One of my best friend’s daughters just turned 18. I remember her being such a tiny baby she almost fit inside my two hands. I also remember that we weren’t ready to have kids. We wanted to wait another year–or two. Our plan seemed so normal and reasonable. That’s all it was, though – our plan! I have been shown (more than once) that I don’t always get to make the plans.
I am a planner, though. I don’t mind a surprise, but I don’t like plans being changed just as they are ready to be fulfilled. I don’t like that at all!
The one or two years stretched into 3 years, 8 years, 12 years.
This was NOT my plan.
What seemed like such a simple, ordinary thing to do wasn’t. What seemed to happen on a daily basis for the rest of the world from friends to celebrities didn’t for me.
Over the course of 3 years and 3 moves there were 4 failed IVFs. I cannot begin to estimate the number of pills, injections, vials, and ultrasounds that were involved. It felt as if we were flushing money away at the end of it all. There were rivers of tears that flowed over rocky heartbreak in a raging rapid. I’ve never prayed so much, been so emptied, and felt completely unheard.
We couldn’t endure another attempt. After a time of rest and detachment we began to pursue adoption. We’d been accepted by an organization we were eager to work with when we would have to make our third move since beginning our quest for parenthood. This move ended up delaying adoption for over 3 years.
We moved back to Chicago in January 2009 and contacted the same organization from before and got back into their program. By mid-year we were well on our way to completing all of the requirements. Unless you have ever been involved in adoption, you cannot imagine the number of steps that must be taken. It was nearly equal to the quantity of the aforementioned pills, injections, vials, and ultrasounds. By August we were completely certified with profiles being sent to birthmothers with whom we were a good match.
There were weekly Thursday calls with our coordinator to touch base, get updates and to check on our general state of well-being. While we were waiting we had the good sense to begin picking out furniture, strollers and anything else we wanted to use. We didn’t buy anything, but at least we were planning and making decisions. Good call!
In mid-September we decided to ask our coordinator if any of our profiles were currently out. Normally this information wasn’t given out to keep our hopes in check. We were told that there was a hint that a birthmother might be interested in us. Nothing was positive and we needed not to expect anything right away.
Friday I rushed around packing for our beach vacation. I took my shower early and the phone rang just after I had turned off the water. A birthmother was interested; they could send photos and information, were we? As I stood there dripping I said send the information and I would call Shane.
As we sat at the gate in O’Hare airport on Saturday morning, we arranged a phone conversation with the birthmother from our hotel for Sunday afternoon. Sunday evening we bought a netbook for all the emails we would be sending. The birthmother wanted us to leave vacation, get her child and then go back to the beach. WHAT???
Needless to say, that didn’t exactly happen. We played in the ocean and made travel arrangements to Las Vegas for the following Thursday! We returned to Chicago on Saturday, church with special prayers on Sunday, major shopping and repacking on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, flew to Vegas on Thursday, and became parents of the most precious almost 9 month old baby boy on Friday!
So here we are just over 3 years later. Motherhood has been like a roller coaster ride! You are terrified and screaming with arms flailing, but you are exhilarated and know that the nausea is totally worth it! Would I do it all again for this? Absolutely!
God gives us good gifts in His time for His purpose – and they aren’t usually what we are expecting.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 (ESV)
Thanks to Mary Beth for giving me a special time and place to share my story with you! She is another gift that was completely unexpected, but is such a blessing to my life. I can’t wait to give her a hug and thank her in person this Thursday! (My pleasure Amy! Thanks for sharing your story with New Life Steward’s readers!)
I’m Amy of Amy Learns. Blogging has been part of the learning adventure since April. I’m a country girl with a love of the big cities; it’s these suburbs that are hard to navigate for a SAHM of one 3 year old boy. Job relocations over 21 years of marriage have kept us on our toes and in and out of cardboard boxes. I’m an extrovert who can’t wait to meet you and see what we have in common. In the meanwhile, I want to encourage you to pursue your passions and give you any little help you might need to get it done. We might learn a little about each other along the way. I’d love to hang out and chat with you on twitter. Find me @actilson.