Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

When Zay was being taught by the LDS missionaries back in Georgia, it took a little while before he converted and was baptized. I was there by his side, but I didn't want him to convert solely based on me and what I wanted. That wasn't the point. He was smart about it and took his time... really thought it out. Missionaries moved around and got assigned to different areas, but there were a few who stood out and really made an impact on Zay and he remembers them to this day.

One missionary, Dustin, was one of the last missionaries to come through before Zay got baptized. We loved Dustin! He helped Zay so much and really connected with him. His family was from Utah, so when Dustin heard we were moving out here, we were immediately invited to Thanksgiving dinner at his parents' house. We met his family and they were so welcoming and we felt like we had known them for years. This year has been the 6th year we've spent Thanksgiving with their ever-growing family. Dustin got married, so we got to meet the wife and her family... and then they had a little girl... and now she's pregnant again! It's been fun being an honorary member of their big, loving family. Families like his make me want to create a huge, loving, supportive family of my own. I pray I can have that one day.

It's been so amazing to have this family reach out to us and take us in as their own. We don't have any extended family within a 2000 mile radius. So, we've created a network of people here who love us. I'm so grateful for that!

Here's a really good video our Church put out about living your life full of gratitude...

Video of "In the Spirit of Thanksgiving":




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Grateful

Photo: www.lallystore.com

At this point in time, I'm trying really hard to be grateful. It's Thanksgiving this week and I don't want to mope around feeling sorry for myself. So, I'm not. I'm focusing on the things that are beautiful in my life and temporarily forgetting the things that I cannot control.

Things that I'm grateful for right now:
  • Zay - He's the sweetest man on the planet when he wants to be... always serving others and being so nice and selfless. Despite his tough exterior, he's a teddy bear! He loves me and makes me feel so comfortable. He teaches me so much. I tell him he's my soul mate and he laughs at me, because he loves me more than he can say and I throw out every cliche in the book. Ha ha.
  • My younger brother and his family - I love having them so close to us. I missed my brother soooo much when Zay and I moved 2,000 miles away from our families so that I could go to school... but he decided to follow suit a couple years later, and I'm so glad he's here. And I love my nephew! Family is everything. My nephew is who made me realize I wanted kids. He is amazing and I felt a different kind of love when he came around.
  • My kitties - I love their companionship, even though they think they're here to be worshiped. They're so arrogant and stuck up, ha ha. I love them to death. Sometimes Felix will lay down beside me on the couch and reach out his little paw to touch my leg. Awww! He loves me back.
  • My education - I'm pursuing a few different jobs right now, still trying to find the right fit... but I'm so grateful that I have my degree and I know I'll always be able to get a job and help provide for my family. BYU changed me for the better and is a huge part of who I am today.
  • Friends, especially those who are/were on similar paths as me - They give me hope that everything will work out how it's supposed to. Without my support system, I'm sure I'd be swirling around in a dark corner of my mind. The path to Baby #1 is hard, but I feel supported.
  • Thanksgiving - Family, friends, and food. Mmmmmm.... There's nothing better.




Monday, November 23, 2009

The Lord's Timing

Photo: www.kswpgoodfriends.wordpress.com

The hardest part of trying to have kids (for a control freak like me) is the fact that... when it comes down to it... it's all about the Lord's timing. You can do everything perfectly, but that won't guarantee you a pregnancy. Or you could be on birth control and you get pregnant anyway. Or you can adopt and then get pregnant as soon as the adoption's finalized. Or you can think about giving up trying and then you get pregnant. Or you could have a healthy pregnancy, but deliver your baby prematurely... or have a miscarriage or a stillborn. Okay, I'm freaking myself out here a little bit... but the point is that the timing of bringing a life into the world is not something that we can ultimately control... even with the best caution (to avoid pregnancy) or preparation (to get pregnant and stay pregnant), most of the time our fate is up in the air and God really is the only one in control.

And sometimes the Lord's timing can seem sooooo slooooooooooow! Ha ha. I'm trying not to let it drive me nuts. I wish I could get a glimpse at the timeline He has for me, just so I can stop worrying and wondering. That way I'd be able to make plans for the future and have a general idea of where I'll be in 2 or 5 or 10 years...

