Adopting Finlay

Four months ago, my husband and I adopted baby Finlay. Finlay is a miracle to us – the child we’ve been preparing for all these years.

I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, but my womb had other ideas. Without Finlay, I would be a sad, miserable woman with an excess of love in her heart and nothing to spend it on. Finlay has completed us. But we could not have gained this wonderful little human without his incredible birth mother.

Fertility Frustration

Infertility and the frustration and constant heartbreak of failed fertility treatments were really taking a toll on my mental health and our relationship. I felt like a failure as a woman…

My husband was an absolute saint – always positive, and never, ever being anything other than 100% kind, loving and supportive throughout the whole process. I wish I could say the same for myself. I’m not by nature an angry woman, but – whether due to the hormone treatments I was undergoing, the stress of being unable to conceive, or a combination of the two – I found myself snapping at him more and more often. It’s a well-acknowledged fact that infertility can affect your mental health, and I found myself sinking into a swamp of depression. When my lovely partner tried to cheer me up, I’d find myself snapping angrily at him and then hating myself for being horrible to a man I adored. This naturally helped neither my state of mind nor our relationship. While he claimed not to mind if I had the occasional fit of pique, I really did mind. I felt like I was losing myself to some sulky, angry demon of insecurity, and it had to stop. We decided to stop trying to conceive, and adopt a baby.

A Brave Young Lady

Looking back, it was definitely the best decision we ever made. At the time, we knew it wasn’t something to be taken lightly, but it did feel like the right thing to do. I certainly felt an enormous amount of relief, and immediately the pressure was off my recalcitrant womb. Now we could look forward to having a baby, and lavishing it with all the love and care which we’d been saving up for all these years! We decided pretty early on that we wanted an open adoption, because we felt it important to maintain a link with our child’s biological parents, so that he or she would grow up with a strong sense of who they were and not be left with all those awkward questions that so many adopted children have. It took some time (and a lot of paperwork!), but we were finally matched with a lovely young lady who was expecting a little baby boy. The mother was barely sixteen, and had taken the amazingly brave decision to place our son for adoption when born because she felt that she was not yet ready for motherhood, either financially or emotionally. It was an incredibly mature decision and, when we met her for the first time, I was struck time and time again by her bravery, her self-awareness, and her maturity. My husband and I knew that if he turned out anything like his biological mother, our son would be blessed with a clear head and a beautiful, loving, open heart.

Meeting Finlay's Mother

It was a strange experience, meeting the lady who was carrying our son. There was a part of me, I freely admit, which could not understand why she would willingly choose to place this baby for adoption, the thing which I had striven so hard for all these years – but that feeling was overwhelmed by my admiration of the trust she placed in us, and her calm bravery. She had taken the decision to carry her child to term, and then, after putting up with the pregnancy and bringing him into the world, to hand him over to us, because she felt that we were in a better position to give him the life he needed. It was the greatest thing she could ever have done for us and (I hope) for our son – Finlay.

The Best Moment Of Our Lives

Finlay was born just after midnight four months ago. I do not mind admitting that his birth was a stressful time for us. When we saw him for the first time, in all his infant perfection, I felt fearful that his mother would change her mind and be unable to hand him over. We wanted Finlay to bond with his birth mother, but we were still worried. Had she decided to keep him after all, we would have understood completely and held no grudges, but it would have been a bitter blow. However, she remained true to her resolution and the adoption proceeded without a hitch. We cannot put into words how enormously grateful we are to her, and we hope to be able to do her legacy justice when raising Finlay. We hope that he will grow up to be close to his birth mother, and are in almost daily contact with her. Although we live far apart, we are planning for her to come and visit, perhaps for Christmas, and we definitely want her to be involved in Finlay’s life. We have nothing but admiration and love for her, and are more thrilled than we could ever describe that she allowed us to adopt the baby she carried.

This is a freelance article by Helen Patterson
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