Every other Thursday I am joining forces with NoBonesAboutIt and her team in their effort to create Adoption Talk Link-up. They have set aside specific themes for each event. I am a week late on joining in on the party but our first theme is to simply share our story. I blog about various points in our journey, but I realized that I do not have a post that contains it in a nutshell!
The first I ever heard about adoption was when I was a child. We had a sweet older couple that lived next door to us and they had two grandchildren about our age that we loved to play with when they were in town. I remember my mom telling me they were adopted, but I did not really understand fully what that meant. I roughly understood that their mom did not give birth to them but my limited childhood mind was unable to put the full picture together of another family that grieved the loss of them.
The idea of adoption intrigued me as I grew up. The idea that somehow adopted kids were more wanted or more deliberately added to a family than biological ones got stuck in my head. It gave them a uniqueness that I thought was “cool”. Obviously, I did not understand that there is so much more than went into being adopted!
As much as it made me curious, I never thought I would adopt children of my own. Fast forward to my early 20’s when after years of very painful periods it was finally decided to have a diagnostic laparoscopy to check for endometriosis. Women complained about their periods all of the time. I was sure that it would turn out to be nothing and I just needed to toughen up a bit.
Much to my surprise, the endometriosis was extensive. I remember sitting in the exam room for my first post-op appointment and the nurse practitioner explaining to me that if I wanted to have children, then that would have to be a priority. She said most women with the degree of endo that I had, had difficulty getting pregnant. My world shattered.
Shortly after my diagnosis I started dating my now husband. Early in the relationship in the interest of full disclosure I shared with him my diagnosis and prognosis. If having biological kids was imperative to him, then I might not be the right woman to spend his life with. He looked at me and explained that he had two adopted aunts, two adopted half-brothers, his best friend was adopted and much of his step-mother’s family had adopted children. He was well acquainted with it and had no problem if that was how our family would be grown. It felt like a sign from God that everything would be alright.
We were married a little less than a year when we decided to embark on the journey of having children. One month became two, two became four and quickly we had reached the one year mark with no success. After further testing it was decided that in addition to endometriosis I also had non-metabolic PCOS. We began the infertility regime of medication, ultrasounds, IUI, etc. Over the course of the next two and a half years the endometriosis progressed despite multiple attempts to stall it. The pain was debilitating. I had gone from a once athlete to someone barely able to tolerate walking because each step reverberated pain in my pelvis. A hysterectomy became my only hope in getting my life back. We abandoned hope of a biological family and went through with the surgery.
The following couple of years were a mess of resolving the grief and anger I had regarding my permanent barrenness. After such brokenness I was no longer sure if I wanted children at all.
After two years of drifting aimlessly trying to figure out what our best next step would be we needed some direction and structure. Still unsure if we wanted to proceed with adoption, we agreed I would return to school. I only had three semesters left to complete my RN-BSN. It was a perfect amount of time to put off decisions about having children.
God had other plans. The week I submitted my application for school our life took a major turn.
I was at lunch break sitting in my best friend’s driveway when my husband called and said “We need to talk.” We talked everyday at lunch so I knew something major had happened but I was completely unprepared for the words he said next. A minister that we knew had a woman come to their church searching out a family to adopt her unborn son. Were we interested? I walked into my friend’s house in complete shock.
We decided to go forward with an adoption plan. We worked with the expectant mom over the remaining four months of her pregnancy. We got our home study complete and cautiously began accepting baby items for us to borrow until we brought the baby home. The due date came and went without news from the expectant mother. Through texts she explained that she had forgotten to tell us her due date had been changed, but everything else was still on track. Come to find out when she sent that text she had already given birth and had brought the baby home without telling the hospital or agency of her decision. We were absolutely devastated!
Six weeks later a co-worker pulled me aside and told me about her niece who was expecting and thinking about making an adoption plan. Were we interested? Saying yes to the potential match on the heels of such profound grief was incredibly difficult, but we knew that if we were to ever have children this was the road we were going to have to walk.
At thirty-six weeks into her pregnancy Turkey-man was born! As he lay on the warmer in the nursery, I knew in my heart that he was my son. It was as if my soul recognized him. 72 hours later the paperwork was signed and we became parents. It was probably the most bittersweet day of my life. As his birth mother handed him to me her grief was palpable. I never knew until that moment that one can experience incredible joy and immense grief simultaneously.
When Turkey-man was 19 months old we were matched with another young woman who would go onto become the birth mother of our daughter, Little-Flower.
We enjoy an open relationship with both of the birth mothers and their extended family. What our family looks like today is far more beautiful than anything either of us could have dreamed of. We have been given such an amazing privilege to call these children ours. Truly, they are a gift from God!