I am happy that I got all the way through school first. I didn't always see that as a blessing, but I know now that I wouldn't have been able to handle kids while going to college. It would've been too much for me... and I probably would've dropped out... or pulled a Britney Spears and shaved my head bald. Whichever came first. I just don't see how so many girls at BYU get pregnant year after year without having a nervous breakdown in the testing center during finals week. But anyways, now I've got a great degree to fall back on and I'm proud of myself for accomplishing that. God knew what He was doing.

I'm also happy that I've had so much time to get to know Zay (we dated for 3 years, but that wasn't good enough!). Our 8-year relationship has given us plenty of time to know each other through and through... without the added stress of trying to work together to take care of another human being (except for the time my brother was living with us... ha ha). We're in a much better position today than when we first got together. Much more mature and ready. I think God knew that and has been very merciful to me by not giving me what I want when I want it. Zay too! He's wanted kids with me since I was 16! Ha ha. Hold your horses, buddy. It's not time yet, obviously.




Saturday, November 21, 2009

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Photo: www.health-res.com

Once I started seeing a fertility specialist, a review of my menstrual history and some blood tests led my doctor to believe that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It's one of the most common causes of infertility in women. No one is 100% positive about what causes PCOS, because it's hard to tell which of the conditions that are associated with it are symptoms and which are causes... and not all women have the same combination of conditions. Once one hormone gets out of whack for whatever reason, it causes a chain reaction of other hormones not working. From what I've read about it, women with PCOS can have any or all of the following:
  • Anovulation (lack of ovulation)
  • Acne
  • Excessive amounts of androgenic hormones (particularly testosterone)
  • Insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cysts (immature follicles) on the ovaries
  • Depression
And I'm sure there's more I'm missing (I'm not an expert), but that's the gist of it. I have the first half of the list. Geez! But I am SO thankful that I've never developed large cysts, because I've heard from friends that they can be extremely painful and there's not much you can do for them except wait until they resorb into your body. Ew.

The medications I'm taking for treament (Clomid and Metformin) have helped my hormones not be so out of whack. And they appear to be working now after a year of taking them in increasing doses. So, unless there's some other problem that we haven't found out about yet, this is my issue and is the only reason I haven't gotten pregnant in over 5 years. Hopefully this means that it'll only be a matter of time.

Doctors encourage you to see a fertility specialist if you've gone one full year with regular (frequent) unprotected sex and not gotten pregnant yet. Yeah... I waited way too long.




Friday, November 20, 2009

Today is NOT the Day

I mentioned I was in my two-week-wait after TTC (trying to conceive) this cycle.

As much as I would love for this to be the day I announced a long-awaited pregnancy... alas, it is not. As if periods don't suck enough! Add to it the fact that it's the ultimate sign that you didn't get pregnant and it's just a big Mother Nature joke. According to my basal body temperature chart, I ovulated and timed everything just fine. Maybe. It's kinda hard to tell.



I'm disappointed. It's hard to go through the ups and downs of thinking and hoping and praying and wishing you may be pregnant and then having your body give you a big fat "NOPE!" in response. But, I've learned over time to somehow shake it off and move on... and try again. It hurts, but I try not to think about it too long or it'll just drive me crazy. When it's something like this that you cannot control, over-analyzing things and getting depressed just does NOT help the process.

I have to look on the bright side! If I had gotten pregnant this cycle, my due date would have been July 25th, 2010. That's a horrible time to be due. It's hot and sticky and gross outside. I wouldn't enjoy waddling around in weather like that. Eek!

Plus, there are so many women out there who have been through many more years of disappointment than I have... and many who have faced much worse fertility situations than my own. So, I would feel guilty if I got ridiculously upset about my current bump in the road.

AND, I have one more cycle before I go back to the fertility specialist to discuss the future of my treatments... so I totally have one more chance this year to get pregnant.




Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adoption Orientation Meeting

After choosing an adoption agency, the first step in our adoption process was to attend an orientation in which the caseworkers give us a quick overview of the entire process, the steps that are involved, and the requirements we have to meet. They try to answer general questions and help us become more familiar with adoption. Adoption is not an easy road to take, yall!

