How it all began...
Letting Go of Picture Perfect
When we got married, we tried to have kids, but a year went by, and we couldn’t get pregnant. We almost couldn’t believe it. Women didn’t have fertility issues in our family. We were both surprised and a bit disappointed when we couldn’t conceive. Finally, we went to a fertility clinic. Soon we had two failed IUIs and embarked on our IVF journey. We did two rounds of IVF before we got pregnant, but our joy didn’t last with an early miscarriage.
Our fertility journey was especially hard on us. We lived an hour away from the fertility clinic and had to go almost every other day. At each appointment, there would be news from the nurses or the doctors, but with each piece of good news we received, we had subsequent letdowns. It was an emotional rollercoaster. While on IVF medications, my hormones seemed out of control.
By the end of all of our fertility treatments, we felt physically, emotionally, and financially exhausted, so we took a year off.
Living Our Lives
Before deciding to take a break, we thought about having a baby all the time. It was as if our lives couldn’t be fulfilling with just the two of us. When we consciously decided to take a break, we shifted our focus from having a family to simply enjoying life. We were surrounded by supportive friends from church and family, and it was the year we truly let go. We let go of the expectations of having a family in the traditional way, and we chose to follow God’s plan. We considered and reconsidered our options. Since we didn’t know a lot of adoptive parents, we knew our journey of becoming adoptive parents might be a lonely one. We decided to go for it anyway.
By the end of that year, we both had decided adoption would be the best option for us. It wasn’t long before we partnered with Angel. With Angel, we felt accepted, and they were supportive from the beginning. That eased our fears all throughout the journey.
Our first couple of connections tested us. One expectant mother was flippant. She would decide and tell us she was going to send us sonogram pictures then disappear. We thought our relationship with her just didn’t feel right. Then there was another expectant mother who was great, but it turned out the father was fighting for the baby. The law was on the father’s side, and there was so little chance the adoption would ever go through.
By the end of these connections, we thought, “Are we living in fear? What is wrong with us? Are we not trusting God enough?” We just wanted one “easy” connection that had the possibility of success. With our emotional baggage from fertility treatments, it was easy for us to lose hope at that point.
No Ideal Situation
In our minds, we had expectations of how the situation would turn out and what kind of connection we’d have with a birthmother. In reality, it happened differently. The expectant mother turned out to have a spotty communication style as well. Although our conversations flowed naturally and without awkwardness, it was hard to create a real bond over text. We tried, and she was very nice. The third conversation we had with her was to let us know she was in labor.
We ended up leaving home at 2 a.m. and driving 18 hours. As soon as we got to the hospital, we asked the birthmother if we could hold the baby. Holding him in our arms, it was an instant love and connection. For a moment, we felt like our hearts had melted.
During our adoption process, we had a recurring theme in our lives. While going to Bible study, the concept of “not living in fear” and learning what that really meant allowed us to gradually open up our preferences in the timing that we were most comfortable with. The constant prayers and words of encouragement from our family and friends meant the world.
We’ve realized we can handle uncertainty a lot better now. Coming home meant not just coming home with a child and completing our family. Coming home also meant we understand God’s plan for us much better now. We understand there are silver linings in the most uncertain situations as long as we continue to have faith. Although we were expecting our son to go into the NICU for health issues, he turned out to have a perfect bill of health when he was born. Grounding ourselves in more realistic expectations and letting go of some of expectations continues to be the theme in our parenting.
To expectant parents who are used to having control, the adoption process can seem difficult. The amount of uncertainty makes you doubt whether you will succeed at all. When many things turn out to be completely different from what you would expect, it’s easy to lose hope.
God is on your side. Just keep your faith every step of the way. It’s the only way to get through the difficult moments. When you do and you succeed in your adoption process, you will look back and treasure how the experience helped you to let go.