My husband Mike and I started trying to have a child right after we were married. After trying for about a year, we started going to an infertility specialist. We did IUI after IUI. First starting with clomid, then moving to shots of gonal F, even surgery to remove fibroids. But nothing worked. After over a year of trying, my doctor recommended I see another infertility specialist that could do IVF. My husband and I had done a lot of praying about whether God wanted us to do IVF, but he opened door after door for us on this path, so we went for it. Our insurance would pay for 2 attempts, so we tried the process twice. During this time, we also really started to investigate adoption. I started to read books on it, and Mike and I started to talk to friends that had adopted. I was ready to stop treatments and adopt, but my husband wanted to do all that we could medically first. After our first IVF attempt failed, we were going to just call it quits and adopt, we both spent much time in tears, grieving the biological child that we would never have. And I had to grieve that the strong desire I had to experience pregnancy, would just never get met. After a phone call from our doctor we tried a last ditch attempt, with the agreement between the two of us, that if it didn’t work, we would start adoptions proceedings.
On our third wedding anniversary, December 19th, 2001, we found out that we weren’t pregnant. So we started our journey through the adoption process. Through our infertility treatments, God had really taught me to trust in him, and so I decided that I would go through the adoption process in the same way. I knew that it could possibly be a long journey, and the only way I would be able to be patient through it would be to trust that God’s timing was perfect.
I had pretty much chosen an adoption agency, from when we were doing all of our investigating, so when our pregnancy test came back negative, I filled out their inquiry form and mailed it off. I was very disillusioned when I got back their letter and application forms, and found out that they would not even consider us until after we had waited 6 months after stopping infertility treatments. The letter said that we could attend their orientation meeting in August (the first one scheduled after the 6 months was up), and then start the application procedure with them. I understood that some people might need that grieving time, but I knew in my heart, that both my husband and I had done our grieving, that we were ready to start the process.
A friend of a friend recommended another adoption agency. Shortly after Christmas I called that agency, and talked to the social worker. She made it sound very promising for us, and promised to send their application right out. After waiting and calling back a couple of times, I received their paper work, only to find out that they wanted us to be married for 5 years before adopting. Another closed door. I started to cold call adoption agencies from the phone book. Every one that I talked to was wonderful over the phone, and they agreed to send out their application packs immediately to me. But as I waited and waited for just one of them to arrive, I started to feel very bleak indeed. I had been prepared to have to wait for a home study to be scheduled, I had been prepared to wait for a family to be matched with, I had been prepared to wait for a baby to be born and placed with us, but I didn’t think that there would be a problem just finding an agency. So finally one Sunday night at the end of January, I was looking up adoption agencies on the internet, and I found the website of Adoption Services Associates. After looking at their site and reading their information, I decided that it was an agency I thought I could work with, IF I could actually get them to send me information. Because calling hadn’t worked so far, I just sent them e-mail asking them for information. Was I surprised when they actually called me the next day. After talking to them for a little bit and making sure that we didn’t have to wait 6 months before starting the process, and that we didn’t have to be married for 5 years, I was told that they would send me their application information. I received their information the next day. I was impressed so far. After reading through it, I called to ask a couple of questions, and was able to get through immediately, AND get my questions answered. I was asked on the phone if I wanted to schedule my home study. Wow, things were getting done quick now. I needed to talk to my husband, and let him read through the information, so I waited until the next day to call and schedule my home study. They scheduled it for about 2 weeks away! I had to really work hard to get the application and our profile into them a week before. When we started to fill out the application, my husband and I talked a lot about what medical conditions we felt comfortable accepting. We ended up checking off quite a few, realizing that if we had had a biological child, God could have chosen to have that child be born with any of the conditions listed. And if the particular child he had picked out for us had a medical condition that we weren’t sure about, he would equip us to handle it, and he would have a reason for it.
On February 15th, 2002, Denise Garibay came to do our home study. It was a lot more comfortable then I had imagined. And by the time Denise was done, I felt like she was an old friend, rather then someone I had just met. Just before she left, she sprung a wonderful surprise on us–one of the counselors had seen our profile, and thought that we would be a perfect match for one of her birth mom’s. Could they show her our profile? We were floored. Like we were going to say no. They faxed us the birth mom’s profile, and we talked it through, prayed about it, and decided that it was in God’s hands. If it was the baby he had picked out for us, the birth mother would pick us, if it wasn’t, then we wouldn’t get matched. Monday was a holiday so we had to wait to call. Tuesday morning I called, but both Denise and the birth mother’s counselor were out of the office. Finally Wednesday morning, I was able to talk to the birth mother’s counselor, and give her our decision. Yes, please present our profile to the birth mother. Thursday evening, we got a call. The birth mother had picked our profile, our baby was due on May 2nd, just a little over 2 months away. This was unprecedented. We thought we would be waiting 6 months to 2 years, and yet in a little over 2 months, we would finally get to be parents.
It was a very exciting time. When I first had heard 2 months, I thought that would be the perfect amount of time. I would get a 2 month “pregnancy”, to get things ready for the baby. But it wouldn’t be so long that I would start to get impatient. The waiting period proved to feel a little longer then I thought it would, when about half way through, it looked like the match would fall through. The birth mother was having second thoughts, and they reactivated our file. I was devastated. I moped around for about a week, not wanting to talk to anyone. Should we tell people that it was off? Should we just wait and see? I felt I had already bonded with this little boy, that I could not imagine that he was not the one picked for us. It wasn’t until I came to the realization that I had agreed to trust in God, and I was not doing that, that peace came. I gave it all over to Him, believing that this was the baby that he had picked for us, and that he would work it all out. I was asked by Denise to start corresponding through e-mail with the birth mother, so that she would not feel that we hated her for being unsure. It was a very hard thing to do, but I knew it was the right thing to do. So I started to have a one way conversation with her. A couple of weeks later, everything was back on track, the birth mother felt that what she was doing was right, and that we were the right parents for the job.
