If I could sum up my journey to motherhood in one simple anecdote it would be this… Today I am wearing a T-shirt that says "mom life is the best life" and it is covered in blood. The blood is my own, due to a raging nosebleed, but I took one look at myself in the mirror earlier, mom bun, running mascara, and blood covered cutesy T-shirt and it seemed to be a manifestation of what I know to be true. This is not the life I had planned, but thank God this is the life I was given.
Prior to motherhood my life was what fairy tales are made of. I grew up in a happy home with two loving parents and a whole host of siblings, cousins and friends. Adoption was something that was on my heart very early in life and I hoped to have a big mixed brood of biological and adopted children. This was quite radical for a little southern girl growing up in pre-Jolie-Pitt America, but I married a man who shared my hopes and we set out to create our perfect family. Step one: biological children.
After 2 1/2 years of trying, failing, denying there was a problem, trying some more, crying a lot and having full-blown meltdowns, we sought out fertility testing and were surprised to learn that day that we were expecting our first child. That child, however, would not come to be. After a late first trimester miscarriage and several rounds of fertility treatments we sought out adoption and discovered the desperate need for foster and adoptive parents in our own community. What we didn't do was share our struggles with anyone else. Only a few of our friends and family members had known about the pregnancy or that we had done fertility treatments so we kept that part of our journey a secret. In hindsight I can think of many reasons why I didn't share what we had experienced but the first and foremost was that I wasn't ready to talk about it. Infertility turned me into a person that I didn't like and didn't want to deal with any longer. I was hurt and angry and frustrated with the entire world. I felt that if I owned our infertility than that meant we were closing a door on a chapter of our lives that I wasn't ready to say goodbye to yet. I needed a family. I needed a baby. I didn't want to be a sad person for others to pity.
My greatest fear in speaking about infertility was for my children. I never wanted them to think they were an afterthought or my second choice. If anything, they were my first choice. Adoption was in my blood. Long before I had a home study, or filled out paperwork, or even knew their father, I knew that one day they would be mine. I dreamed of their faces, their names, where they would come from. I began to fear deeply that my failure to produce a biological child would somehow invalidate all that we felt for them. For my sweet babies to experience anymore pain or rejection than they had already been through was something I just couldn't allow, so I avoided all questions about our plans to have biological children.
I know now that infertility doesn't define our life or our family, and that also gave me the freedom to believe that adoption doesn't define us either. They are ours and we are theirs. Infertility was just part of the path that led us where we needed to be. If our original plan had worked out we would've still sought adoption but the timing wouldn't have been right for the kids God had for me. Today I am the smeared makeup, bloodstained, hot mess mom of three smart, beautiful, funny babies. They challenge me, teach me and encourage me to be the mom that they deserve. We try and fail and forgive and grow. If it weren't for my infertility I would've missed out on the most beautiful part of my life and that alone is worth shouting from the rooftops. There is no shame, doubt or fear anymore. For me, mom life IS the best life and I'm thankful that I'm here, and proud of how we got here.
Kendall and her husband of four years live in Texas with their three (soon to be adopted!) kids. When she's not working as a hairstylist and SAHM she enjoys cooking, book clubbing and drinking coffee. Keep up with her adventures on Instagram .