Hi! I’m Elise. My journey to and through motherhood has been more different than I could have ever imagined. There have been more up’s and down’s than I knew possible. If someone would’ve told me what my story to motherhood would entail, I don’t know if i would have believed them. But despite the turbulence, I wouldn’t change who I have become because of it. And I definitely wouldn’t be the mom I am without it.
My husband and I dealt with infertility which ultimately led us to do IVF. A grueling experience that is not for the faint of mind, body or heart. Infertility is such a polarizing and isolating experience. You feel cut off from the rest of the world. It feels as though you are watching everyone’s lives pass by you, as yours is stuck at a standstill. For my husband and I, IVF was successful and we became pregnant with twins. A boy and a girl. We were beyond excited. We were planning our futures as a family. Thinking about who we thought they would become. Their personalities. Their likes and dislikes. Their laughs. Unfortunately, I went into preterm labor at just shy of 22 weeks and gave birth to our son and daughter. They both lived long enough for us to say hello and then goodbye. And just like that, all of our plans came crashing down. It felt as though, in an instant, I became someone else. I never knew such pain. For months and months and months, I had never experienced such heartache and longing. I never knew such utter darkness could exist while I was existing. Through the grieving, I continued to pray and hope and hold onto the feeling of wanting to become a Mother (to children on this earth). Through the grief, we felt emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually led to grow our family through adoption. The process was long. It was no easier than infertility. It was heart wrenching and frustrating. It was filled with scammers, an unexpected death of a darling expectant Mother, court hearings and a fight of a lifetime to adopt a little boy who we named Ezra Mookie Harris. Since the moment I met my son, a week after he was born, my longing to be a mother was completed. Every ounce of my soul was filled with wholeness. My purpose was met. My heart never knew such love.
Through everything, I maintained the mindset that I would not give up. That I WOULD be a mother. There were days that it didn’t seem possible, but even down in the deepest part of my being, I knew I hadn’t come this far to just come this far. Life felt like a wildfire. I felt like I had been burned. Every ounce of me was ash. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was a purpose for why I was experiencing all of this. This fire that was my life felt chaotic and destructive. But the longer the fire burned, the more I realized that fire is necessary. And fire can be good. Underneath the flames lies change and growth. When the fire turned me to ashes, I re-emerged and was restored. I was new. I was ready to be a Mother that was full of life experiences to share. A Mother who would be more empathetic. A Mother who would fight.
Looking back, I can see why. I can see why my journey to motherhood looked different than many peoples whose lives were passing by me. I was being guided to a child I never would’ve met otherwise. I was being guided to MY child.
I am grateful for my journey to and through motherhood. I am proud of who I have become. I am grateful for the relationships that have been built. I am grateful for the bond my husband and I share. I am grateful I’ll be able to see my angels in Heaven one day. And I am grateful for every moment I get to share with my son here on this earth.
Elise and her husband Winston are hoping to continue to grow their family through adoption. They are looking to connect with an expectant mother through the power of social media. Let’s help them spread the word and make Ezra a big bro. Follow + support Elise in their adoption journey on Instagram - @literallyelise