It had been two years. We had tried all of the things we could – from ovulation predictors to testing and medicine. And let
me tell you – it was stressful. The process of “trying” becomes less and less exciting the longer you are at it. It goes from being a fun adventure (Maybe this will be the month we get pregnant!) to a job (Looks like I’m ovulating…I’ll meet you in the bedroom.). It became a chore: the endless counting of days, the feeling that if I was ovulating we were “on duty,” and the monthly disappointment when I got my period and we knew we had failed again.
So we stopped. We stopped actively “trying” to conceive. We stopped counting, I stopped peeing on ovulation predictors, and we stopped going to see the fertility specialists. I had heard countless stories from people about how once they stopped thinking about it and relaxed, they got pregnant! So instead of focusing on making a baby, we took trips, we made home improvements, and I started taking more graduate classes. And it was great! It felt so nice to take a break, but that hope was always there. The break, the relaxation that worked for so many couples? It didn’t work for us.
We were now almost six years into our marriage; three and a half years into unsuccessfully becoming parents. We were ready to take a big step since the break wasn’t doing the trick.
We started the adoption process.
A colleague and close friend of mine and his wife had adopted their daughter through the Nebraska Children’s Home Society. He had nothing but the highest praise for them. After a great deal of conversation and prayer about it, Dave and I decided to begin the adoption process.
I have nothing but the most wonderful things to say about our experience with the Children’s Home. We started by attending an informational meeting in Lincoln about what we could expect should we decide adoption was the right route for us. The next step was an initial interview with a case worker. We went to two days of training where we learned about the blessings and the challenges of adoption. Our families were invited to attend a session about how to support couples who are pursuing adoption. We filled out our extensive questionnaire and made decisions we never thought we would have to make (Will you accept a child of a different race? Will you accept a child who was exposed to drugs or alcohol? Will you accept a child with a disability?). We went through a series of interview and a home visit. We wrote our profile letter (the most difficult letter I’ve ever had to write) that a potential birth mother would read to help her decide if we were the right parents for her child. Finally, in April of 2013, we entered the adoption pool. Now, it would be a waiting game. Which mother (if any) would select us?
Throughout this entire journey, we prayed for a child. We continued to help our friends and family welcome their own children into their families. We watched as Facebook friend after Facebook friend announced their pregnancies (and second pregnancies! Third!) I attended countless baby showers, every time experiencing such a mix of emotions – the tremendous joy of seeing my friend pregnant and glowing, ready to welcome a new baby, and the absolute sorrow that I was not able to experience it for myself.
During one particular baby shower for a friend from high school, the mom-to-be received a framed print of a beautiful quote, “This is the child we have prayed for.” When she opened it, I could feel tears stinging the back of my eyes. We had been praying too. For so long. And as we jumped into the adoption pool, my daily prayer for a child changed.
“Dear Lord, please let whatever child we are supposed to parent find us however they are meant to find us. Amen.”
Because the fact of the matter is, while I may have given up hope of ever conceiving a child, I never gave up hope of becoming a parent. I knew that I was meant to be a mother, and I was ready to welcome a child however that child arrived.