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Rosemary McDonough and FamilyWe’ve all had the experience of taking a long-awaited trip. You want to get to your destination as quickly as possible, because you have so many plans. But look! There’s construction ahead. The road is closed, and the traffic is detouring to who-knows-where. Now what?

Sometimes, though, that detour takes us along the scenic route. We didn’t plan to go this way, but what a lovely road it is. If we’d gone the way we’d intended, we would have missed these sights. We would have had a different journey. Thirty years earlier, my own parents had been plagued by infertility. Like my husband and me, they never found out what was wrong. So they adopted me instead.

That’s how adoption worked for us.

I won’t pretend it was easy. It wasn’t. My doctor prodded my body, but adoption prods your soul. Is your marriage strong enough? Are you financially secure? Can you tell the social worker (in 1,000 words, double-spaced, please,) why you think you’ll make a good parent?

Often, the adoption process was as difficult as the medical procedures that had preceded it. But, armed now with a new road map, I felt my faith rekindle. My oldest friend, a mother of four, kept that faith alive by assuring me, “Somewhere on this earth is a baby with your name on it.”

And so my husband and I said goodbye to the temperature charts and the fertility drugs and the insurance company paperwork. We got off the pregnancy superhighway and took the quiet country road to adoption. Our travels took us as near as our hometown adoption agency, and as far as a continent 5,000 miles away. And when we met our baby girl in Philadelphia, and then, our baby boy in Chile, I felt a sense of joy and completeness that no other experience in life had ever brought me.

I was finally a mother, but there was something more. I was also taking part in the loving option of adoption. I could now give back to my adopted children the love I had received as an adopted child. Suddenly, no other road to parenthood made sense to me. This was the trip I was meant to take.