“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23
It’s been a long while since I've written about our journey towards parenthood.
The last update on our adoption fundraising site was over two months ago. We had just finished our final home study visit. There wasn't much to do after that point but wait. Now that spring is here there have been some developments in our story we’d like to share.
We have some good news… and bad news… and good news… so let’s just dive right in.
The good news is we have been home study approved! The report arrived in the mail last week. Our social worker feels we will be great parents and will work well as partners to love and support a child…
The bad news is we have to put the adoption on hold…
But the best news is it’s because I’m 13 weeks pregnant!
Yes, you heard right. After 10 years of unprotected you-know-what, surgery, fertility treatments, a miscarriage, and starting the long and emotional adoption process, we spontaneously conceived a child with no help from anyone but ourselves and the good Lord above. To be completely honest, it was a huge shock, totally unexpected, and nothing short of a miracle in our eyes.
The last two months have dragged, while flying by at the same time. Here’s a synopsis of what many of you have missed since I’ve been cooped up in my living room under the covers, utterly exhausted and nauseous (not that I’m complaining!):
In early February, after the home study visits were complete, Rich and I decided to take a short vacation to Florida to visit family. It was my niece’s 2nd birthday so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. When we flew down, I was already a few days late. I didn't think much of it as first. But by the second to last day of our trip, I told Rich maybe we should just buy a pregnancy test and get it over with so we don’t have to think about it anymore. To be honest, I hadn't bought a test since our short pregnancy back in July 2012. And before then it had probably been over a year since I took a pregnancy test. I’m not one for inflicting continuing disappointment on myself.
So we were on the way back to my parents from my sister’s house. We stopped to pick up pizza and run into the grocery store for a few things. I sneakily avoided my mother in the store, picked up the pregnancy test, and checked out super fast. I threw the test in my purse so my father wouldn't see and then the next morning did my part and waited for the results. There was no fanfare or excitement with Rich leading up to the test. I just did it. It’s funny, looking back, I think I knew I was pregnant. Still, we had only had one positive pregnancy test throughout the entire duration of our marriage and that one wasn't meant to be. So even though deep in my gut I think I felt pregnant, I still was expecting a negative response. That’s all I had ever been used to.
But immediately there they were…
One fainter than the other, but still clear enough to know the final answer.
We were pregnant!
I walked into my parent’s guest bedroom. The morning light was shining through the blinds onto Rich cozy in the bed. I looked at him and provided a “thumbs up.” All he could muster was a “really?” I don’t know how else to explain it but we were in complete shock. There was no jumping up and down or crying or screaming. There was no “we need to tell everyone we know.” We just smiled and hugged each other tight, but we kept saying, “This is so weird.” (In fact to this day we still will look at each other and say, “Can you believe it, this is so weird!”)
The crazy part is we had already resolved our infertility with the decision to become parents through adoption. We had already begun planning on raising a child, and knew in our minds we would eventually become parents (we just didn't know the time frame or who the child was yet). Now all of a sudden, everything we had been working towards through raising money, the home study, and learning about how to parent an adopted child had to be put on hold. Our mindset had to make a complete 180. We were still in the mindset of “we are going to be parents,” but now there was a set time frame and all the physical changes and symptoms that come along with being pregnant. And now I will actually have the opportunity to experience giving birth to my child.
Given our history of infertility and our one pregnancy loss, we were very cautious and anxious about this pregnancy in the beginning. Our first day “pregnant” was spent walking around Epcot. It was sunny and 75, beautiful! Half way through the day I began feeling cramps in my side and immediately pulled out my smart phone. The worrying had begun! Everything I read said some cramping is normal in early pregnancy. Thank God! We immediately made a phone call to my doctor in Syracuse and set up time for blood work up and a follow up appointment.
We returned home and everything at the doctor’s confirmed that indeed we are pregnant! We saw the flicker of a heartbeat. That was farther than we had made it with the other pregnancy, where we never even saw a yolk sack. The doctor placed us at 5.5 weeks, a week behind where my calendar said, but I trusted her.