They told us about Families Supporting Adoption and their chat nights in which they discuss particular topics relating to adoption. They go more in depth about all kinds of things and what to expect.

www.itsaboutlove.org

We've been to this orientation meeting twice now. The first time was back in February. At the first meeting, I felt good... but Zay felt like we needed to wait. So we did. Then I graduated from BYU, we moved to a better apartment, we talked about adopting some more, and then we went again at the beginning of this month. It wasn't required for us to attend again, but we thought it would be a good refresher on what we were getting ourselves into.

Somehow this time around it felt much more focused on the financial requirements than anything else - something Zay's been having some reservations about. I kept thinking, "Oh geez - just what Zay needed to hear!" Most guys tend to be like, "Okay - how much is this gonna cost me?" So part of me worried that he would hear the numbers and think it would be impossible for us to pull it off. But in reality, I think it was a good wake-up call for us to do better with our savings... and something we both needed to hear, despite my disappointment that we suddenly didn't feel on the same page anymore. But we left with a thick packet of paperwork to fill out - something we're still working on a week and a half later! So, despite some concerns, I feel like the process has officially begun.




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Kitty Love

We are cat people around here.

It's not just me, I promise - Zay loves the kitties too, no matter how much he tries to deny it. Because I'll come home and find him like this:

Zay with Zeus & Felix
He can't fool me!

I grew up with cats and there's something so comforting about a cat jumping up on your lap and purring. The simplest, happiest memories of my dad growing up was watching him with our cats. He was super gentle and I loved that. He's still that way.

Zay had cats growing up as well. His favorite cat was run over and it made him so sad. It's one of those memories that always stuck with him. He tries to say that animals are nothing but trouble, but he's the one who brought home both of our cats that we have now. He saved them from most likely being killed or living as feral cats out on the streets. And he did this totally without my knowledge. He just surprised me with them.

I know he wants a dog. And I imagine when we finally settle down somewhere and buy a house that we'll eventually get a dog. College life and apartment-living keep us from taking that leap into dog-ownership just yet. We want a yard and a fence first, I think. One day.

Anyway, a good side benefit to having our kitties is that they are so good with kids! Especially Felix, who just lays there and lets you pick him up and toss him around like a ragdoll. He's so cool with it. Zeus is still a wuss, though... he tends to hide under the bed all day and run away from kids. Still a benefit! They're not going to be sneaking into any cribs at night and attacking babies' faces. Ha ha ha. Especially since they don't even have claws... They couldn't paw a baby to death, could they?!... Just kidding!
Here's Felix, totally docile and limp, as my neighbor's kid grips him tight. He's such a good cat! He's probably thinking, "Oh my gosh! Put me down! What are you doing??" But he never lets on. Such a good little kitty witty!



Pets are good for kids, I think. It teaches them responsibility and lessons about the circle of life, since they give birth and die at a faster rate than people do. It teaches them compassion and respect for life. To me, there's no downside to having well-behaved, trained, clean animals as pets. They were a big part of my childhood and I want that for my future kids as well. :)




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Good Hair"

No, I haven't seen the Chris Rock movie yet, but I plan to!

I have always been fascinated with black hair. To me, natural black hair is SO beautiful. I love the way it looks, the texture, everything. It bothers me that so many black women go to all kinds of lengths, paying all kinds of money, just to make their hair look more like mine. HELLO! I would give up my lame 'do for an afro any day! I've seen many a Tyra show discussing little black girls' hair and how their parents use chemical relaxers on their daughters' hair at as young as 4 years old (!!!), so that they can have what they (or other kids at school) consider "good hair." I think that is insane! And growing up in a predominantly black area in the South, I've been exposed to all sorts of feelings about what "good hair" is. It's hard for me to understand completely when I find it all so beautiful.

