Editor’s Note: IAC’s hopeful waiting adoptive parent, Ana Ogilvie, shares how her and her husband never gave up on trying in the face of adversity.
My husband, David, and I have a love affair with TRYING. No matter the disappointment, we have always found ways to pick ourselves up from the fall, grasp hands in the dark, and put the puzzle pieces of our life back together again. Even I’m not sure how we do it much of the time, but we do. It’s a gift we share and one neither of us takes for granted. This is not to say that this seemingly “innate” ability to recover from tremendous loss isn’t very hard work, because it is. In fact, it’s utterly soul-grinding. But somehow, we survive with our ability to hope, imagine, and believe still intact. We can always find one more new way to keep on trying for the things that are most important to us. I know in my heart of hearts, that building our family is our try of a lifetime.
So far, creating our family has been a marathon of experiences, with many “ins and outs and what-have-yous” to quote “The Dude.” Where and how we’ve focused our efforts has changed a lot over time and circumstance. Like so many others, we began our journey unable to conceive on our own. We practically beat down the doors of our nearby university infertility clinic by the time that year was up. We needed help and we knew it. We were so hopeful and it was so easy for “tryers” like David and I to wholeheartedly embrace all the procedures, calendars, injections, and instructions. We believed it could work. But with all of this hopeful action and “doing,” came the inevitable passage of time and constant doubt.
I experienced a whole slew of intense negative emotions like isolation, jealousy, and self-absorption to name a few. Things I can say I never felt before. I don’t regret this time because it paved the way to our daughter, Molly, and it constituted a momentous chapter in our life story. However, I realize it was also a time when we lost very important parts of ourselves as well; the lovely parts that made us, US. By the time we experienced our fourth pregnancy that ended with a third and final loss, we were devastated and we were done. We wanted OUT.
I cannot describe the depth of love we feel for our Molly; she is our dream come true. But in our very deepest core, we know she is not the only child who lives in our hearts. We closed the doors of the infertility clinic one final time and with a great heaving sigh of relief, we set forth on a new journey: Open Adoption.
It’s amazing how a simple phrase like “open adoption” can embody so many emotions and so much hope: for your life, your family’s life, a birthmother’s life, and the lives of many others. Talk about a shift in gears. David’s and my definition of “trying” was instantly re-framed the moment we left the IAC office after our very first orientation meeting. Outside in the hallway, we locked eyes with each other at once, did a quick check to make sure no one else was around, and gave each other the biggest, high-flying high-five EVER. I’ll never forget what David said at that moment. He said “SLAM DUNK.” And it was. We wanted this. We wanted free from the shackles of infertility and pregnancy; we wanted to be free to breathe. And, we wanted to be free to love, to hope, to imagine, to believe again. Open adoption was it.
Whatever this journey requires; we will do. We will try our very best. And I’ll tell you, this kind of “trying” has been a gift for us. It has allowed us to find those lovely parts of ourselves again. It’s been about thinking of others before ourselves, and reaching out to accept help from loved ones, new friends, and strangers, then turning around to offer it back again. It’s been about rediscovering the innate goodness in all people and humbly walking miles in another person’s shoes. This process has encouraged us to get BIG, BIGGER, and hopefully, become the BIGGEST we’ve ever been. All I have to say is… thank goodness.
David’s and my legacy to our children will be “TRY your very best with everything you do. Try even harder for the things that mean the world to you. And never give up on your dreams. We didn’t, and we found YOU.”
To learn more about Ana & David you can visit their iheartadoption profile