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Girl of my Dreams

It’s amazing how things work out…even when things aren’t working.

It was April 24, 1992.

As the spring raindrops sprinkled across my wedding dress like confetti, I turned to the videographer and said (with a big smile), “Rain…it’s a blessing - it’s fertile!”

The words still echo in my ears – 27 years later.

“Fertile” – I had dropped the f-bomb on my wedding day.

I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a mother. It was like it was a part of my identity before my identity had completely formed. So, when I was told that I was “infertile” and that my infertility was “unexplained,” I was devastated. It felt as though my very core had been stripped bare.

But I couldn’t give up. So I sacrificed my body like a fanatical aesthetic. For years, despite miscarriages, I subjected it to invasive, surgical, and non-invasive regimes, including countless tests, investigative procedures, hyper-ovulation drug therapies and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The end result was that I fragmented my body, I became very sick, and I alienated my identity.

I would give anything to be a mother.

IVF is a bit like playing a game because you know that every round is a gamble for which the stakes get progressively higher. And, like a gambler who can’t resist placing another bet, no matter how many times you have lost, you go for it again because you’re so convinced that the next win will be yours.

But the longer I continued, the more desensitized I became, until, eventually, waiting for the phone call from the hospital was like waiting to hear if I was alive.

It’s amazing how things work out…even when things aren’t working.

The phone call that would change my life finally came, but the source and the circumstances were not at all what I could have foreseen.

On the phone was a close friend’s husband – a GP – who just happened to have a colleague – who just happened to have a patient who was pregnant and – who just happened to want to find the perfect home for her baby. It was a dream come true that I never dreamt possible.

On February 21, 2006, came the arrival of the Girl of my Dreams.

I was there when you arrived. And mere minutes later, you were placed in my arms.

I can’t even describe it – the joy, the fulfillment, the completion, the vulnerability – but above all, the love.

And then on January 30, 2007 (nearly a year after your birth), the official court notice arrived, which approved your adoption. And so that you would know – in that moment – what that moment meant, I wrote a letter to you – my darling daughter. We have read that letter together many times since, and now, our story is preserved in a short doc in hopes that it will offer comfort, reassurance and hope to others facing similar challenges.

I know you want to be a mother someday, and I hope that happens for you. But remember: it’s not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and mothers.

So don’t privilege biology because adopting you was the greatest choice I ever made and you are the greatest gift I ever received.

You didn’t need to be born of me to be a part of me. You held my heart long before you joined my life.


- ©Kari Townsend, 2019.


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