Video clip from the movie "Good Hair":


Video clip from The Tyra Show:


Even out here in Utah, I have a white friend who has biracial children with her black husband and she's all the time talking about how her son has "good hair," because it's soft and curly. That's embarrassing to me. I would never let my child hear me talking like that. All I know is that my little black girls (through adoption or if I have my own "nappy-headed" little girls), are going to be BEAUTIFUL with their cornrows and twists and plaits. I'm not going to force a white standard of beauty on their young minds. They will be told EVERYDAY that they're beautiful. "Good hair" to me is healthy hair, no matter the texture.

I mean, look at this! I did this little girl's hair recently, braided it up into two little afro puffs. You can't tell me she isn't beautiful with her natural hair:


 Here's another example of my work on a young girl's hair:


Beautiful! What can I say? I'm jealous. Ha ha.

I'm grateful that I have the talent that it takes to do black hair. I'm self-taught and I've been doing hair pretty much since I moved here over 5 years ago. There are so many white couples out here who've adopted black children who don't really have a clue how to take care of their child's hair. When they do get it done, the hair has already started forming dreads because it hasn't been brushed properly. So it's an unnecessarily painful process... and that's all the kid's going to remember... that it hurts and they wish they had hair like their mama's. I don't want my kids to hate their hair because it hurts to get it done.

Zay's a barber, so he's into the whole hair thing as well. I'm impressed with his talent. We're gonna have some nice-looking, well-groomed children for sure! He's always trying to educate parents of black children on ways to take care of their hair, trying to make a difference and not let kids (and adults) walk around looking busted. Ha ha.

Anyways, I'm not saying black women should never get relaxers or weaves or any of that. I'm just saying that I would like my kids to learn to love their natural hair in their youth, and then they can do whatever they want to with it when they're adults. I'm so looking forward to the bonding time my future daughters and I will have while I do their hair. That's gonna be a special time that I hope they'll always remember. They'll know that black is beautiful and that forcing a white standard of beauty on themselves would be like saying their race isn't as good as other races. Which, of course, is bullcrap. :)




Sunday, November 15, 2009

LDS Family Services

www.itsaboutlove.org

After deciding that we wanted to adopt, we knew we wanted to adopt domestically (within the United States) and it was pretty much a given that we wanted to use LDS Family Services as our agency. They are the adoption agency that our Church runs. Basically, we chose them for two reasons - cost and comfort.

COST: When couples are really anxious to get a baby within a very short time frame and have a lot of resources available to them, they tend to go to many different agencies and pay non-refundable application fees for each one of them. I'm not trying to rack up $100,000 worth of debt in my quest for children. That wouldn't be good for us OR the baby we'd eventually bring home. And not very smart for our situation. Also, LDS Family Services is relatively inexpensive (although it is a private agency that only works with couples of our faith). I'd rather the process take a little longer if it will save me a ton of money. I don't like the idea that the more you spend the faster you can adopt a baby, but unfortunately adoption in many ways has become a business. It's obvious there needs to be some adoption reform in America.

COMFORT: Both Zay and I are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We like the way the Church operates and we feel comfortable going through a Church-owned adoption agency. It's the same reason I came to BYU (Church-owned University) - to be comfortable. I don't have to explain my beliefs to most people and that's cool. I like that. I understand though that I may have to explain them to a birth mother who is not familiar with the LDS faith. I'm cool with that too. Anyone, whether they are LDS or not, can place their baby for adoption through LDS Family Services. And there's branches of the agency in every state, not just in Utah.

Our caseworker thinks that most likely we will be adopting out of state and traveling expenses are up to us to cover, so we're preparing for that!

To find an LDS Family Services closest to you, do a search on their Contact Us page HERE.




Friday, November 13, 2009

The Only Kids I've Ever Had...

My kitties! Felix Bojangles (orange and white) and Zeus Shenanigans (gray and white).

I have always been a cat person. I found a picture of me when I was about 2 years old, laying on the floor and holding on tightly to our family cat, Tuxedo. I don't remember that cat, but I obviously made a bond with it early on that never left me.

My first kitty.

When I was about 7 years old, my dad brought home a stray cat that he found hanging around at his mechanic shop. Her name was Sandy. From that point on, we always had cats. Sandy had babies and her babies had babies and we took in other strays. At the most, we had about 10 at a time. Instead of getting them spayed or neutered like normal people would have done, we kept letting them procreate.

