“Ah, you are finally having your own baby.”
This was the statement which stopped Nancy in her tracks, and it was coming from her very best friend, Temi, who should supposedly have known better.
Nancy wavered between sorting out that misconception, right there and then, and leaving it for later in a more conducive environment. Temi was the least person she expected to say those words to her. She and her husband had heard different variations of this same statement like;
“Now you are finally having your own.” “It will be so cool to see a baby that looks like you.” “You’re really having your first kid.”
She had at least thought Temi got her, but that singular statement showed that Temi was still struggling with accepting her friend’s legally adopted child as her “real” child. Somewhere in her mind, she still believed, like most people in our society, that she was just helping the child and that its biological parents would come for it one day.
Nancy’s journey to motherhood wasn’t an easy one. Whilst her friends and even colleagues from work were getting married and having babies in quick succession, Nancy was battling endometriosis and dilly-dallying over whether to have surgery or not, especially as it might affect her fertility.
In the end, she did and it was within the 6 weeks after the surgery that she met her wonderful husband, who accepted her wholeheartedly, flaws and likely impaired fertility and all. Till date, Nancy believes God specially created her husband just for her. He is one in a million.
Between them, they agreed that if after six months of trying naturally and no BFP, they would start looking into adoption and that was what they did, when their timeline passed.
After close to a year of further waiting, they got their baby, a baby boy with huge eyes, begging for love. Within a few months, he was looking a lot healthier and he was the light of their life. It took a while for family and friends to process and accept that a new couple, less than two years in marriage, had adopted a child. There are even people who still think they are merely doing a charity deed by raising the boy under their roof.
The ensuing drama only reaffirmed Nancy’s belief that she had a custom-made husband, as he stood between everyone and his new family. He never for once raged at Nancy for putting him in such an uncomfortable position. Not once, and he had to take a lot of crap from his family and friends.
They were a family of three for a long time (and to some people, they were still two, as their son was a charity case), not from lack of trying. It hadn’t just turned out as they wanted. Having done three consecutive IVF cycles without the desired result, they decided to rest until their son started to ask for a sibling.
For his sake, they started to try again and for once in five years and four cycles, Nancy and her husband got a BFP and had a baby at the end of 40 weeks. It was this pregnancy that brought so many people, who did not believe in adoption, out of the woodworks.
People like Temi, her bestie. In the end, Nancy decided to clear the air on their way from the hospital for a doctor’s appointment, which Temi had accompanied her to, because her husband wasn’t able to be there.
“Temi, about what you said earlier, about me finally becoming a mom. I am one already, Luke made me a mother. The baby I am carrying is not our first born.” Nancy said.
But the statement out of Temi’s mouth showed she was really struggling with the whole drama. “Adoption is not the same as having a child of your own” Temi replied.
Upon seeing the look on Nancy’s face, Temi knew she had put her foot in it. So out came the cliché, “But you know what I mean nau.”
While, Nancy knew what Temi meant. It did not sit well with her that Temi would even think about such a thing, how much more say it. It was already getting so much, the rate at which people made insensitive statements right in front of her son, and all these from family members…those whose surname he bears, even if he doesn’t carry their blood lines.
Like any protective mother, when Nancy thinks her son has the potential of being hurt, she advocates and even shields him. But it gets tiring to keep protecting her son from people who should love him.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what family and friends think, Nancy’s son is and will always be their first born, even if they go on to have twenty biologically born babies.
According to her: “My son is part of the fabric of who we are, and we are part of his fabric; he is our “first-born” son even if he was not birthed by us.”
This is the part they call end of discussion…or what do you think?
Food for thought.
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