We were officially pregnant and there was a tiny baby with a tiny heartbeat inside of me. Again, so weird!
We've spent the last few months getting used to this idea. We told a few family members and close friends. I also had to tell my boss because the nausea had hit me and there were some days I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed. I didn't throw up, thank God, but the fatigue and queasiness was pretty bad some days. It was so bad that we skipped out on seeing an Avett Brothers show in Rochester. If you know me, you know I would have to be pretty much incapacitated to miss one of their shows.
Over the past few months I have felt a weird combination of shock, awe, happiness, and wonder, as well as confusion, depression, and anxiety. The worst part was not feeling well and not being able to tell people I was pregnant (I'm working on another post about the negative aspect of waiting to tell people you're pregnant). A few days there in the beginning I felt isolated and depressed. It was hard for me to accept the fact that I had no energy to do anything and that I wasn’t going to be productive, but that was supposedly was OK. (As my sister-in-law reminded me, “you’re growing a HUMAN BEING.”) But as time went on and each doctor’s appointment continued to reassure us that our baby is doing just fine, I began to feel more happiness, joy, and sense of anticipation. Now at almost 13 weeks, we have heard the heartbeat several times, and most recently had an ultrasound that revealed an energetic and tiny little baby, who seems to enjoy wiggling around his/her arms and legs.
We are already completely head over heels in love with our little miracle!
I’m sure many of you want to know “what now” with the adoption. The truth is I always wanted to have two kids. I have five siblings who mean the world to me and my mother always told us “the greatest gift I gave you was each other.” It was always important that we have at least two children, so they would always have each other just as I had my siblings. Of course dealing with infertility for years, you learn not to get too selfish. Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. One healthy baby is enough, right? However, now I feel like we are on the path to have the family we always wanted – two children, one biological and one adopted.
The adoption agency prefers families wait a year after giving birth to get put back on the waiting list. We are hoping 6 months to a year after having our baby, we can go back to the adoption agency to take our home study off hold, renew any necessary documents, update our profile, and be put on the list to be matched again and bring a second child into our family as soon as possible.
Our plan is to leave all the donated money in the dedicated adoption savings account until we get back on the path to adopt a newborn. However, we know sometimes life can take some unexpected turns. If for any reason adoption no longer seems like a viable option to build our family, then the money we’ve raised (as we’ve stated before) will either go directly to a family who is adopting, or to a reputable organization like Show Hope that provides grants to families who are adopting.
But right now the plan is to grow one baby in my tummy, and soon after grow another in our hearts…
There’s so much more I could write about the past few months, and how we are handling this amazing new phase in our life, but it would take up a lot more blog posts (this one is already way longer than a normal blog post should be). So for now I will leave you, my family and friends, with this:
- Thank you for your support through this entire journey towards parenthood.
- Thank you for the prayers, thoughts, cards, gifts, and love.
- Thank you for the donations to our adoption fund. We are all set for when we are ready to restart the adoption process.
- Thank you for sharing our story with others who have gone through similar experiences so we can continue to connect with and support one another.
- Thank you for the encouragement (those of you who knew I was pregnant) that everything is going to be ok, so far so good!!
- Thank you for being respectful of our personal experience, and avoiding cliche' phrases like "we knew if you adopted you would get pregnant. I knew a family who had the exact same thing happen." The truth is that only happens to 2% of families who adopt, and not even necessarily ones who have suffered from infertility. We did not pursue adoption so we would get pregnant. We pursued adoption to start a family. In the end we still have a heart for adoption and whether our children come to us through biological conception or adoption, we will love them just the same!
The two things we've been meditating on consistently over the past few months are:
- Giving thanks to God for this amazing miracle
- Praying that our baby stays safe and healthy
After waiting so long to have this opportunity to love and raise a child, all that matters to Rich and I is making sure we are the best parents we can be both before and after our child is born into this world. Our little miracle deserves at least that much! And it all begins with gratitude...
Thanks for listening. Thanks for being a part of this journey with us. Thanks for helping us keep the HOPE lit in our hearts for our future children.