Saturday, November 15, 2008

Waiting for News

When we went through our day-long adoption training last December, there were two couples that we met and kept in contact with.  Neither couple has children.  When we found out we were expecting, I started praying that they would have their babies before we have ours.  I am hoping that they are about to experience the answers to those (and many other) prayers!  I have known for awhile that one couple has been matched with a birth mom who is due tomorrow.  Yesterday, I found out that the other couple also has a match, and the birth mom may be induced this weekend if she hasn't given birth already.

I am so excited for both these couples!  However, there are a lot of things that could happen to endanger each adoption plan.  I'm praying that these babies will be born and safely adopted very soon.  I'll post when I have news!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where We Are Now

I've been putting it off for a few months, now, but I think the time has come to get this story up to date.  

At the end of June/beginning of July, we took a much-anticipated trip to our old town and the surrounding areas to see old friends.  We hadn't been back there for a year and a half, and we were really excited to reconnect with old friends and see how their kids had grown.  Lots of them had had babies.  I was keeping track at one point, but I lost count.  I met lots of babies I hadn't met before-I would guess more than five and possibly less than ten.

Had we made the trip several months earlier, I think holding all those babies would have been really hard on me.  But since we had resolved last fall to pursue adoption, God had done a lot of healing in us, especially me, in a short time.  The months and years of infertility (both before and after Jonathan) just didn't hurt like they had before.  And I was actually hopeful:  hopeful that God had a plan to grow our family and that we would actually adopt at some point.  (Infertility treatments had never involved any hope for me, just despair.)  Jeff, Jonathan, and I were really excited about our family growing.  The nursery had been ready since January, our profile was finally available online, and all three of us were praying for God to bring a baby to be a part of our family.  So, when I held these new babies, I didn't experience pain, but hope.  And it was also nice that I remembered how to get along with babies!  :)

We had a wonderful trip and saw so many special friends.  Even friends that we hadn't been in such close contact with had heard about our adoption plans and were excited for us.  Word travels fast!  We have been truly blessed by all the friends and family who have prayed with us and for us on this journey.  I don't know that many of you read this blog, but if you do, thank you!!!  It's so wonderful to experience that connection with everyone and know that as God blesses us, he blesses the people who are praying for us, too.

I planned to tackle a big project when we got home:  getting rid of my maternity clothes.  They had been sitting in the garage for a long time, getting outdated and not doing anyone any good.  So, I wanted to give them away while they were still useful to someone.  Even though we hadn't been trying to get pregnant for over a year and were 100% sure about adopting, it was still hard to do.  Being pregnant with Jonathan was really a special time for us, and I wasn't looking forward to reliving that time and grieving its loss.

When we got home, my cycle was "late."  This has happened lots of times before and has meant nothing, so I'm not really sure why I did this, but I took a pregnancy test.  I had one from the dollar store left over and sitting under my sink.  (If you are reading this and trying to get pregnant, I highly recommend the dollar store tests.  They are not as nice and high-tech, but they get the job done and cost a dollar!  You'll save a ton of money if you don't get pregnant right away.)

The test was positive.

You can imagine how shocked I was.  Maybe.  Jeff and I were completely taken aback.  I'm not sure how to adequately describe how this felt.  We had been pregnant on our trip but had not known it.  Getting pregnant was the last thing in the world we expected.  It took us some time to wrap our minds around the fact that we were going to have a baby by birth and not adoption, at least for now.  Time like days and weeks, not hours.  We had been really excited about adoption and were looking forward to the possibility of a colorful family.  So I hope it doesn't sound ungrateful to say this, because believe me, we were overwhelmed with gratitude.  But we really did feel some loss to let go of the adoption, at least for the time being.

(If you're not familiar with Bethany, you might not know that they have a policy for prospective adoptive parents who become pregnant.  The short story is that, when you become pregnant, your profile goes on hold and stays on hold until your child is born and grows up a little.  When he/she is 18 months old, you can reactivate and update your profile and get back into the adoption process.  We knew this from the beginning but didn't think it applied to us.  So, when we found out we were pregnant, we let Bethany know first so they could put our profiles aside for now.  We still plan to adopt later!)

Did I mention how shocked we were?  In the midst of the shock and gratitude, I did have one big fear, and it wasn't fear of miscarrying.  It was the fear of causing pain to other infertile and trying-to-adopt couples.  (And if you've followed this blog and this is how you're learning about our news, I am so, so sorry if I am causing you pain, too.)  I have heard sooo many times, "If you'd just adopt (or relax,) you'll get pregnant."  Or some variation on that theme.  Or some acquaintance who has experienced that.  The truth is that, statistically, adoptive couples are not any more likely to become pregnant than couples who don't adopt.  The stories are fun and get told a lot, but it's just not likely to happen.  And, if you are trying unsuccessfully to grow your family, this is a really painful thing to hear.

So, not only did I dread breaking the news to our new friends who were trying to adopt.  I was afraid of our story being told far and wide as another "so-and-so tried to adopt and get pregnant, so you should, too" story.  I felt very unworthy of receiving this miracle!  So many others have never had a child, and we already had Jonathan.  So I don't know why God chose us.  And we really are unworthy, and it really is a miracle.  But here we are, still shocked and grateful, and we did break the news to everyone.  I thought it was hard, and I did worry about our story hurting infertile couples.  Jeff didn't think it was that big of a deal, and maybe he's right.  I was glad to get the news told to the people I was concerned about, and mostly, it went OK.

