By Sarah Boucher
When I entered into the journey of adoption, I had no doubt about the love I would have for my child. I knew deep in my soul that we would find each other and that love would fill my heart to its beautiful breaking point. What I was not prepared for was the love I would have for my daughter’s birth mother, and, what that love would teach me. The road that led my daughter’s birth parents to place her for adoption was one that was filled with painful pitfalls and roadblocks. Their story is not mine to tell, but I can say with all certainty that love was never lacking along that road. The choices they made were made out of love, and I feel fortunate that they shared that with me.
What I was not prepared for was the love I would have for my daughter’s birth mother.
I watched my daughter’s birth mother handle unimaginable pain and loss with grace and class and even some humor. When my daughter was born, we had arranged for her to stay in a room at the hospital with me after the birth. The hospital then told us that there was not a room available for us. My daughter’s birth mother said, “Then you can give them my room. But, they are staying together.” Sure enough, they found a room for us! She fought for us and was our biggest advocate. There were other things that she did in those precious days we spent in the hospital that demonstrated great love and strength of character. And those are some of the things that I look forward to sharing with my daughter over the years as examples of the love that surrounded her from the very beginning of her life.
I learned through her example that it is possible to be in the most heartbreaking and vulnerable situations and still demonstrate love and grace. It is possible to still put other’s needs before yours and to keep moving through something even though it is tough. And even through the most challenging of times, it is always possible to find moments of joy and connection. Through watching my daughter’s birthmother, I recognize that if she could demonstrate these qualities during such a difficult time, then I can surely handle some of the challenges life will throw my way with strength, grace, love & humor as well.
Even through the most challenging of times, it is always possible to find moments of joy.
Recently, our home flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. We are grateful to be safe, and have wonderful family and friends that have rallied around us. Still, it has been a huge challenge. I used to say that everything happens for a reason but, as I move through life, I am not so sure that I like that phrase anymore, because sometimes things just happen. What I do believe is that things can happen and you can grow from them and learn from them and make the most out of these situations. I also believe that you learn the most about yourself and those around you when things are really challenging. I used to take a lot of pride in being prepared for all different scenarios and I followed all kinds of rules that I made for myself. I thought that this would keep “bad” things from happening. Unfortunately, the thing about life is that “bad” things will happen no matter how prepared you are. What we do in those situations, how we react, how we treat ourselves and those around us is what’s important. We have been shown a great amount of love by friends, family and even strangers. In some way, I feel as though we have gained so much more than we have lost. I choose to focus on those things. Again, I find myself gaining something I never expected.
There have been some days that have pushed me to my limit, but I am reminded and truly grateful for the lessons I learned by example from my daughter’s birthmother. As I watch my little girl’s kindness, empathy and humor continue to strengthen every day, I know that those qualities don’t just come from me. These lessons have been passed down to her through her birthmother and strengthened through me, and will be with us forever.
Sarah Boucher is a member of the RG Adoption Consulting team and mom to a very independent and charismatic 3-year-old girl! Most of Sarah’s career has been in marketing and scheduling of boats and barges that move petroleum products in the Inland Waterways. The things she loves the most about that work is the relationships she builds with her clients, problem-solving, and navigating challenges. She is happy to be able to apply those skills now while also working her passion as an adoption consultant!