My appointment with my doctor was first thing in the morning on a day that I'd taken off work, so I had to wait the whole entire agonizing day before I could talk to my mom. However, luckily it was mid-June, and my best friend, a teacher, was on summer vacation, so she answered when I called from my car in the Walgreens parking lot while I was waiting for my prescriptions to be filled.
I was still a little breathless when I filled her in on what the doctor and I had talked about, and I admitted that my decision was pretty much already made. How could I not pursue this, knowing that I only had a few years left?
As I processed everything I was thinking and feeling aloud, she was supportive. It was not the first time we had talked about the possibility of one of us doing this - we were the girls making contingency plans when we were in high school: "If I'm not married by the time I'm....." So it was not entirely a surprise that I was bringing this up. We weren't on the same page by the end of the conversation, we were on the same page from the very beginning. I was going to do this.
I was worried that my mom would be a harder sell. Mom was adopted, and was thrilled with my foster-to-adopt plan. The day after I had contacted the local child welfare agency to request the paperwork to start the process, I called my parents, and Mom answered the phone with, "Do you have a grandchild for me yet?" She was joking, but I knew she loved the idea that I would adopt a child in need.
I had texted her right after the doctor appointment and told her that I needed to talk to her after she got off work, but then I had to wait until after 5, so I had a whole day to plan what I would say. I was already at my parents' house waiting for her by the time she got home.
She was concerned, but not terribly so; I'd told her in my text that it was nothing bad. I launched right into it, giving her a quick rundown of my conversation with the doctor.
"The thing is," I said, "adoption will still be on the table when I'm 40. This won't be. And I think if I don't at least try, it will be something I'll always regret." It surprised me that I started to tear up as I spoke, though it shouldn't have. I'd been running on adrenaline all day. The emotion was bound to catch up with me at some point.
Mom hugged me, and immediately said, "Then you should go for it." Just like that.
"But, what about the people who will say this is selfish?" I sputtered. "The ones who will say that I shouldn't do this when there are so many children who already need a home?"
"Let them say it," she said. "You would be an amazing mother to an adopted child, but that doesn't mean you're obligated to adopt. If you can make this work, and it's what you really want, you should go for it."
I will readily tell anyone that my mom is awesome, but this is
definitely near the top of her highlight reel of awesome parenting
moments. She had my back, no questions asked.
Well, no questions about my motives or intentions, anyway. She did ask all the right questions about how it would affect me, which were, "So what happens if you try, and you don't get pregnant? Is there a limit on how many times you'll try? How will you feel if you have to give up?"
All things I had already thought about, and had answers ready. Three attempts was usually the maximum. I definitely wanted to try once, and failing that, would hope to be able to stretch my finances to at least two attempts. Three was probably completely out of my budget. Unless the prices dropped significantly, IVF would not ever be a consideration. If two attempts did not result in pregnancy, that would be the end of it. It would be tough, but I would at least know that I gave it a shot. The thought of never trying and spending the rest of my life wondering "what if" was worse than the thought of trying and failing.
At the end of the day, I was hopeful and excited. Honestly, I had no doubts that I would try and be successful. Of course it would work. This was the sign I'd asked for, wasn't it?
Little did I know that the opportunity to try would be ripped away from me in a matter of weeks.