Today’s blog is from Kathy Ryan, who shares her story of how her blended family came into being. From the Bronx to Russia, with a few theme parks in between, Kathy can say for sure that Motherhood Really Does Come in All Forms! Read on…
Motherhood Comes in All Forms
I had always dreamed of being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I was very career oriented and focused to become a successful, independent woman. I grew up with a mom who, while raising 4 kids, went back to school to get her undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees! Being driven was instilled in us by example, from early on.
When I married in 1989 at the age of 27 I never anticipated that I may have difficulty having a biological child. After five years of unsuccessful trying, doctors, fertility drugs and being on the emotional roller-coaster, I stopped the madness. The last straw came when I was undergoing IVF and had to go to the doctor’s daily for blood monitoring while being pumped full of drugs. A nurse mistakenly put the needle through the vein and I was done. I got up, walked out of the office, never to return.
However, the dream of having a child never left. My husband at the time did not want to adopt. Eventually our marriage broke up. I began dating a man who was himself adopted and when talk of marriage and children came up, was also not open to adoption. That relationship ended soon after.
I filled the “child” void by becoming a “Fresh Air Fund” host mom. I became close with two families from the Bronx who had two boys each. The four boys and I had so many amazing adventures together. We took vacations, went to theme parks, celebrated Halloween and birthdays, etc. I loved these boys as if they were my own.
On my 42nd birthday I took stock and although I was independent, successful and well-traveled, the mom piece was still missing. I decided that I would adopt a child on my own, why did I have to wait for the “right” partner?
I took adoption classes and filled all the agency forms out. However, I did not mail them. They sat on my desk for a couple of days. Something was telling me not to mail them. While taking a walk in NYC with my dogs, a woman and her two girls stopped me to ask if her girls could pet my dogs. She proceeded to tell me that she had just adopted these two beautiful girls from Romania and that she was a single mom. She explained that she adopted older girls because all of the babies get adopted but the kids over 5 have virtually no chance of finding a permanent home. She provided me with the website information for Rainbow kids, where she found her girls. I immediately went home and logged on to find thousands of kids waiting to be adopted. I was so overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing, I just turned the computer off. The next day I prayed before I went on the site, and after 5 minutes I saw a picture of the most beautiful 5 year old girl. I immediately knew this was my daughter. I called the agency and said I wanted her and that I was ready to go.
While adopting Vika I found out she had brothers. I did not adopt the brothers but we go to Russia to visit and they have travelled here. We are very close to her family and call them part of our family.
Seven years later, adopting Vika remains the best decision I have ever made. She is interesting, funny, smart and happy… an absolute delight! It wasn’t always easy, as the first two years were a big adjustment period for both of us. I believe we were meant to be together. I now understand why I had fertility issues. Infertility lead me Vika.
In addition to myself and my daughter, we have our extended family of Vika’s two brothers and our four boys from the Bronx who visit regularly. We are blessed and grateful for our blended family.
Motherhood truly comes in all forms.