Growing up, all little girls want, and almost expect, the “happily ever after” scenario. Really, the fairy tales promise it: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, even Beauty and the Beast. They all get the prince. As a girl, you play house, line up your dolls for school, and plan imaginary weddings. Your parents tell you: grow up, fall in love, get married, have babies (okay, so sometimes it doesn’t go in that particular order, but that’s what they hope.) And then you get to live your “happily ever after.”
Well, sometimes things don’t work out that way. Sometimes life as a way of saying “Ha! Fooled you!” You get a piece or two of the puzzle, but not all. Then you have to figure out a way to find that missing piece, or change your life so the hole might not be so big. You try to continue on, pretend everything is normal to your family, friends, work colleagues & strangers on the street. When the missing piece is something so big, so huge, so potentially soul destroying as not being able to have children (a basic biological process,) it makes you look at the whole world in a totally different light.
This year, I finally got my happily ever after, although the road it took to get there was not paved with yellow bricks. It was a long, hard slog through all sorts of trials, tribulations, and emotions. Really, come to think of it, Cinderella had it far too easy; she only had to worry about two “wicked” stepsisters and a stepmother. Honestly, how hard is cleaning out a chimney & fireplace? I’ve done it; it’s a dirty job, but certainly not the worst thing I’ve ever had to do.
My husband & I tried for years to have children naturally, and then were told, “It probably wouldn’t ever happen without help.” The rounds of IVF started and ended without any success. Time went on, and the decision was, that no matter what, we wanted a family. Adoption seemed the ideal way to start. Having to have a biological child was never was an issue, having a child to love was the issue. With support of family & friends, we embarked on a new path. And life moved on. We started the process in April 2008, and in June 2009, got the news that we were finally to be parents to a gorgeous baby boy.
Going to Korea was amazing; everything went smoothly, from the flight over to getting the bus from the airport. We did have a little bit of trouble finding the guesthouse, but we had the weekend to get over the jetlag, to see the sights and sounds of Seoul, and to prepare ourselves to meet the new love of our lives. Visiting the foster mother’s house was enlightening, and it was a privilege to meet the woman who had looked after him for many months. The love she had for our son was apparent. And then, before we knew it, with a long plane ride home, and a short settling in period, our family is finally complete. It’s like he was always here.
And now, the long-awaited prince is ensconced his castle. Everyday we realise just how amazing he is, and how much he can teach us. It doesn’t matter that he can’t talk yet, a smile & a laugh is enough for the moment. The most amazing thing is that it has reinforced our belief that love knows no country boundaries or time zones. We are truly thankful to have him in our lives, and to know that even though we have made a difference in his life, he has made a huge difference in ours.