Thursday, April 18, 2013

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

It feels hard for me to put into words how I feel.  I stare at my computer and don't know where to start.  I know my words will not be adequate enough and will fall short.  But I will do my best.

Our struggle with infertility is no secret.  For Shane and me, it has been with us from day one.  Almost 10 years.  We are no strangers to the heart ache and pain that come with this struggle, but the miracles,blessings, love, and joy we have experienced along the way put all that heart ache to shame!!

Miracle #1 goes by Carson Shane.
Miracle #2 goes by Cade Monroe.

I could go on and on and ON about the miraculous journey through modern medicine, pregnancy, bedrest, birth, and infancy of these two boys.  But they've had plenty of time in the lime light.   So let's move on!

Miracle #3 goes by Lily Annette

As I sit and stare at her, I still cannot believe that I get to call her mine.  With all the daunting and impossible-seeming steps that had to happen to welcome her home, I feel stuck in a dream.  And have this perfect little spirit in my care really is dreamy. 

Our journey towards adoption was not a quick trip around the block.  It took time.  It was not always in our plan.  Hind sight is 20/20 right?  It is so absolutely clear to me NOW that this is always where we were meant to end up, even though during our drive, we didn't have a map of the stops and bumps and turns we needed to take to get us to our final destination.  It is only now that I can hear Google Maps in my head telling us, "You have arrived!"

I may have shared this experience before but I am still so grateful for the Holy Ghost, who touches our hearts and directs our steps, if we seek his companionship.  It was in an ordinary Sunday Fast & Testimony meeting that I felt the impression to pursue adoption.  And not just to casually think about it, like we had briefly done in the past.  But really seriously consider it and start moving our feet.  It was so unknown to us.  Scary even, but I could not deny what I had felt.  Nope.  Couldn't do it.  It was only days later that I called and scheduled a meeting with a case worker at LDS Family Services.  We needed concrete information.  The nitty gritty...and that's just what we got.  We are thinking...."Holy lots of work!!!!!!!!!"

After that first meeting, Shane and I were talking about how we felt.  Shane keeps things so simple.  He doesn't over-think it.  He doesn't get stressed.  Simple.  I love this about him.  He explained that it didn't feel wrong.  He wasn't worried.  There were many unknowns and an outcome with a giant question mark, but it didn't feel wrong.  He felt completely fine about moving forward and starting the process of completing our Home Study.  Shane is my favorite.  He brings me so much comfort and we moved forward together.  The home study process is a bear.  A Grizzly Bear.  No...FIVE Grizzly Bears!!  Amazingly, we were All-Stars and completed ours in a short 3 month time period.  Phew.  Go us!  We started in February of 2012 and our profile was live and ready for potential Birth Moms to view in May of 2012.

Many people ask us about our thoughts on "open adoption."  Another unknown and, most often, misunderstood by many.  While completing our home study we attended a few educational classes.  One of which was a Birth Mom panel.  There were 9 Birth Mothers there to share their experiences with us as potential adoptive parents.  We were surprised when we walked in and immediately recognized one of the birth moms.  We knew her.  Knew her well.  She was our boys' babysitter for a time.  We had no idea.  It was no coincidence that she was there to share her story the night we would be in attendance.  As she talked about her experience, both Shane and I were emotional and so touched.  This woman that we knew and loved shared thoughts meant for us.  She put us at ease.  She was an answer to prayer, especially for Shane.  He had felt uneasy and unsure about the idea of open adoption in the beginning.  By the time our evening was over, his heart was softened...into pure mush!  He had received the confirmation he had been praying for and was ready to embrace all that might be before us.  Open adoption no longer felt scary.  It really is all about love, and we knew that we never wanted our adopted child to EVER question the love of their birth parents.  Ever.  It would be known and felt.  It would not be a mystery and our child would not have to look very far to find it.  It is a natural need for people to know who they are and where they come from, especially in regards to adoption.  It is a given, and we no longer feared that our openness would jeopardize us as parents and our family as a whole. We felt this the beauty and hope of open adoption.    

Once our profile was completed, then the waiting began.  Lots of waiting.  They tell you that on average, most families wait for 2 years.  We were contacted in July by a potential birth mom, just 2 months later!  We were thrilled.  And while we were not her family, we were grateful for the contact.  It was yet another tender mercy.  We were reminded that this was something that we wanted.  Our hearts were in it and we were being prepared.  Then began a whole lot of nothin!  We started to question whether it would happen at all.  Oddly enough, we felt very calm about it, knowing that it was out of our hands, and that we needed to do our best with what we had...with what was right in front of us.  We focused on our family of 4 and felt so genuinely happy for the many blessings in our lives.

At the top of the year we knew that sooner rather than later, we would need to decide whether or not we would pay to renew our profile for another year.  We weren't sure what we would do and felt that it would be clear to us when the time came.

On February 4, 2013 we received a first email from another potential birth mom.  Our birth mom.    


Ash said...

I can't tell you how happy I am for you. My sister adopted my niece two years ago after a long and often discouraging wait. It is the most amazing thing to see that baby and know she is right where she is supposed to be. It's so beautiful.

*LaUrA* said...

Yay!! I am so glad you are sharing with us...even though I understand your hesitation and the closeness of it to your heart...but I really love following along in your journey and celebrating with you! Can't wait for the rest of the story!

julie said...

I love all of this. For so many reasons. Thank you! The only thing better would be hearing it in person and snuggling that sweet Lily.

(me)linda said...

One of my dear friends was very likely on your panel too. Her story is remarkable. Adoption is such a tender thing. A beautifully tender thing. :)