I got a call from the adoption agency we are going through. They are looking over our adoption application - all 64 pages of it! Yes, you read that right - 64 pages, and yes, there was something to write on at least 90 percent of those pages. Most were ordinary questions, some were quite simple, others were stuff like, have you ever been attracted to the same sex, or if you could change one thing about your spouse, what would it be. It was very invasive and extensive.
She really only called to ask a few questions, and to let me know a few things
They were simple questions like, I noticed you put this on your application, now that you went through our training, did you have any changes.
The adoption training actually alleviated a lot of worries I had about open adoption. I went from on the fence, to feeling that it was the best thing for our child. I have to admit, I was leaning towards that way, but I had to actually see an open adoption myself to know how great it could be. It was beautiful.
She also informed us, we will indeed have to close our foster care license if we want to go forward with this adoption process. We kind of already knew that.
But it wasn't her questions or explanations that caused me stress, it was knowing that they are looking through our 64 page adoption application, evaluating whether they wanted to meet with us or not.
I know my answers, and I know very few things in there would even cause a raised eye, but I also worry, did I word things wrong. I wrote in such a hurry, because the application process itself took several hours. There were times, I just hurried along. What if I marked a box wrong? What if I accidentally said, I do drugs, or accidentally said yes, I committed a felony? What if I screwed up?
Maybe our daughter is destined to be an only child.
Maybe if I were pregnant, I would be worried that I ate the wrong food, or put too much stress on my body, or did something else to my body to cause harm to my child, but to me, the adoption worries just seem like an extension of infertility.
If I am supposed to be someone else's mother, it will happen. God will do His will, yet there is a part of me that wonders, what if God's will doesn't include extending our family? If that is His will, I should be content with that. Yet, I worry that my greatest desire in having a large family is not the same as my Creator's.
I know it's a small petty thing in the grand scheme of things. I have a child, why should I be greedy and want more. There are men and women dying at war everyday, they are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and someone's child. There are women having miscarriages, stillborns, and other child losses. This is not a loss that compares to those, yet it is a loss. A loss of a dream. Maybe it is a selfish dream, at least I have my daughter and my husband, let's not forget the most amazing support system any person could possibly have. I am more blessed than anyone needs to be, yet I have this hope, and I fear of losing that hope.
Sensible, rational, I'm afraid not... So I guess, as I have done many times with this exact same fear. I need to wrap it up in a little box, hand it to God and say, this is my greatest hope and my greatest fear, here now it is yours. He can take my hope and my fear and I can be content... unless I try to take that present back-again.
One of the hardest parts of adoption is the senseless things people will say, as well as hearing negative testimonies of adult adoptees. One of the most common things adult adopted children will say is, "I was my parents second choice, their first was to have a child naturally."
I think for me this is so hard to hear, because I can see where they would feel that way, but there are so many things wrong with this way of thinking.
First off, just because adoption was a person's second option, never makes that child second best in the mind of the adopted parent. For me and my husband, our reasons for wanting a child naturally had nothing to do with the child themselves. We don't care whether the child has my red hair, his blue eyes, my curly hair, his athleticism. We wanted a child that we could grow old with. That we will be able to teach, to love, to be there at their milestones when they are an adult. We want to be called Mommy and Daddy, and someday even Grandma and Grandpa. We want to be parents to a child who is our own, and no our own does not mean biologically ours, it means a child who God has entrusted us to raise.
Second thing that is very wrong with this way of thinking is, I thank God for not always getting my first choice. If I would have gotten my choice with a husband, heck if I would have gotten my second, third, fourth, and who knows how many, I would never be as happy and loved as I am today. My husband is amazing. I would not be the person I am without him. If I had married some of those boys I thought were amazing, I would have been married to alcoholics, drug addicts, hot-tempered men, and men who cheat. So as the great song goes, "Thank God for unanswered prayers."
The same goes for my house. I have my dream house, and I didn't pay as much as it is worth. My first choice did not have a big back yard, five bedrooms, my wonderful neighbors, a barn, etc. I have all those things and I could not be happier.
I truly feel that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes I have no idea why God would allow such a thing, like a suicide, a baby's death, a heart attack, but he has reasons we will never understand about pain and suffering. Bottom line, we have to accept by faith and trust God that He has a plan for us, even during the hard times.
