I stepped through a door and became a mother. There was no pushing on my part. There was no surgery. There were just years of trying, changing, hoping, and heart-breaking, the labor of adoption, but there was no physical change or birthing process. Without the physical challenge of birth there was no build-up. The only difference between one moment and the next was the baby in my arms. It was the most surreal moment of my life. When you imagine something a million times a day for five years, you start to believe that it can’t really happen outside your head. And then it does. And it is going to change everything. You’d think there would be a ceremony or something, a Lion King moment if you will. Instead the moment is quiet. The brave woman who did go through the physical labor whispered to our son, “Look, it’s your mom and dad,” and she placed him in my arms. It will always be the strongest act of love I will ever witness. Through my tears I managed to whisper, “Thank you.” Then because it is the way of adoption, I turned away from her and her pain to join my husband in our joy.
Perhaps not all ceremonies need be showy.