In many facets of life, we seek the path that provides the surest outcome. We often buy the 10 year warranty, we want to test drive a vehicle before we buy, and our interest is piqued by the 30 day money back guarantee. If only we could foresee if that job would pan out the way we want it to or if the relationship we are in is worth the effort.
When struggling with infertility, people asked my husband and I all the time if we had looked in to in vitro fertilization, insemination, natural family planning, changing our diets, and read this book or that book. We, and I mean my husband and I, as well as our family and friends, sought out the path that we thought would be most predictable. We looked to science to help us ensure that we could have children. As Catholics, we knew in vitro was out of the question if we wanted to stay in line with our church’s teachings, but we still sought out a scientific answer, and thus solution, to our dilemma because it seemed like the most reliable, guaranteed, route. But in the meantime, we tried every other method possible, some easy, like taking my temperature each morning, and some much more difficult, like changing our diets or my poor husband having to give sperm samples.
Of course we considered adoption as well, and had from the beginning, but it sounded terrifying. The thought of investing our money, emotions, energy, and faith in to a situation where we basically sit back and wait, takes more courage than we thought we had. After years of hoping, praying, studying, researching, and finally accepting, we decided on the adoption route.
We knew it would be some journey. “Adoption is not for wimps, and we’re no wimps!” became our mantra after going through the home study and training process. Finally ready to sit back and wait, it wasn’t long before we met a birth mother who chose us. Of course we were thrilled, but simultaneously petrified that it wouldn’t work out. We were skeptical, and after only a few months, she changed her mind before the babies (they were twins) were born. Our world was shaken, but we picked up the pieces and moved on. We continued to focus on our jobs, our families, and our home projects and quickly realized that what happened was the exception, not the norm, and that this just meant those weren’t our babies. Our baby was still out there.
About six months later, on Mother’s Day weekend, we met with a young couple that was considering us. The meeting went well and they chose us! We were elated. The birthmother was already about eight months pregnant, so we knew we’d have a baby soon. I went to several doctor’s appointments with her, we got to know her and the birthfather, and even got to see the baby on the ultrasound. After our last visit to the doctor, the plan was to induce three days later. When the day came, she told the social worker her appointment had been canceled and she would call her later. Three days after that, the birthfather finally called the social worker to tell her that she had had the baby four days prior and they had changed their minds. It was as if someone had died. We felt betrayed, depressed, angry, and shocked. How could this have happened a second time? We took some time off work, managed to put our lives back together as best we could, and move on. We just kept saying, “Let’s just focus on what we do have, instead of on what we don’t have.”
Five weeks later, on a regular Tuesday, I got up, went for a run, and went to work. After being there only an hour or so, my husband called. I came to the phone to hear the first words out of his mouth, “Honey, we have a baby.” Nothing could be more glorious than those words. While in the throes of depression, and questioning every decision, my precious son found us. He was in my arms just three hours after his birth.
People always told us that when you get your babies, you understand why nothing else ever worked out. I had no idea how profound that would be until I held my son in my arms for the first time. Finally, the entire journey made sense, and if it were a million times longer and harder, it wouldn’t matter, because the outcome is YOUR child. I don’t know where those other babies are now. I pray that they are okay, but I don’t long for them. My son is my son, in every way, shape, and form. He was one hundred percent made for me. My husband has a daughter from a previous marriage and he says, “When they are biological, you are in awe of the fact that they were made as a part of you. But when they’re adopted, you are in awe of how you feel like they are totally handpicked to be your kid. There are no surprises, no accidents in their conception, it is totally providential.”
Infertility is a road with potholes, overgrown thorn bushes, speed bumps, wrong ways, U-turns, and sharp curves. Every family is different, and I have seen the beauty of fertility treatments, in vitro, and insemination. But I have also seen couples spend their entire savings and not get pregnant. My message to others is that adoption is guaranteed! Your child is waiting for you! It is hard (but isn’t childbirth?), it is long (but isn’t pregnancy?), but more than anything, it is worth it. If you are willing to wait, jump, leap, slow down, speed up, and get stranded on the road to motherhood, you will find that the out outcome is miraculous.