My first choice was to give birth, not because that's what I wanted, but because it seemed like the easy way. You have sex, you get pregnant, you have a baby. Easy... well, not so much for all of us. Second option, in vitro, but there were many reasons we chose not to take that route. My third choice was foster care cheapest, but God chose not that option. The fourth option was the most expensive and appeared to be the hardest way. A child brought to me in this way will not be fourth best, third best, second best, they will be first best. Because God knows something we don't, and that's our future.
The great part about doing adoption through domestic infant adoption is the ability to connect with the birth mother. This excites me. If you know me, I love loving people. I love getting to know people. Family to me is those I love: parents, brothers, sisters, friends... To be able to give my child yet another person who loves them unconditionally like a birth mom who chose an adoption plan for them and chose us, that is a great gift that only a birth mom can give. I would love to give back to that mom by allowing them to be a part of my child's life.
The first time I realized I wanted to adopt was when I was fifteen years old. Ironically, I was watching a story about a woman who could not have children and decided to use her mother as a surrogate. I really connected to the character in that it was my lifetime dream to be a mother. I then began to think about, what if I couldn't have children. I realized if that was the case my path would be different from hers.
It's not that I think having a surrogate is a bad thing, it's just... well, Martian Child put it the best, when the main character said, " I don't want to bring another kid into this world. But how do you argue against loving one that's already here?" I realized the moment I heard that quote that it expressed my exact thoughts.
I do believe back then, I knew that there was something wrong. My periods were always exactly 27 days apart and still are, but they were abnormal, to say the least. The idea of adoption would creep up on me frequently over the next seven years.
When I was 17, my husband and I met. It was soon after, on our first date alone actually, I asked him, "If I can't get pregnant, would you be willing to adopt?" I knew this was a deal breaker. I didn't want to fall for a guy if he could not accept this in his future. For me, dating was a way to seek a future husband. In that respect, I am very old-fashioned. Well, I married him when I was 21 so you can guess what his answer was.
A year later, we went off birth control. The truth is, I had such horrible reactions to all birth control methods that my husband and I decided we would test fate. The first year I was not anxious, I was not expecting, I was just waiting. It was fine. I figured previous methods were prohibiting anything from happening. A year later, I then realized, all previous methods should be out of my system, and I should have gotten pregnant. It was at this point, I began sharing with people, my desire to get pregnant, taking ovulation kits, being anxious, and wondering if it would ever happen.
The months passed, the years passed, and pregnancy test after the pregnancy test came back negative. I can pinpoint at what stage of grief I was at throughout the next five years; infertility is a grieving process. I have now reached acceptance, but it was a long hard road, one that I do not regret traveling.
The worst day was February 14th, 2006. I took at least ten pregnancy tests the week before, some showed a faint double line, most did not, but even with extra eyes to look at the results, no one knew for sure if it was positive or just a fluke.
I decided I would wait one week before I would test myself again. Because I thought it would be romantic to learn I was pregnant on Valentines Day. I went and shopped for a bib that said, "I Love My Daddy." I figured I would give it to Kevin when I found out that I was pregnant. I waited each day, getting more hopeful. Valentine's Day morning I took a test. I was so excited about the results.
It was negative.
I was crushed.
I didn't tell Kevin about the bib until later, but I did tell him about the results. Later that day, I had confirmation of a different sort that I was INDEED not pregnant. That was the worst day. The others pale in comparison because I thought for sure, I was pregnant. Other times, it hurt, but I never was so sure at that time.
I could never express the feelings of loss one feels. The feelings of each late period resulting in not being pregnant. I had always been exactly 27 days apart before this time period, and I was every year after I had my tubal ligation. During this time period, I was often late, resulting in the worst imaginable periods. Were those little pregnancies that my body could not support. Truth is, I don't have an answer, and when I asked my doctor, he just said, he'd have to do blood tests to be sure.
My doctor was amazing, at one point crying with me as I recalled a very painful experience. He was not the doctor to find the answers I needed, but he will forever be special to me. If only every doctor, every person had such big hearts.
It was 2007 when Kevin and I decided to pursue alternative options, that is when we met with an infertility doctor. We'll leave that story, for another day. It was that year that a turning point had occurred, I went from feeling hopeless to hopeful. There would still be tears to follow, but I was on my way to accepting infertility.
This Christian mom is far from perfect, but continually strives to grow and develop. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and focuses a lot on personal growth. She loves to share what she has learned through her studies and her own failures, as well as walks alongside other mothers as they learn together the ins and outs of parenting.