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The first time I met my daughter, I was meditating.

Nine months later, I would cut her umbilical cord, but our first encounter wasn’t physical – it was spiritual. And it came at a time when I really needed love, comfort; assurance that motherhood would happen. Like an angel, she floated into my consciousness, embracing and uplifting me – a bright soul helping a diminished one.

Following my third round of IVF, I went home and nestled in my worn yet comfy chair. I began visualizing healthy embryos implanting, when her name came to me – Dalice. It was so unexpected that I physically jumped, as if I’d been jolted by cosmic energy. Although I had never heard of the name “Dalice” before, I instantly recognized its origin; a blend of my mother’s first and last name – Dorothy Alice.

I remember keeping my eyes closed, because I was experiencing something profound and I wanted it to continue. It was as if I was looking into a beautiful, dark galaxy, with lots of twinkling lights, some subtle, others brilliant, illuminating unimaginable possibilities. I also felt comforted by my deceased mother’s presence. I wanted it to continue.

This extraordinary encounter gave me hope that a child would grow inside of me … beautiful and kind; strong and resourceful; fun, healthy and loving. Distancing me from the many years of hurt.

And then the too familiar, and painful, cramping began, as did my tears. Confusion and doubt, and much sorrow, set in. Yet, through it all, I felt that strong, certain connection with Dalice, like an infant’s tiny fingers gripping my pinky, not letting me go.

It was soon after that I got the call from my friend, Sarah, a woman I had briefly worked with, but whose impact on my life is everlasting. She had just returned from seeing her sister, who had a friend. J. was with child and the timing wasn’t right for her to keep the child. She was exploring her options. Sarah suggested we talk.

Years later, I would learn that whenever J. thought of her second child, she felt incredible peace, the kind that guides you to know you’ve made the right decision. No matter how painful it was. I am in awe of her strength and courage.

I went through a long list of attorneys before I found an ethical one (also a judge) who guided me on how to legally adopt my daughter, without providing money under the table, as one “attorney” had requested. Touched with holiness, Ruth advised me that I didn’t need a lawyer. I just needed to connect with a social service agency that handled adoptions. And so my partnership with J., and journey to motherhood, began.

Not being able to have a child was one of the most painful times in my life. If felt as bad, and was as difficult, as living with my alcoholic mother, and experiencing her death from the disease at 23. Infertility sucked me into a difficult and dark place, like I had tripped into a manhole from which it was hard to ascend. 

The birth of my daughter softened a great deal of that pain. And I am so grateful for that gift. Like a warm, fluffy blanket, I felt cocooned, supported, comforted. But there is still a very tender place in my heart, and I protect it, carefully. It’s like a delicate piece of crystal that needs to remain behind protective glass; seldom touched.

But just as the moon always lights the way out of darkness, my child once again lit a path for me. Right after Christmas, she called to tell me the joyous news that she is pregnant. And understanding my past hurt, she wanted to offer up a gift to me. She proposed documenting everything about her pregnancy so that I too could experience the gift of bringing a child into the world. As I write this, a tear flows down my cheek. When she first shared this gifting act, my bruised heart deflected, not wanting it to shatter.

However, now I feel peace. How beautiful that my child wants to give me the one thing she knows I so longed for. It’s like my fertility journey, and its accompanying grief, has come full circle into the endless galaxy of possibilities that was promised so long ago.

I used to joke with Dalice that I visualized her into the wrong womb. But the truth is, she was conceived and born right where she was supposed to be. Our journey, that of Dalice’s and mine, is a beautiful, interwoven tapestry of love that flows from woman to woman and soul to soul. I feel the stitch of my mother, the vibrancy and color of my daughter, J.’s substantial courage, and the thread of my willingness all coming together to weave this new bloom into the fabric of our lives.

My daughter lives some 500 miles away, yet I can feel her joy every time she picks up the phone. And when she records and shares the heart beats of her child for me, I feel her euphoria beating within me.

I feel new life! I am whole. I am healed.

“Coincidence is a pseudonym for Universe, when she does not want to leave her signature.” Unknown

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