The rest of the time flew by relatively quickly, although, I so hungered to hold our little angel. Finally the time came. Our birth mother was being induced a day after the due date, and I got to be in the delivery room. I felt very blessed. Watching our little son be born was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, and it helped me to feel as if I had gone through the experience of giving birth myself.
Our little son, Zachary, was born on May 3rd, 2002. He is the light of my life, and when I look at him, I find myself welling up inside. I am so thankful to his birth mother and to God for this beautiful gift. And I find that that strong desire to be pregnant is gone. Our little boy is enough.
The Continuing Story
I wanted to update you and tell you about the amazing gift that the Lord has given us. As Zachary has gotten older, Mike and I have gone back and forth about whether we should adopt a second child. Zachary has been so much fun, that we could easily seeing having 4 or 5 more of him. But, everyone kept telling us that the second one would never be as easy going as him. Plus, we worried about how he would feel about no longer being the only baby. Would he be jealous? Would he feel like we were cheating on him? Could we love a second child as much as we loved Zachary? Could we give both children enough attention that neither felt that they weren’t loved? So many worries. How silly we were. We agonized over the decision. One week we were all ready to have another child. The next week, we were sure that we wouldn’t have another one. Sometimes, the flip flops were daily or hourly. We finally decided that instead of adopting, we would try IVF again, only this time with donor eggs. This way, if God decided that we would have a second child, I would also be able to experience pregnancy. While the desire was no longer as strong, when I listened to others talk about it, I still wondered what it was like. So we went as far as talking to our doctor, setting up a tentative timeline, and then setting about waiting for the clinic to finish setting up their donor egg program, so that we could get the process started. During the wait, the flip flop came again. Was this the right thing to do? What if we went through the process and didn’t get pregnant? What if we went through the process and did get pregnant? How was this all going to effect Zachary? Finally after praying about it, and not really feeling that we had an answer, but both of us feeling that we had to come to a decision, to stop the flip flopping, we both agreed that we were going to leave it completely up to God. We were happy and content with having Zachary as our only child. We would only have a second child if God opened my womb with a pregnancy, or if we got a phone call asking us if we wanted a baby. It was a decision we both felt peaceful about. And it was so nice not to
be agonizing over making the right decision anymore.
Well, alas, God has a wonderful sense of timing and probably a great sense of humor too. Not too long after making this decision, we got an unexpected phone call from a friend of ours from church, Elaine Smith. She had found out at Thanksgiving, that her cousin was pregnant, and seeking an adoptive family for her baby girl. She had been working with an agency in Abilene, TX, but hadn’t found a family yet. Were we interested? We were pretty floored. Mike and I talked about it for all of 5 minutes, both immediately agreeing that this sounded like God telling us he had another baby planned for us. We contacted the agency the next day, rushed to get our profile updated and sent in, and rushed to fill out the massive amounts of paperwork that normally was filled out over a period of a couple of months. By that Saturday, less then a week after being asked if we were interested, the birthmother had picked us. The following Thursday we had our home study. On that Friday, we met with the birthmother, Jennifer. What a whirlwind. Because of Jennifer’s due date, everything was rush, rush, rush. And then, after meeting with Jennifer, it turned to wait, wait, wait. Waiting for January 10th, for our little baby girl to be born, seemed like such an eternity (I know, I know, you are thinking, how could waiting less then a month for a new baby seem like and eternity when most people having a biological baby have to wait 9 months, and most people adopting have to often wait 2 years or so. But it did..:)) I kept hoping that our little girl, who we had decided to name Michaela Autumn, would be born around Christmas. I wanted a Christmas baby. It seemed like the perfect reminder every year of what the Lord had given to us.
Well, Christmas came and went, no baby born. I carried my cell phone around close at hand at all times, waiting for THE CALL, which would be followed by THE RUSH DRIVE TO ABILENE. Finally, at 4:00 in the morning on December 27th, it came. We got dressed, woke up Zachary, grabbed our packed bag, and off we headed to Abilene (a 3 hour drive). We reached the hospital, rushed in, only to find that we had missed the delivery by an hour, BUT we had a beautiful healthy, little girl. Michaela was born at 7:03 am, weighing in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and was 19 1/2 inches long. The wait wasn’t quite over yet, Jennifer wanted to have her parents get the opportunity to see Michaela before we did, and it ended up being 4:00 that afternoon, before we got the chance to see and hold our little daughter. But the wait was worth it.
I am still amazed at how the Lord gifted us. It felt like we had spent such a long time praying for children, often losing hope that we would ever be given them. And now the Lord has just blown me away with two beautiful, wonderful children. Far better then I could ever have imagined them to be. And to go one further, he took away every fear that I had about being able to handle 2 children. And the worries about how Zachary would react to no longer being an only child were completely unfounded also. Zachary loves his little sister. If she is not in view of him, he wants to know where the baby is. He talks to her, and kisses her, and hugs on her. And very proudly tells everyone that he now has a baby sister.