We have always leaned on one another for support, but now more than ever. Here is a quick rundown of our story and where we are at right now in our lives. Jeff and I have been married for 8 years, 1 month, and 11 days. We are more in love today than we have ever been. Though our family has faced many trials and pain we are glued together. We have found that if you put God first in your marriage and your lives, you can overcome anything.
I’ve know of a lot of couples calling it quits after facing infertility. They say that hardships can tear your marriage apart or make you stronger. We’ve decided that we will let it make us stronger.
We started trying to conceive 5 years ago this coming April. We have lost one child (I was about 8 weeks along. I might share this story one day with you). We tried for a biological child for one year before I decided to go see my OB/GYN. I had been charting my cycle for 6 months and he said it appeared I had been ovulating. We were sent to Montgomery to a fertility specialist named Dr. Allemand. He works with the ART program. Jeff and I both underwent numerous tests and procedures, some very painful and expensive. If you are in the same boat and are curious about our specific struggles please feel free to email me. I’d love to help or just be there to listen.
We have done 3 IUI’s. All three were medicated. The last one I had injected a large amount of hormones into me. I had grown around 10 – 15 fully matured eggs. My ovaries were so fully I couldn’t get out of bed. I was in so much pain, but I knew “this is gonna be it.” “It’s going to work this time.” Well, it didn’t. I’m pretty sure there is a link between fertility drugs and getting cancer later in life. Whatever the case, I know extended use with drugs of any kind have risks. I didn’t feel like it was healthy anymore and neither did Jeff. We were tired of putting our bodies and minds through so much. Our hearts were aching. The pain every single month of knowing you did every thing you could to conceive and you still fell short. It was hurting us.
March 2012. I met a friend at a lectureship in Memphis that had saw my facebook status. “Moving on to adoption, please post any happy stories or experiences with us.” ((something to that effect)) She informs me of a program in China that she heard about that helps Christian families adopt for half the cost of a normal Chinese adoption. When we get home they email us the contact information of the director.
April 2012. Lots of emails and phone calls. We set up a meeting for June 17th. We can’t wait.
May 2012. I’ve been in contact with a foster mom in China who has a little girl that needs to be adopted. We tell Ron (the man helping us adopt from China) about her. He says it might work, but will be hard since she is in a government ran orphanage not a Christian one. Also, we complete our third IUI with no success.
June 2012. The government orphanage wants “bribe” money for Eliana. It’s going to be too expensive and we have no guarantee that they will let us adopt after they receive the money. We meet with Ron and his wife and decide we won’t be able to pursue adoption of Eliana. They say we are number 3 on the list to be able to adopt out of one of their 6 orphanages, but we will have to be willing to accept a special needs child. Also, It is going to be very difficult to adopt from China because we are under 30. The law says you have to be 30. We are 26 and almost 28.
July 2012. We decide it will be best to go ahead and have a homestudy, and for future adoptions we decide we will adopt through the state. We started our 10 week program with our county. The classes are every Monday night for 3 hours.
August 2012. Grateful for the classes, they pass the time. We are really getting to know one another well and figure out how we developed a lot of traits because of our upbringing. During our 5th class we ask the social worker about adopting a baby or younger child. She informs us it is practically unheard of. The youngest child in the system available for adoption is 8. She tells us our best chance is to foster first then we will have the first option to adopt after the family. Of course we say no, we aren’t ready for that. By the next class we knew we were going to be foster parents. *note
September 2012. We are finger printed. We have completed our First Aid and CPR classes. We have all of our paperwork turned in and finish the classes September 10th. First homestudy was scheduled for the beginning of September. Our case worker called the day of to tell us she couldn’t come. We tried to reschedule for the following week. It never worked out. She acted like it wasn’t a rush. Since we had some remodeling work to do on our house she said we could wait until we get that finished.
October 2012. Working on the house.
November 2012. Working on the house. Enjoying the holidays.
December 2012. We are ready! Things aren’t perfect, but at least we have the paint and chemicals locked up. We were told through a friend we would have to have references. I asked the social worker and she was like, oh yeah, hmmm….maybe they didn’t get them. So she sends me the forms and informs me that to foster we have to have so many filled out before we are approve….well, thanks for telling us! We get them sent out and our first homestudy is scheduled for the 11th. She takes 5 minutes to run through the house. Looks like we just need to put up our fire alarm and take down our gas heater. You can read that post here. The final homestudy was on the 19th and again took 5 minutes. (I’ve heard there are tons more steps and time involved if you adopt through a private agency) During the last homestudy we found out that if we wanted to foster a baby we would need a crib. Here is the post about that. We enjoyed Christmas, but were really wishing we had babies in our arms to enjoy it with us.
January 2013. It’s a new year! Ron informs us that we are #1 on the list to adopt from China. Yippee! He says they haven’t had babies in months, but they are doing everything they can to find us one. I have emailed our social worker a few times. She says she’s busy. I wait a few weeks, email a couple more times, no response.
February 2013. The month of love is here and we still have no babies to love on. I decide to call the supervisor (the one who has to sign off on our paperwork). She informs me that there is nothing left for us to do. It’s in their hands. They are swamped. She can’t tell me if it will be weeks or months. Nothing. Still waiting
*note: Our goal is to ADOPT. We totally understand that there is a huge chance we won’t get to adopt all or most of the kids we foster. Fostercare is set up as a “temporary” home for the kids until they can go back home to their parents. Jeff and I want the children to be reunited with their parents if their parents will love and take care of them. The ideal situation would be for a child to be with their birth parents. Sometimes it’s not possible. We don’t want to sabotage any chance for the children to go home. We do know there are children whose parents cannot or will not change and get their lives in order so they can get their kids back. We want to adopt these kids.
While we will have some children we are blessed to be able to foster and only foster, we know that the short time we have them will be a blessing for them and us. We can show them unconditional love, we can teach them about our Father in heaven, we can introduce them to new friends at church, we will meet all their physical and emotional needs, we will give them back to their birth parents. That is the best we can do. We know it will hurt. We know deep down we will want to keep every. single. child. We know we can’t. We are okay with that.
We want to impact as many children as we can. Hopefully one day, one or two or three of them will get to live with us. forever.