Louise’s story celebrates adoption and the great lengths some people go to in order to find the family they long for. Louise, unable to have children of her own, went all the way to Nepal to adopt her daughter. And as Louise herself says, it took her years to meet Marika but only moments to fall in love with her. Louise loved the Fabulous photoshoot and was pleased that we were able to give her copies of the pictures for her collection. The story later appeared in Bon Marche magazine too.
Louise’s heart broke every time another friend announced another pregnancy. She felt was was being left behind. But good things come to those who wait…
“Every time I found myself in M&S buying another babygro for another baby shower, because another friend had announced another pregnancy, it was all I could do to hold back the tears. Sometimes I’d just cry there and then.
Paul and I have been together since we were 18. We knew we’d be unable to have children – I had polycystic ovaries and was told I’d never get past fertilisation. We tried fertility drugs – they played havoc with my emotions. Everyone I knew was capable of getting pregnant – but not me. I felt broken.
We agreed adoption was the best option.
I had worked in Nepal and knew that there were so many babies out there who were destined for a life of poverty and famine. Orphanages were over crowded and often, older kids were put out on the streets to make room for babies.
For six years, we filled out paperwork and nearly got a child, before one reason or another had the process start all over again.
In June 2011, we were suddenly sent a photograph of a baby.
‘You’ve been matched,’ the email said.
I could hardly believe my eyes – I ran around my office in tears, showing everyone my baby.
We were told we had two weeks to pick her up. After waiting six years, we suddenly had no time at all to baby proof our house and buy everything we’d need.
We flew out to Nepal and waited anxiously to meet Marika.
The first time she laid on my chest and fell asleep, I felt happier than I’d ever known. I knew Marika would make our lives complete.
We put an advert in the local paper asking her family to come forward. It broke my heart but I knew I’d rather finance Marika’s birth family to care for her than take her away, if they wanted her. And at least then when she is older, if she asks, we can assure her we tried to find her family. But no one came forward. All we know is her mum took her to a hospital when she was one day old and left her there. Marika deserved all the love we were able to give her.
By August 2011, the paperwork and visas were all sorted. We ended up spending £20,000 adopting Marika, in visas and orphanage fees, as well as paying both governments.
When we flew home from Nepal with Marika, there were sackfuls of baby clothes waiting for me – my girlfriends had delivered them while we were away. Inside were all the babygros and baby clothes I’d bought their kids all those years before. They’d saved them all for me.
‘We knew your time would come!’ they said.
My friends had never given up hope. It took me back to my meltdown in M&S, all the pain and desperation. I wished that I had known then that one day, my own little girl would be wearing those clothes.