US: Take my hand
''After several years of failed attempts to conceive and unsuccessful fertility treatments, we decided to become a family in a non-traditional way. That’s when we turned to Québec’s mixed bank program, available through the Direction de la protection de la jeunesse (Department of Youth Protection). Under this program, children at high risk of being put up for adoption because of their family situation are first placed with a foster family for approximately two years. After monitoring the situation over that period, the authorities then decide whether the child will be returned to their biological family or adopted by the foster family.
It was a very long journey in which patience was a virtue. In our case, we were given a precious baby girl to foster. I rocked her, cuddled her and loved her. But, after a few months of lavishing all our love and affection on her, the daughter we’d conceived in our hearts was sent back to her birth family. To say we were completely devastated is an understatement. Losing the child we’d been waiting for all those years broke our hearts. I can’t even begin to explain what it’s like to grieve someone who is still alive. It was all we could do not to go looking for her. Our daughter. Hers and mine.
To try to cope with our grief, my partner and I rolled up our sleeves and decided to create a silver lining in the all storm clouds: We got married in front of all our family and friends. Then, because the need to have a child is often too powerful to resist, we put our names back on the list for another precious bundle, this time hoping for the perfect match.
One beautiful summer evening, the call finally came. A gorgeous 6-day-old baby boy was waiting for us at the hospital. We were beyond excited, of course, but also a little hesitant and terrified of getting attached and loving another child unconditionally, only to have them taken away again. But, through the miracle of adoption, this tiny being would become our son, this time for life. That’s when I discovered babywearing and Dahlia wraps. I decided that even though I hadn’t actually conceived this tiny creature, I would carry him nonetheless, just in a different way. I would bond with him as much as possible and feel him breathing, nestled next to my heart every minute of the day. His arrival, and all the time I spent cuddling him and listening to his heartbeat, are what saved me&mdash what saved a mother who had lost a daughter the year before, and who had regretted ever since not holding her in my arms more, not rocking her more. With my son, I’ll never have to wonder if I could have done “more,” because thanks to my magic wraps, I’m treasuring every moment we spend together, tenderly rocking him to the sound of my heartbeat. Each of my wraps has a story. For example, today I’m wearing my son in a Dahlia wrap embroidered with something of his “forever” sister. ''