After becoming impatient at the GYN, so I went out and listened at her door
After I overheard her speak of a diagnosis, and thinking, “Wow. Glad that isn’t me!”
After finding out that it was me
After being told words like hermaphrodite and transsexual
After being told I might be male; and wondering if I was male. And gay.
After being told my chromosomes were female, but I could choose
After being told I needed to be a lesbian, because I wanted to be a mother
After deciding I wanted to marry a man
After hearing that God’s plan for women was only to be mothers
After knowing that was a lie.
After I decided I wanted to be a mother
After a friend offered to be a surrogate
After being dumped by an RM because I could not give him natural children
After dumping a boyfriend who was not open to adopting outside of his ethnicity
After another friend offered to be a surrogate
After a gay man proposed, because he wanted to be a parent.
After I decided that I wanted sex with marriage, so said no.
After marrying someone else. And divorcing.
After again questioning my womanhood because of the desire to have children.
After accepting that I am enough
After a boyfriend said we should adopt from China.
After he became a fiancé and said this was our problem together.
After marrying him.
After yet another friend offered to be a surrogate.
After going to India for IVF and surrogacy.
After coming home childless.
After two women seeking huge financial retribution offered to be surrogates.
After we said “no, thank you” to them.
After a fourth friend offered to be a surrogate for us.
After going through IVF three more times.
After feeling the warmth of Exponent prayers– more powerful than I have ever felt before. Or since.
After going through two more surrogacy transfers.
And still being childless.
After my beloved giraffe blanket arrived, and brought me back to life.
After being told a family wanted to give away some kids, and thinking the situation too volatile.
After deciding to call the police and leave the situation to them.
After hearing a voice tell me that those children were mine. So I didn’t call the police.
After I took these beaten girls home with me.
After a thousand angry, belittling, menacing text messages from the monsters.
After fearing daily the girls would be lost to us.
After contacting the birth mother, and finding her to be an angel.
After we found the attorney.
After two more giraffe blankets came to heal the girls from the monsters. And it worked.
After the birth mother signed over her rights.
After menacing monsters and apathetic courts with flexible, disinterested schedules.
After finally legally excluding the monsters from our lives.
After a very long four more weeks.
After the birth mother arrived at court to plea for the girls to stay with us.
After the birth father failed to show up to contest our application.