Well, my journey began quite some time ago. I have been married, very happily, for the last, almost 18 years and to a great guy and an amazing husband and obviously, as our marriage progressed, we were keen to start a family and when we embarked on that journey, I found out that I actually have a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is actually quite common and which has many complications and one being it has fertility issues; it prevents you from falling pregnant naturally. I was quite devastated, it was quite a difficult thing for me to accept at that point in my life because I very desperately wanted to be a mother, it was… you know, always part of my life to have children and I obviously took the necessary steps to remedy the situation and I found that… you know, all the steps that I did take and the treatments and so on that I undertook, unfortunately did not result in a pregnancy and obviously it was very frustrating, it was depressing and it certainly did take a toll on my marriage. Although, my husband never made me feel inferior, he never blamed me for, you know, our current situation and I must say I was very grateful for that. However, we obviously still longed to be parents and… you know, we decided to pray about it. We are Christians and we knew that God had a plan for us and I must say at this point I was never willing to accept that I wasn’t going to be a mother and I think when you make that decision, the universe conspires to make things happen for you, so to speak, and I was never ever willing to accept – to be defeated that this goal of being a mother would not be realised. So our journey took us in a different direction. We decided at that point that… you know, maybe God does have a different plan and purpose for us and my husband and I actually decided to become volunteers at an orphanage and from the moment we actually stepped into that orphanage the first day, bearing gifts for those babies, our lives really changed forever and I must say that it actually changed for the better and as I recall, spending those precious moments with those babies, I really had, you know – it was like a lightbulb moment for me almost that you know what, maybe this is what God intends for your life. He intends to take you on a road less travelled because He knows that maybe you are strong enough and you are tough enough to actually accept this challenge that He has for you. He could have given you children, biological children, but maybe He chose not to because He has a different plan and the more I prayed about it and the more I dwelled on that thought, it began to make sense and from that point on, I really couldn’t stop thinking about anything else. I realised that, you know, adoption was for me and my husband and I, shortly thereafter, started the process to become adoptive parents, to adopt a baby and it was a tough process throughout, with a lot of challenges – as it should be, because obviously there’s a life that is being entrusted into your care and obviously we ticked all the boxes correctly and eventually, on the 2nd of August 2013, my husband and I officially became parents and that was the day I officially became a mother to Zoe, who was 8 months old, at the time she was 8 months old, she’s now 5 and a half, and it was really the most amazing day of my life and I celebrate it every year; the day I became a mom and… what I can say is that; being pregnant does not make you a mother, giving birth does not make you a mother at all, that’s something that I’ve come to realise; that you do not have to go through the physical act of giving birth to become a mother. I didn’t, but I can assure, everyone listening to this message, that I am very much a mother and I would really die for my child and as much as I may not have given birth to her, I believe that she was created in my heart and I love her and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can speak about her for days on end and I can scream from the mountain tops about what she has done for me and as much as people may think that when you adopt a baby, you are changing that child’s life forever and you are some kind of hero, but really it’s the child that should take all the credit, because she has changed my life for the better and I can call myself a mom and when I look at her, I can only marvel at the joy and when she calls me ‘mom’ it’s the best feeling ever because I know she’s mine. Thank you.
Jayshree Tell us a little bit about her journey to adoption