A lot of terrible things kept happening to keep our pet population down, though. We lived in this ghetto little town where our neighbors were the type of people who liked to shoot and kill animals for fun. (One of our dogs was decapitated one time, for instance.) There were also a lot of loose dogs, ours included, that ate some of the cats. We lived close to the road, so they were always getting run over. And periodically my older brothers would round up our "extra" cats, take them to the next town over, and drop them off in random neighborhoods.

This was so traumatizing for me! It made me grow up wanting to save all the kitties in the world! Even now, I sometimes have an overwhelming desire to take in strays or kitties up for adoption. Just the other day, Zay called me when he was on his way to work and said, "Hey - they're giving away kittens across the street." I was like, "ZAY! You know I'll want to take them all! Don't TELL me that!!!" I have to avoid situations like that or I will seriously take them all in like a crazy old cat lady.

When we moved to Utah, I couldn't take my kitty with me... her name is Trinity and it's a miracle that she's even still alive. She's survived about 8 years in that environment! I feel like she's waiting for me to come back and get her whenever I can. About a year went by without kitties in my life and I felt like I was so deprived. And of course Zay is so awesome - he surprised me close to Christmas of 2005 with Felix! He found him at a vet that he always passed on his way to work. Felix was the only kitty there that needed a home. He was about 5 months old and had been left there by someone who lived in an apartment that didn't allow pets. Funny thing is – neither did our apartment. But I think that is a cruel rule! Screw that! Ha ha. They should ban kids from apartments if they're worried about possible damage. Geez! I know, because I worked at a job cleaning apartments and it got pretty horrendous sometimes. Never from animals, always from kids.

A year later (Christmas 2006), I was taking a nap and Zay came in with this little kitten and set him beside my head. I freaked out!!! Our neighbors were getting rid of a litter their cat had just had. They were probably going to just dump him out on the street. I'm so glad I got to save little Zeus and give him a good home. He was so tiny and pitiful and tried to nurse on our clothes for the longest time. Look at this face! You can't not love this face!


Felix had to sniff him first...


...but they soon became best friends! Felix looks like he could eat Zeus in one bite in this picture...


It's funny that this next picture has my Greek Tragedies book in it, because that's what I was reading when I named Zeus. I gave him a name that represented someone strong and powerful, because he was so pitiful and I wanted to give him something to live up to.


Now they're all grown up and still best friends...


I'm learning most of my parenting skills from them. They're just like kids, right? I mean, they make me laugh...


And they "help" me with chores (the laundry)... isn't that what kids do?


And they give you that guilty look when they're caught doing something they're not supposed to...


And they are just so doggone CUTE! They make me love them with their quiet moments of adorableness.


I can only imagine what loving my own child would feel like. My kitties and my nephew (more about him later) are the closest things that I've got!




Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Fertility Issues

Pre-baby Family Photos
www.xavierandaliceanne.blogspot.com

 You know, the female body can be pretty amazing... or so people tell me.

To this day it still amazes me how little I knew about my own body, how it was supposed to work, and how complicated the reproductive system is. It wasn't until I was married for a few years and not getting pregnant (like everyone told me I should be) before I got up the courage to go to a doctor and then research infertility on my own. I think sex education failed me, yall.

It amazes me that anyone gets pregnant! It's such a delicate system of organs and hormones and cycles and timing. It's incredible.

I wasn't ready to have kids when I first got married. I was only 18. Honestly, I wasn't ready to get married... but you can't tell that to an 18-year-old who knows what she wants, ha ha! Looking back, I should've been on birth control. I was being careless. My infertility kept me from getting pregnant too young, and for that I'm grateful in a weird way. I was able to spend 5 years with my husband, getting to know him more. I was able to graduate from college, get my education and learn and grow as a person. You can do that with a child, but it would've been much harder... much more stressful.

So, for all those years... I didn't worry too much about the fact that I wasn't getting pregnant. Then, at the urging of one of my friends, I finally went to a doctor. More than ever, Zay had been talking about wanting kids. And I knew that. He's wanted kids with me since I was 16! I realized how selfish I had been by not going to get checked out earlier, since I knew how much this meant to him. He was born to be a father.

