How do you know when it’s the right time to stop infertility treatments and pursue adoption? That’s a question I asked myself and my husband many, many times.
We spent over 2.5 years barely surviving the day to day life of infertility. In the beginning we had so much hope but as the days turned in to months and the months turned to years, our hope began to disappear. After our first round of IVF failed the topic of adoption came up in many of our conversations. We had so many fears when we first started thinking about adoption. Will we be able to bond with an adopted baby? Will there be an expectant mom that would trust us enough to raise her child? How and when would we tell this child that they are adopted? And the hardest question that I really don’t even want to admit to; will we be able to have the same love for this baby as we would of had for a biological baby? Those questions hit us hard and we had so many conversations about each of them.
For about a year we would randomly bring up these questions to each other. During that year we decided to attempt IVF one more time. Our hearts were uncertain of what path to take and we just felt like we had to give it one more shot. I put my body through all of those shots, doctors appointments and the poking and prodding; only to end up with one embryo. Ultimately, that embryo transfer was another failure and we were left with nothing to show for it but empty arms and broken hearts.
Throughout the whole process of our second IVF attempt, adoption laid heavy on my heart. It started to pop up everywhere: tv shows, blogs, random conversations and in my dreams. God was pulling on my heart strings and giving me the nudge I needed to move towards adoption...
We took the time to grieve the loss of what could have been. The excitement of finding out we were pregnant, announcing to our family and friends, me getting to experience pregnancy and birth and dreaming of who our baby would look like. We grieved so much and at times are still grieving that loss. Infertility took a piece of me that I will never get back. There were so many dark, hard months. The days were so long and I started to become a person I didn’t even recognize. If you are someone who has struggled with infertility, I want you to know you aren’t alone. Those feelings of sadness and despair are a part of this journey, let yourself feel them but never let it keep you down for too long. If you have never struggled with infertility; be kind. Kind to those that are fighting a battle you will never begin to comprehend. I thank God every day for those special few people who held me up when I could barely stand and for those that have seen us through those terrible days. You are literally our hero’s. I’m here to tell you all that there is absolutely no shame in the infertility game. God gave us this battle because he knows we are strong enough to fight it. However, when God tells you it’s time to move on to a new adventure, you must trust Him and take that leap. I assure you; the grass will be greener on the other side.
The day we decided to close the book on infertility and open our hearts to adoption, was a day of redemption. It’s now so clear that God had us fight through the trenches of infertility because he was preparing our hearts for something we would have never been able to comprehend in the beginning. He was preparing us for adoption. In the beginning of all of this I was so impatient, selfish and oblivious to the struggles of life. Our years of infertility gave us time to learn patience, learn about each other, form an unbreakable bond in our marriage and most importantly; it gave God time to shape our hearts.
If you would have told me 2.5 years ago that the plan for us was to adopt, I would have never believed it! No we weren’t one of the couples that always knew adoption would be our plan, but I’m more than okay with that. We needed those years of pain to grow and realize that being a parent and holding that baby in our arms for the first time is something so unbelievably special and nothing short of a miracle. You don’t need to be pregnant and carry a child for 9 months in order to love it. When our baby is placed in my arms I know that the love will be instant. There will be a moment where that ache in my heart will dull and there will be that little voice from deep in my soul that says “there you are, I’ve been looking for you”.
You guys. It’s literally the most amazing feeling to know and trust that I’m following the path God had planned for us all along. I can feel myself going back to a some what normal life. No, the heartache will never fully go away. But I can finally breath again. The fog has lifted and that heavy weight has been taken off my shoulders. I can finally be happy, take time to love on my hubby and friends and truly find that joy in the wait.
Some of you that may be considering adoption but think it is too expensive, time consuming and heartbreaking; I urge you to do your research, have those hard conversations with your spouse, pray and listen to what God tells you. I know this road won’t be easy, but the time will pass anyway. Adoption definitely isn’t an easier choice, but it’s so refreshing. It’s refreshing to know that our baby is out there and God is leading us to the one that our hearts were made to love.
This is only the beginning for us so I hope that you all will follow along with our journey. I love to keep it real and raw, no matter what, because I know that there will be someone that needs to hear our story. If you are one of those few, I hope that you will find hope and truth in our journey and be brave enough to take that leap to begin whatever journey God has laid on your heart.
Until next time ... Valerie