This year, Erin became a single mom with the finalization of her adoption of Hazel. As a pediatrician, there was alot of knowledge about parenting and children that Erin came into motherhood with. She also understood the challenges of committing to being the sole full-time caregiver and parent of a child. Yet, there were still so many adoption and parenting unknowns that Erin would have to learn through the process and through her support system.
When Erin felt that her life and career were in a position that would allow her to become a mother, she decided to begin her adoption process. She didn’t know much about the process but did know that it could be lengthy and expensive. While both of these things are true and stressful, there are also so many unknowns and alot of unpredictability throughout the adoption process. Regardless, Erin says that the process is worth it for the end result. “I would do it again in a heartbeat to get my little girl!”
For parents hoping to adopt, Erin encourages them to stay positive and be patient. “It’s stressful and sometimes feels like it’s never going to happen but there is a child out there who will make it all worth it. And it only takes one child to make a match, the right one!”
For Erin, that child is Hazel. Throughout the adoption process, Erin stayed very cautious, even after seeing her beautiful child for the first time. “I was still guarded at that point trying not to get too attached because of all the uncertainty and things that could go wrong, but I was hopeful. The next morning when the adoption papers were signed and her birth parents released her to my care, I cried tears of joy, and relief and all that stress from the journey slowly started to melt away.”
Becoming a single mom to Hazel has been everything she hoped for and more. “You hear about how the love of your own child is different and unconditional but you don’t really understand until you go through it. I love this girl more than I ever could have imagined and it happened instantly and deeply. When she smiles and laughs, my heart explodes with love. When she cries in pain, my heart shatters. She’s mine and I’m hers, forever.”
While raising Hazel as a single parent, Erin is not alone. Her parents and her sister (who is a mother twice over) are great role models and support for her in motherhood. Her coworkers and patients (and their parents) have been very supportive and expressive of their happiness for Erin, as well. In addition, Erin sees a mental health counselor regularly. She believes self-care is an indispensable part of parenthood to benefit both herself and her child.
Hazel’s adoption is open to semi-open. Erin has set up an email account for Hazel’s birth parents to access when and if they are ready to communicate and watch their child grow in a happy life with Erin. Erin hopes Hazel’s birth parents will choose to communicate. She wants Hazel to learn more about them at some point in the future, and therefore learn more about herself. She also wants Hazel to understand the loving and courageous, but difficult, decisions parents sometimes have to make.
“I want her to understand that I love her more than anything and she is my dream come true, that her birth parents have their own struggles and loved her enough to want someone who could provide for her, to be her mom, and love her too. And I want her to know her parents made an impossible choice to let me take care of her because they knew they couldn’t and that her happiness and well-being was the most important thing to them. That’s a huge life lesson, to know our limits and when to ask for help.”
Are you considering adoption? You can read more about the adoption and placement process for expecting and birth mothers here. Learn more about our home study services and adoption process for hopeful families here. Need help now? Call or text anytime to talk to an adoption counselor: (317) 964-3365, or fill out an inquiry.