As long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a mother.
When Sam and I went on our first date, it had come up.
"Do you want kids?" He'd asked, somehow still able to sound charming.
"Yeah, I do." I'd answered. I was only 20, but I knew what I wanted.
Sam was 23. "Me too!" He'd exclaimed.
"Really? How many?" I'd asked him, unbelieving that I'd really found someone I had everything in common with.
We liked the same music, the same sports team, and now this too? It was too good to be true.
"Wait, how many kids do you want?" He asked, and I'd been unable to hold in a giggle.
"Let's both say on the count of three." I suggested. I didn't want him to just agree with me, I really wanted to know.
And at that moment, we both blurted out, "three kids!"
It felt like a match made in heaven.
Three years later, and we still had everything in common. He took me on dates every weekend, introduced me to his parents, and came home to my house for Christmas.
And on August 18th, three and a half years after our first date, he got down on one knee and pulled out a shiny diamond ring.
That was the happiest day of my life.
Until our wedding. Then, May 26th was the new happiest day of my life.
A year later, and Sam brought up something I'd been thinking about for a while.
"Baby..." He began. "When do you think would be a good time to... Start our family?"
I was so scared he wouldn't be ready, I could hardly force out the word.
He swept me up into his arms and twirled me around. "I was hoping you'd say that!" I breathed a sigh of relief.
We were both giddy with excitement. I had a new happiest day of my life. We were going to start our family!
That night, as we lay in bed, he whispered into my ear. "I can't wait to have a baby with you."
We tried for a baby for almost a year. I bought fertility pills, ovulation kits, you name it. We tried it. But the pregnancy tests stayed firmly negative.
Finally, we went to the doctor.
Sam's test came back normal.
I, on the other hand, had something wrong.
I was infertile.
I cried for weeks after I found out. Sam tried to comfort me, to help, but I wouldn't have any of it. I felt like I'd failed him, and myself.
One day, though, a few months later, Sam came home with a thick packet of papers.
They were from an adoption agency.
All of a sudden, the lights were back in my life.
We could still have a baby!
We filled out all the paperwork.
We decorated the little spare bedroom with jungle animals on the walls and soft plush toys.
One night, lying in bed, Sam whispered to me, "I can't wait to get our baby."
I couldn't wait either.
Adoption is a long process. We waited and waited for the day we'd get a call.
It happened on an ordinary day.
Sam was doing the dishes, and I was in the garage about to start the lawnmower, when my cell rang.
"Hello, Avery Jameston." I answered.
"Mrs. Jameston, are you at home?" A voice on the other end asked.
"Well yes, I am." I answered, confused.
"How fast can you get to St. James Hospital? A baby was just born and you're next on the list." The businesslike voice said.
"Wait, we have... A baby?" I asked, my voice trembling. I had to make sure.
"Yes." Answered the voice. "A healthy baby boy. He's yours, if you want him."
"Yes, yes of course we want him." I replied. I was so happy I almost fainted.
As I hung up the phone, I ran into the house. "Sam! Sam!"
He ran to meet me, looking concerned. "What is it? What's wrong?" He asked me.
"Sam, we have a baby. Our baby. He's ours."
The drive to the hospital passed in a blur. All of a sudden I was standing in front of a tiny hospital crib.
He was beautiful. Tiny, with so much dark hair. I fell in love instantly. Sam did too.
I thought I'd had the happiest day of my life. But holding my baby in my arms for the first time?
THAT was the happiest day of my life. July 3rd.
But the day I first held Leah? April 7th. And the day I first held Connor? September 2nd. Those were the happiest days of my life too.
Sam agreed with me. Our three bright, beautiful children made us happier than anything.
Well, anything except holding my first grandchild in my arms. (May 4th)
All in all, I had a lot of happiest days of my life.
But I'll always remember holding my first baby in my arms for the very first time.
And I'll always remember all the happiest days of my life.