Therese Goshorn is a former teacher. I bonded with Therese on the sidelines of freezing cold Friday night soccer games. As our daughters lurched around the soccer field we laughed and joked and sometimes missed vital point scores ’cause we were talking. Therese and her husband have a beautiful relationship with their girls. There is a lot of love, humour and openness on display. When I asked Therese to write for this series she was reluctant because she is not “a writer”, and then she went on to produce a beautiful piece giving a lovely tribute to the women who gave birth to her daughters.
Our girls are 12 and 15 years old. They have long, thick, dark hair, almost black eyes and beautiful brown skin. They dance with an internal rhythm, laugh joyfully and loudly, and push us, in their teenage-hood, to our wits end!
My journey to motherhood began over 20 years ago and was to take a course way different from the one that my husband and I set out on. We were keen to start our family and after nearly three years we were overjoyed to discover that we were expecting. We very quickly formed an attachment to the dream of our future child.
Our family and friends were of comfort to us when we lost our first, and then a year later, our second child, through miscarriage.
My mum saw an article in the local paper advising an information afternoon for people considering overseas adoption. We went along and met families whose stories got us thinking….
We learned that in order to adopt from overseas we must first be “approved” by the Department of Community Services. This was a roller coaster journey of emotions, attending seminars, filling out loads of paperwork, undergoing police criminal checks and fingerprinting as well as ongoing interviews with social workers who would assess us as suitable parents. Lucky for us there were no major concerns and after about 18 months we got the go ahead to send our papers to Colombia.
We share parenthood with our girls’ other families, the people who hold their genetic code and biological blood. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “What happened to their real parents?” As I see it, we’re all their real parents.
Our girls have pictures of their birth mums. We see them on a daily basis. We talk about them by name. We’ve read the letters that they prepared for their daughters. They are not strangers, even though we have never met. The names we call our girls are the names their birth mums gave them. The hopes and dreams that they had for their girls are the same ones that we have – that they be happy, confident and never know want.
I share Mother’s Day with two other women who live a continent and several time zones away. I will think about them on Sunday. I wish them peace, and offer them thanks for allowing me the privilege of sharing the title Mum with them.
Have you been involved in an overseas adoption? Please feel free to share your experience.