact that we can have that relationship hopefully forever for her.
Being a mom is easy for some and messy for others. Accidental for some and the most trying and heartbreaking for others. Whether you are a birth mom or a foster mom, an adoptive mom or a first mom, an Aunt that acts as a second mom when needed or dad that fills this role, you are a Mom to those babies. The “oopsie babies” and the intentional babies. The day old babies and the 40 year old babies that still need advice.
So ignore the dumb questions and statements and focus on those babies and babies to be. Your journey to being a mom is yours and yours alone. As for us, the next question will be, “But don’t you have enough?” as we adopt once again. So to preempt the questions, yes we know 4 is a lot and yes we know college is expensive. No we can’t request a boy so it is even and no, we have no clue when it will happen. Yes the timing is always bad and no we have no clue when it will happen. What we do know is that 4 feels like it will complete us and our Mother’s Days will soon be a little more full.