Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest Post: Why Adoption Isn't A Consolation Prize

Today we welcome The Daily Grind's first Guest Poster, Angel La Liberte from FlowerPowerMom.

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Why Adoption Isn't A Consolation Prize
By Angel La Liberte, Founder—The Truth About Motherhood After 40
A Child After 40—a free online community and expert forums empowering women on the journey of motherhood after 40. 

A newlywed at 40, Sharon Simons never imagined the thorny path to motherhood would lead her to the Arctic reaches of Dr. Zhivago’s Siberia.

Who would willingly go there, in any case? Like the Eagles’ Hotel California, it’s infamous for being a sinister place where few ever leave.

Ultimately, however, the journey would lead her to a life-changing decision to aid other women who face fertility challenges on the road to parenthood.

But Simons—now 45, married to a doctor and living in Delaware, Maryland—started out with a completely different dream.

She had married in her 20’s and later divorced—an increasingly common conjugal phenomenon, known to wreak havoc with anxiety over women’s bio clocks.

It wasn’t until she was 39, and a successful Marketing Director in the insurance industry, that Simons met her “soul mate” in 2005.

The couple planned to get married and—despite Dr. Simons’ vasectomy—hoped for a family.

After a sperm extraction procedure, Sharon Simons had her first IVF treatment the week following her 40th birthday and became pregnant with twins.

In December 2006, the doctor and the expectant mother met at the proverbial altar to say their vows.

They were jubilant.
 “Everything was going great!” says Simons.

But 19 weeks into the pregnancy, she was rushed to the hospital emergency room. Physicians told her she had a “serious infection” and was “going to lose the babies” and they “needed to induce labor”.

“I woke up two days later with a breathing tube, a c-section scar, and no babies”, she recalls.
She describes it as “the most horrible day of my life” and says that her two lost boys then became her “angels.”

“I pushed through every day, even though the birth of Suri Cruise’s baby was making headlines,” she adds.

Unwilling to give up, the Simons went ahead with two more IVF treatments—which lead to a tubal pregnancy, followed by a failed cycle.

“We started thinking about adoption,” says Simons.
“I remember feeling at that moment, I was determined to become a mom!”

After researching the internet, Simons “went with her gut” and chose an adoption agency she felt was right for them.

“The next month, we were on a plane to Siberia, Russia,” she continues.
“Two months after that, I brought my sons home: Hunter Sergey, 16 months old and Dylan Dimitry, 23 months old.”

“It was a miracle how quickly it happened—I remember thinking my two angels sent me these two boys, and our family was born.”

Simons was so profoundly moved by her experience that she launched a new website, Mom At Last to aid women suffering with infertility, going through IVF, or thinking about adoption.

“My vision is to create a perfect place where women can get information and share stories on the many journeys women take before, during and after motherhood.”

Moreover, now 45—and her sons aged 5 and 4—Simons has packed some over-40 mom parenting under her belt.

“I did all the fun stuff in my 20’s and 30’s  and I am 100% ready to devote everything to my boys,” she says.

“I feel I appreciate my kids more everyday because I have struggled to become a mom.”

And the downside to being older: “Although I am more tired than ever before, I go to that place of emptiness when I lost my twins to remember how much I wanted this—it gives me more energy.”

But one of her key messages is about adoption which she feels is not a substitute for biological birth—it is simply another path to motherhood.

“Motherhood is possible at any age and adoption can make that happen,” she says.

“’Adoption’ is just a word—when you hold a child in your arms, no matter how they came to be your child, it is then you understand.”

According to Sharon Simons, the real truth about adoption is far from the cliché that most people have been led to believe:

“Many will say that when you adopt, you save a child.”

“The truth is that the child will save you.”

Notes for this blog:
Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (, a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40. 

Thank you Angel! Are you a mother over 40? How did your journey to adoption begin? 

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