I was heading to visit my mom on a quiet and unusually warm November evening when I first heard and then saw a large V-shaped group of cranes heading towards south. My husband and I were wishing and working on becoming a family of three for the previous six years. I was in the middle of fertility treatment during this time, so I made a wish to become pregnant and to have a baby by the following November.
The whole treatment meant a great physical and emotional rollercoaster for me. Apart from that, it didn’t work and when I heard the next group of cranes in the warm December that year heading towards warmer lands, I started blaming them for not making my wish come true.
There was a possibility to do the whole fertility procedure again and again, but the six years of constant coordination of our intimate life and our life in general towards the wish of our own child has worn me down.
On the day the eggs were taken and on the day of the insemination we could see the other couples in the waiting and recovery rooms doing the same thing, following their dream to have a child. And I was extremely shocked to see a couple who did the treatment several times and who were doing the current one like robots. They were so estranged from each other and appeared so depressed, that I suddenly knew that I didn’t want this to happen to us. I was already feeling reluctance in all that “you must do this and that, otherwise you will not get what you wish” in respect to having a child. I loved my husband and I didn’t want the baby wish to bring us apart. And I somehow felt that we had to stop.
Wishing me and us only the best, my husband supported me in my wish to stop trying in getting me pregnant with medical help. We didn’t exclude to change our minds later, but we decided not to follow the “fertilization path” at least for a while. We decided to take another way to become a family. We decided to apply for adoption.
Adoption is a special topic in my family. My father was an orphan of the World War II and spent all his conscious childhood in orphanages and boarding schools. Shortly after the war, there was a wave of adoptions and along with other children, my father was desperate to be adopted and become a member of a real family. He borrowed newer clothes from other kids to look better and smarter, but he was too skinny and too small and many potential parents were afraid to adopt a weak child during those hard times.
Long after his death, my mother, my sister, my niece and I used to visit orphanages and bring sweets to children there on the anniversaries of my father’s birthday and death.
So, adoption for us was meant not only to give us a family but to bring a child and us, both needing it badly, together and give us all a gift of a family. My husband and I craved for two things: to see and to witness a child growing and to give to him or her all the knowledge and love and humanity that were given to us by our families, friends and role models.
Before going for adoption, we went for a two-week vacation on La Palma, a Canary Island, where six years earlier we spent our honeymoon. We had an absolutely great and recharging time. And we were to find out later how good this time and place was for and to us.
We came back home, and just before getting the latest versions of the forms for applying for adoption I felt strangely sick. Strangely because I had suddenly aversion against my favorite drink and one of my favorite meals of all time: coffee and chicken. So without actually believing in a positive outcome I made a pregnancy test. I came with a shocked expression on my face out of our bathroom. My husband, Michael, who bought the test for me, has misinterpreted it as disappointment, which happened many times before, and said with sympathy and warmth in his eyes: “It’s negative, isn’t it?”
“No, it’s positive”, I whispered incredulously. I threw the test away, but ran to the bin several times to check whether it was really positive. I even took a picture of it and asked Michael whether he has also seen it as being positive. I think Michael was the first of us two to realize that this was really happening. Even though I called our families and reported the good news, I was still somehow afraid that this was just a dream.
Nine months later, in November, sitting in our living room and rocking my few-weeks old son into sleep I heard the cranes again. In that moment, I remembered how a year before I have been angry with them and sworn not to make wishes anymore, should I hear them again. Of course, none of this was serious and I can prove neither the working nor the nonsense of such wishes and beliefs. But I still felt somehow guilty, because my wish to have my baby until November in that year did come true exactly as I have wished it. I apologized to all crane groups I happened to see or hear that year. I thanked them from all my heart for making my biggest wish come true.
An afterward by the author:
This story triggered me researching a bit about cranes, and it looks like that they are indeed migrating from Russia, Finland and other Scandinavian countries to warmer places in November and sometimes even stay longer or over winter in some regions. I found the following page very interesting: http://www.thegreatcraneproject.org.uk/