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Adoption Story | Reigle Family

A few weeks ago, I was asked to participate in another Beauty Revived Campaign. This time instead of featuring beautiful women, they teamed up with Adoption.com to feature beautiful, inspiring families. I asked around on Facebook and Instagram and found two inspiring families. Meet the Reigles.

| Adoption Story at the bottom |

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Our Adoption Story:
“It isn’t strange that one of the happiest days of my life was also one of the hardest. So it has been for every mother who has labored to bring a child into the world. Even though I adopted my son, motherhood still came to me as it comes to everyone, through a great deal of struggle and pain.”

“The author Wendy Plump compares childbirth to an extreme sport, and trust me when I tell you that surmounting the crest of adoption might be a variation of the sport, but it is no less extreme, no less violent a challenge. It requires an equal amount of fortitude and endurance. Both test you to the limits of what your body and will are capable. Child bearers and adopters have both, as Wendy describes, “Slogged up a mountain of pain to bring forth our children.”

“Except for me the pressure built in my head instead of my lower back. Instead of bracing myself against stirrups I was bracing myself for potential heartbreak. My stomach didn’t tighten hard with each contraction, but it was tied up in knots that felt almost as rigid. It was stretching and pushing and tearing of a different nature. All without the luxury of doctors, epidurals, or nurses there to help ease me into new motherhood. We were alone in it.”

“For seventy-two hours I was on the edge of my seat, pacing, waiting, constantly checking my phone for an update. Trying to fill the time and my mind with anything else but the fact that my baby boy was being born and I wasn’t there. And afterwards, trying not to think about the fact that he was in the world but I couldn’t see him. Trying not to dwell on how I wasn’t the first to hold him, the first to whisper I love you in his soft little ear, the first to comfort, and calm him. my voice was not the first he heard, my scent was not the first he smelled, my arms not the first to cradle him, my body not the first to nourish his.”

“And not being there for his firsts felt a little like dying inside. I was aching to go to him. My husband had to talk me out of sneaking over to the hospital and spending the night in the waiting room just so I could be in the same place as him. Even if I couldn’t hold him I wanted to be right there with him. In my mind I was. For those three days I was nowhere else.”

“From a distance I was cheering him on, cheering on his birth mom who was battling to bring him into the world. I was praying for her and praying for him. Hoping, while trying not to hope. Because you could never hope for anyone what she went through in placing him for adoption.”

“Nearly sixteen hours after he was born we got to meet him. No one has ever at any time been so nervous or excited as we were walking into that hospital. Excited to finally meet the one to make us parents. Nervous we would feel too much, or worse, too little. Our first sight of him was through glass. He was beautiful. He was perfect. And I was sobbing.”

“His sweet birth mother put her arm around me and asked if I was okay. That felt backwards. But it was eight years of pent up disappointments and emotions, and a dam had burst after being so long under strain when suddenly, all at once, there he was right in front of me. We had almost thirty uninterrupted minutes with him. It was glorious. And it was not enough. But I got to hold him, and kiss him, and whisper in his ears how dearly he was loved, just like I always imagined. I was amazed by how much he immediately felt so much like mine. Because I’d never been a baby person I had been nervous about that. But it was a lot like when I met my husband, it was unexpectedly comfortable and easy to imagine our lives together.”

“And then all of a sudden it was time to say goodbye. And we had to just leave him there knowing if his mom changed her mind this would be the only time we’d ever see him.”

“When we came back for placement the next day we spent six hours in that hospital trying not to think about how, after all this, we might walk out of there with nothing. My heart contracted relentlessly with anxiety and fear for those six hours. Our caseworker beside me kept initiating small talk about the minutiae of her daily life. I wanted to tell her to stop talking. Couldn’t she see that like a laboring mother I had to “retreat inward to concentrate, that energy was sacred and squandering it reckless?” Didn’t she know the hugeness of the thing that was happening?”

“That a mother was being born right in front of her? Only occasionally did I relax into the peace and comfort of knowing all would unravel as it was meant to. Over and over again I passed between these two extremes, laboring through the birth of our little family. No, it isn’t at all strange that one of the happiest days of my life was also one of the hardest. Through struggle and pain, that’s how our baby boy came to us. But afterwards, when he was placed in our arms and we were finally alone with him, just the three of us, a flood of joy rushed in so immense it eclipsed all previous suffering. And so it has also been for every mother who has labored to bring a child into the world.”

April 29, 2015

Kylee Maughan

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