Raising Children

My Dream - My Daughter - II
- Purnima Mirchandani

A mother writes about her experience with adoption and how her dream came true.

Adoption was an experience we looked forward to and yet we were totally unprepared. After the merry-go-round with doctors and trying out different fertility treatments, one day we decided that enough was enough. I had had enough of people poking and prodding me in the most intimate places, and this nightmare of going for sonography and "tonight is the night" kind of homework assignment brand of sex was too much for us.

But having a child was very important for me - it was like I felt incomplete without a child (sounds very clichéd - but it is very true as well). I didn't want to miss out on the experience of being a mother. Being a teacher and psychologist and my work being among children I could have made those kids into my substitute kids (and I did so for a long time), but at the end of the day they had a family to go home to - someone who would nurture them and get the joy of having a child in their lives. Why couldn't I have all those experiences too? I would look at the women living in the slums or even on the streets - even they had children, whom they did not even take the time to nurture, but left them to fend for themselves - and here I was all ready to nurture and love a child - I was left bereft.

As my husband and I went through the process of adoption, I sensed that I was on uncharted territory emotionally, with no road maps or role models. None of my family or friends had adopted children - they took it for granted when they were given the boon of children - and here I was, envious every time someone I knew was expecting a child. I was sure that I could love a child and make her mine. There would be obstacles in the way, but with my husband's and our families' support (which I was lucky enough to have in full measure), I would be able to face all odds - that was all there was to it. The decision was made!

What were my emotions like when I first held our baby in my arms? Indescribable! Ecstatic! Here, in the form of this little cute cuddly sweet-smelling baby was the culmination of years of struggle and hope and heartache - we finally had our baby! We had this great party to show off our baby. And of course seeing these hordes of people who came to see her and coochie coo to her, made her cry (it was her first day in a new environment) and here was my first parenting task - how to calm her down. The first few days were unbelievable - I learnt which cry meant that she wanted attention and which cry indicated hunger. My mother was unbelievable. When Malavika cried for her feed in the night, before I could go to the kitchen to heat up the formula, my mother was there with the bottle ready in her hand. I could not have managed the first month without her. She was there with me to guide me in this totally uncharted territory of motherhood.

My Dream - My Daughter - I

My Dream - My Daughter - III

My Dream - My Daughter - IV

My Dream - My Daughter - V

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