When we got married, we had dreams similar to every other couple's dreams: the house with the picket fence, 2 kids, a dog. The American Dream.
A year after we got married, we bought a house. The next year, we got a dog. Check and check. The year after that, we decided we wanted to have kids. Check.... well, not so fast.
I was having some issues with the pill. My doctor said my dose should be increased. When I told him we were only a few months away from trying to have kids, he suggested I go off it altogether to give my body a rest and get ready for baby making. I came home from the appointment and my husband just stared blankly at me: "You can't go off the pill yet, we weren't going to start trying for a couple months!" "It'll be alright", I assured him, secretly thinking that in a few short weeks I would be pregnant.
Within a few weeks, we found out that my sister-in-law was having fertility problems. "Poor her" I thought, "perhaps she is too old to get pregnant." She was, after all, in her mid-30's. I was a spring chicken in my mid-20's, realizing I was in my prime fertility. Shortly after that, she told us she was going to attempt IVF. "Oh how fun," I thought, "We will be pregnant together."
Her IVF worked. I wasn't pregnant. But I knew I would be shortly.
A year goes by. The doctor says it is time to look into infertility issues. What?!?! I am in prime fertility years, I can't be infertile!
Test after test after test found - well, not much. "You are perfect candidates for IVF" I hear him telling us. IVF? Isn't that for old women? "Especially given your age, you have over a 60% chance of becoming pregnant." Well, alrighty then. An easy solution.
Easy it was not. Shots, testing, bloodwork, mood swings, bloating, weight gain. "It will all be worth it" we assured ourselves. The day of the transfer, they put back 3 embryos and we started dreaming of triplets.
A couple weeks later was the pregnancy test. Negative. What? Well, where did my babies go??? You put 3 in there and now they're gone?
It felt like we had been hit by a sledgehammer. We couldn't process what had happened. We cried. We got angry. We were in disbelief.
A few weeks later was our follow up appointment. I sat there, crying, just staring at the doctor as he told us "Sadly, you fell in the 40% range instead of the 60% range. When you try again, your odds will increase." When we try again? What planet was he on??? We were NOT going through this again.
Except we did. Maybe he was really convincing. Maybe we desperately wanted to have kids. Maybe we thought this was our only answer.
Another negative pregnancy test. We were devastated. I have never experienced such devastation in all my life.
The world slowly stopped spinning. I felt like I was barely holding on. Everyone around me was having babies. All of my friends were popping them out like it was nothing. It got really hard faking being excited for them. It never failed - when we'd go to WalMart, there would be a dirty screaming baby - and the mom would be just as dirty and screaming just as much. Seriously??? I quit going to WalMart.
We had a circle of friends that got together quite regularly. They all had kids. Some had 2 by now. We had to quit getting together, it was too emotionally hard on us to smile and pretend like we weren't hurting.
Eventually, we decided to adopt. "If we can't have our own...." we thought, "we might as well adopt. It's a second best plan, but we'll be finally be parents..."
When we found an adoption agency, we had a glimmer of hope. "Welcome to your paper pregnancy" said the paperwork from the agency. Pregnant! I was pregnant! Not in the way I had imagined - but I was thrilled to read that from the agency. Those words helped to heal me - and helped us to move forward.
Working on the mounds of paperwork kept me busy and focused. It was good therapy. When the paperwork was finally completed, we sighed a big sigh of relief. Finally. We will FINALLY be parents. And soon!
Nope. Not so soon. We waited and we waited and we waited. It made no sense. There were a TON of kids internationally who needed parents - we needed kids - and things weren't moving quickly. At all.
Month after devastating month we had no news of our adoption. This was all too familiar. We had years of month after devastating month of no news. We could not go through anymore!
But our agency encouraged us to perservere and hang in there. So we did. We still felt like the world was giving birth all around us - but we hung on. Barely at times, but we did.
Two long years after completing that paperwork, it finally happened. We became parents. All the misery - disappeared. All the questions - answered. All our fears - subsided. All our sadness - replaced with joy.
All because of one child.
A child who was not born of our bodies but immediately became a part of our souls. A child who opened our hearts in ways we didn't know possible. A child who made our empty arms full.
A child. Finally. A child. Parents! We were finally parents!
Once we were united as a family - biology disappeared. It didn't matter that we didn't birth this child. It didn't matter that we were born on opposite sides of the world. Nothing mattered. Except that we were all together. Finally.
And there is no doubt that we were always meant to be together. We can't imagine our lives without OUR child. This child is ours in every sense of the word.
Adoption was not second best for our family afterall. It was the greatest gift we could've received! Thank God for all those years of infertility - or else we never would've had this child - our child - as a part of our family.
God works in mysterious ways.