Celean Jacobson’s article, “Madonna’s African Adoption Part of Growing Trend,” (Associated Press, April 1, 2009), caught my attention, but not because of celebrity. My husband and I became the proud parents of two Ethiopian sons after being childless for eighteen years. When I studied infertility during medical school, I had no idea that I would be directly affected.
Everyone responds to infertility differently. Some choose IVF, others use surrogate mothers and then there are those like me who simply wait. And wait. And wait for the miracle of conception that never arrives. The biological clock begins to tick so loud it deafens you with the reality that if you don’t move your feet quickly, the opportunity for parenthood will be gone.
I had conjured my sons in my mind, long before I met them. I would visualize them running in our backyard and hear their invisible squeals of delight. Yet, I had no idea that they would come from Africa, a place I had traveled to before.
The adage that “When you take one step, God takes two,” held true and thus began our indelible journey. We found the perfect adoption agency; met an online support group of multicultural adoptive parents of Ethiopian children, and prepared for our travel abroad. Yet nothing seemed real until we arrived at our children’s residence and they ran straight into our waiting arms.
I can’t comment on why Oprah built a school in South Africa or what Madonna and Angelina’s agendas were regarding African children. I only know that unconditional love has no geographic boundaries or borders. The most important decisions made in our lifetimes are usually those that come from the heart.