Jess’ Story

Jess and her son

Jess and her son

Originally published on the blog for Without Child, The Advanced Maternal Age Project brings our audience a unique story of motherhood.

I knew well before I met my husband that I would have trouble conceiving.

I found out in my early twenties that I had PCOS, making conception a challenge. After divorcing my college sweetheart after a four-year starter marriage, I started to stock away money just in case I never met Mr. Right.

I knew I wanted to be a mother, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be someone’s wife again.

So, I made a plan; an adoption plan.

A few of my friends had adopted children from Guatemala. The children were healthy and the parents were happy. I wanted to be a mother, so adoption seemed like the right choice for me as a single woman.

I set my mind on adopting a baby from Guatemala as soon as I had enough money saved for the entire process.

A couple of years later, when I had almost met my adoption goal, I found Mr. Right and got married. We immediately attempted to start our family the old fashioned way. It didn’t work.

After years of infertility treatments and pregnancy loss, we decided to stop trying and make a new plan. At first we considered surrogacy. Then we decided to let go of our genetics (easier said than done for many, including my husband) and begin the adoption process.

Although rare, it was relatively easy for me to transition from infertility and loss to adoption.

I had made that decision years before and even had my adoption savings still in the bank “just in case” adoption would become our path.

I never felt a strong attachment to my genes or the need to pass them along. My sister did a lovely job of that for our family.

Having lost a baby in the beginning of my third trimester was a major factor in my ability to move forward with adoption. The odds of losing another baby were high for me and I had zero interest in going through that again.

I wanted and needed to know that there would be a baby at the end of whatever road we chose.

Adoption offered the best odds to ensure that would happen.

As for my husband and his family, giving up on having a biological child was a challenge to say the least. Being an only child, he felt a huge responsibility to pass on his genes along with his family name.

For him, adoption meant the end of his family’s Danish heritage and bloodline. There was an extreme finality to our decision that affected him deeply. Therefore, committing to the process took him much longer.

I don’t think he was truly convinced that we made the right decision until we met our son and he showed the fighting spirit, resilience, strength, and intelligence that surpassed either of our gene pools.

My son is our child – without a doubt.

He has a fabulous sense of humor. He loves robots (like my husband) and wants to play the guitar (like me). He is my right hand man in the kitchen and loves trail running with my husband. He is like us in so many ways.

And parenting him is just as challenging, rewarding, exhausting, and amazing no matter whose blood is pumping through is little body.

Transracial parenting does come with its ups and downs, which is a topic for a future post. But for the most part, the day to day parenting is exactly the same no matter if a child is adopted or not.

Bottom line: it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had and it makes me constantly question my decisions, intelligence, and abilities…and I love it!

People tell me and my husband all the time how lucky our son is to have loving parents, a safe home, and an endless supply of nutritious food at his disposal. We typically reply, “We are the lucky ones!”

If you are reading this and contemplating adoption as your next step toward parenthood, perhaps one day you will look into the face of a child that looks nothing like you and hear the word, “Mama” or “Dada”, and feel like the luckiest person on the face of the earth.

Jess Pedersen is a health coach, amateur guitarist, lover of words, part-time marketing guru, and addict of real wholesome tasty food. She also loves to help all women find and nourish their inner Mama, is a contributor to this website and writes for her own, She is on Facebook, and on Twitter via @BeMamaBeWell.

Share your own story.