Sharing our surprise with friends and family has been a tremendous privilege and joy, which I've shared about a little on our other blog.  But this is our adoption story, so I'm not going to go into that here.  I am still trying to do what I can to slow down the "just adopt and you'll get pregnant" myth.  It's hard, partly because that did actually happen to us, and mostly because so many people believe it!  I can't tell you how many people have brought that up when they've learned we're expecting.  If you were one of those people, please don't worry about it now!  But I hope you'll consider not saying that to friends who are struggling.  :)  And remember, it's not often true.

So.  Here we are.  Twenty weeks pregnant.  Still in shock.  And gratitude.  I'm not quite sure what to say, but I do know this:  God has a plan.  He is going to work it out in his way and his time.  The journey will not always be fun or the way we have planned it, but it will be for our good.  It won't be ordinary.  And it will bring him glory!

(If you're wondering...I still will update the blog now and then with adoption information and news...feel free to keep following us!!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dear Friend

Jeff and I receive newsletters from a wonderful ministry of Bethany Christian Services called Stepping Stones, which offers support for couples facing infertility or pregnancy loss.  Some months ago, they included the piece below in a  newsletter.  I thought it captured the feeling of infertility better than anything I had read before.  As you probably know from my earlier posts, although we are not childless, I think that infertility is a feeling I will never forget.  (It's also how I found Glenna's blog, which you may have noticed in my short blogroll.  Glenna featured this piece as well.)

If you're so inclined and would like to step into the shoes of those in the world of infertility, please keep reading.  I think the author has captured it so well.

Dear Friend

By Kim Notehelfer

Dear Friend,

Will you be someone who understands?

Will you understand when I tell you that I need a friend who will listen as I share about my journey through infertility?

So many others have only had advice; miracle stories, herb teas, and new love-making positions.

Will you understand month after month when I need to share my disappointment from another unsuccessful attempt?

Will you understand when I tell you that I rage and pound my fists at God because he doesn't seem to hear me and take away this pain?

Will you know to pray for me when I can no longer pray for myself?
Will you know to send me a card to remind me that I am not alone?

Will you understand the tears that well up when you tell me you are pregnant?

Will you understand that I celebrate with you, yet long for the day when a friend's pregnancy doesn't remind me of my barrenness?

Will you understand when I start to pull away when your tummy begins to bulge?

As much as I long to share in the excitement, I find the ache too much as other women encircle you and the conversation turns to motherhood.

Will you understand when I don't come to your baby shower?

I can't imagine the strength I will need to hold back the tears in the midst of baby clothes, breastfeeding tips, and birth stories.

Will you understand when your baby is born and I don't come to visit right away?

Please know that I long to hold your child and congratulate you in person.  But holding a newborn in my arms spirals me into a place of envy and pain.

Will you understand that my empty arms are still heavy with the grief they carry?
Will you understand that your greatest joy is my deepest sorrow?

When the months turn into years, and you are expecting your second child
Will you understand that I still long to bear a child in my womb?

Will you still be my friend?

Printed with permission of Stepping Stones, a ministry of Bethany Christian Services

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We're Still Here!

I can't believe it's been so long since I have posted.  I don't know if there is anyone left who will even read this because I've left my poor readers hanging and neglected!

I have composed so many posts in my mind lately and even had several great things to link to, but obviously that hasn't happened.  I read this post today, though, and I had to link to it.  Click here to read a not-too-long post about one woman's thoughts about infertility and how it's something she'll always carry with her.

Hopefully soon I'll gather my thoughts while I'm at the computer and write a little bit about where we are now.  Although I don't know if anyone reads this blog anymore...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What a great quote...

I was reading this article from the Family Room about making your marriage last a lifetime.  It includes 10 tips from couples who have been married for over 50 years.  I thought #6 was pretty good:

6. Have faith that God knows what He is doing. “A lot of people would ask me, ‘No children yet?’ And I’d say, ‘No, but I am sure having a good time telling you how to raise yours.’” (Jodie May)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Article About Adoption

Here's an interesting article about adoption trends I came across today:

Here's what I found most interesting:

"Situations in which young pregnant women decide to put their children up for adoption are becoming increasingly rare. Before 1973, nearly 9 percent of births to never-married women were given up for adoption. By 2002, that statistic had dropped to about 1 percent.

"The number of children adopted from other countries increased from about 7,000 in 1990 to more than 19,000 in 2001. That means about 16 percent of the 120,000 annual adoptions in the United States in that latest year were of children from other nations."

I truly wish that it could be more socially acceptable for women to make adoption plans for their unexpected children than it is now.  It's so socially acceptable to be a single mom, and I definitely want to support single moms!  But I also think it's true that sometimes it is just too difficult for a mom to raise her child and provide for the child on her own, and it would be a wonderful thing for her to choose a couple to adopt her baby.  She still can choose to have a relationship with her child as he/she grows up, but know at the same time that her baby has the exact family that she wanted to provide.  One percent of never-married women placing their children for adoption...that's just not very many.  I guess that's one reason there are so many families waiting here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Free Diaper Giveaway!

If you are in the diaper stage of life, you might enjoy this free diaper giveaway at Baby Cheapskate. And thanks to Cherissa for finding it. Enjoy!