She’s special, she’s my ‘Daughter by Law’

She too is a mom! Though she didn’t conceive her baby in the warmth of her womb, but that doesn’t make her any less than women who have… Her baby is an adopted child. Karuna Kochar, author of ‘A World of Love’, shares a mesmerizingly heartwarming experience, which filled her life with lots of positives. This Mother’s Day, she urges you to open your hearts and witness how a child opens up your lives to everything wonderful! Read on…

I grew as an atheist, until the first night she fell asleep in my lap and as I admired her peaceful angelic face, my heart whispered a silent prayer. Nayraa Adarsh Kochar, our daughter. Nayraa is a special baby, she wasn’t conceived in my womb like most babies, she was conceived in my heart and no doctor had to pull or slit her out of that special warm place which was where she was born and where she shall forever stay. Nayraa is an adopted child. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. Adarsh (my husband) and I are perfectly normal and of sound physical and mental health. We have no complications and we are fully capable of having our biological babies. It wasn’t laziness or the time constraint either. Adoption wasn’t our last resort to start our family, it was in fact our first choice. Some couples decide to go through pregnancy in order to bring a child into their lives, we chose to go through some legal formalities to welcome a child who was already in this world, into our life.

I still remember the first day when we arrived at the adoption centre we asked to wait while they brought us the baby. In those 9 odd minutes of wait I probably emotionally went through every stomach churn one experience’s during pregnancy and labor. The nervousness and the excitement of finally having a dream come true was so strong, it took me all effort to keep calm and behave human. There is indeed no feeling like the anticipation of holding your child in your arms, whether born to you or not. That bundle of joy will always be a bundle of joy! While my mind tried to collate all these different emotions I saw a nurse walk down with a bundle of shawl in her arms. There she was – my doll. She was dressed in a pink and white sweater with a matching cap and knitted booties. One could tell from the attire that this very outfit had dressed many kids for their special day too. I took a moment before I stepped forward and embraced her in my arms.

She was just four months old. Tiny little bundle, tiny fingers and a small round face. Her eyes though were big and curious. They sparkled even in the dimply lit office and looked straight into my eyes to have a conversation of their own. I knew from the instant I saw her that her name must do justice to how beautifully expressive her eyes are and a day later we named her Nayraa – the girl with big eyes.

So here she was in my arms, staring back confused at this woman who couldn’t stop crying out of sheer joy. After years of dreaming about holding my child, here she was all real and much more precious than my mind could ever phantom. A few seconds later as though she understood what I felt, she reached out her lil palm from her shawl and held on to my finger with a tight assuring grip. In that one moment of touch I felt the bond of a hundred umbilical. Her beautiful pouted smile right between her 2 dimpled cheeks was the icing on the cake moment for me. I don’t remember how long I stood there and stared at her right in the centre of the room, but I do know had I been an artist could replicate every detail of that moment by memory alone.

I was distracted only to witness the tears of the To Be Dad who was standing right beside me and awaiting his turn with his lil angel. This was the impact of a girl who was just 4 months, weighed about 4 kilos and had no connection with us what so ever till that moment she saw us. In those few minutes we grew from just being a couple who were here to see her to being parents of this wonderful girl we will protect and love for the rest of our lives. 

I am not a scientist, I don’t understand the concept of genes, blood line or blood groups as deeply like most other people probably do. All I know is my child who wasn’t born to me is 10 months today and she has wonderfully accepted and adopted us as her parents. She loves to laugh and play with us, she is comforted with our presence and misses us dearly if we aren’t around her. She looks so much like us these days that when people find the similarity, we feel super proud.

I haven’t had the honour of carrying her in my womb for 9 months, but she can recognise my voice from miles away. I couldn’t breastfeed her, but that doesn’t stop her from clinging to my chest every time she’s hungry, even now when she is almost seven years old. She didn’t live close to my heart inside my body but today she falls asleep listening to the sound of my heart, to her my heart beat is the lullaby. I didn’t go through labour pain but every time she cries I know exactly what she needs to feel better. She doesn’t share our blood group but she still calls me Mama and her dad Papa, like she will for the rest of our lives.

I may not understand the importance of a family legacy but what I do know is that this day when she wakes up crying and frightened by a bad dream my cuddle comforts her. In a pitch dark room where she can’t see my face, she senses my feel and knows it’s me. A nice warm cuddle later one can slowly hear her crying become small sobs followed by a lil silence when she rests her head on my chest and then a curtain raiser of giggles, smiles and laughter. No blood group can stop us from being happy parents with a happy child! She fills our life with so much joy, laughter and love. She is the reason we wake up each day with the hope of waking up forever more to watch her grow and love her each day a lil more!

We did not adopt Nayraa so we could give her a family, in fact this child of God not born to us is the reason we are a family today! This Mother’s Day, I urge all those longing to be a mom – open your hearts and watch how a child can open your lives to everything wonderful!

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