But I was nervous! I didn't know anything about how my body was supposed to work and what a fertility specialist would tell me or give me. Doctors offices are creepy and uncomfortable and I usually avoid them unless there's an emergency. This time I had to actually take the initiative and go there without any outside prompting like a broken limb or a gaping wound. It was last November (2008) when I finally got up the courage and went to see the fertility specialist at BYU's Student Health Center.

I explained that I only had 1-3 random periods a year. They ran some tests and my hormones seemed to be out of whack - I definitely had too much testosterone. I also had anovulatory menstrual cycles - meaning an egg wasn't getting released when it was supposed to. If you never ovulate, it's impossible for you to ever get pregnant. Even the periods I did have were just cleaning out my system and not doing anything reproductive-wise. I had to answer a bunch of questions about my body hair, acne, cramps, mood swings, etc. I didn't have a clue what ovulation was or what was necessary for it to occur or what fertility signs your body gives you.

My doctor started me off on my journey towards fertility by taking a Progesterone pill to force menstruation. Then he gave me Clomid, which is used to stimulate ovulation. At the time, I didn't know what the heck all this medicine was, but I had so much faith that it was gonna work the second I started taking it and that I was gonna get pregnant by Christmas! Heh. I had no idea my body would be so stubborn.

I faithfully took my basal body temperature every morning and tried to find the pattern the doctor told me about that would show when ovulation occurred, but all I saw was a bunch of zig zags. It wasn't working! All the way through the end of school in April 2009, I took increasing doses of Clomid trying to find the right dose that would make me ovulate regularly and have normal cycles. My doctor was really conservative about increasing my doses. Looking back, I think he was just this little old man that maybe had too much faith in the reproductive system working on its own. He seemed worried about increasing it too fast because of the risk of having multiples - twins, triplets, etc. I don't know if that should have been a genuine concern or not, but he dragged out these small doses and never mentioned any other options. I followed his lead. He diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, although I had never had any cysts on my ovaries that I knew of and they never did an ultrasound on me to check. It was just a generic diagnosis based on my other symptoms.

After I graduated, my insurance ended with the SHC and I had to go out and find another fertility specialist. I had a friend at Church who was going to the Mt. Timpanogas Women's Health Center, and since I had no clue what I was doing or where I was supposed to go... I called and set up an appointment there. This new doctor increased my doses of Clomid much faster than my old doctor AND he put me on Metformin as well... which is usually used for diabetics, but I also had an insulin-resistance that was also affecting my ability to ovulate and get pregnant. And... surprise! Eventually it worked! Sort of. We found the right dosage of both medications so that I've ovulated THREE TIMES IN A ROW. How cool is that? Theoretically, if nothing else is wrong - we should get pregnant within a year of unprotected sex if I continue to ovulate each month.

Currently I'm waiting to find out if that 3rd time was a charm. There's a two-week wait after ovulation before most pregnancy tests will give an accurate reading. This entire year of fertility meds could have a happy ending, buuuuut I don't like to get my hopes up. I've done that too many times.

So, how will this affect our plans to adopt? Hopefully not at all. Even if I'm pregnant right this second (and if I am - wow! almost 5 1/2 years of trying! hallelujah!), I've never thought of adoption as being something that we would do instead of having biological children or vice versa. I know there will be a baby out there somewhere who is meant to be a part of our family. I can feel it. And they don't have to come from my womb to be a part of my heart and soul. Adoption feels right and I know it is the path we should take, but I guess right now we are not putting all of our eggs (ha ha) in one basket. I'm not ready to give up on trying to get pregnant just yet.




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How Our Journey to Adopt Began

*Hoping to Adopt*
www.xavierandaliceanne.blogspot.com

When I came to Utah as a naive 18-year-old back in 2004, I didn't know much about adoption. Never really even crossed my mind. I soon came to realize that practically everyone in Utah was adopted themselves, was looking to adopt, or had family members who were adopted. This wasn't the case back in Georgia where folks tend to be more "traditional" in how they create their families. So, this was quite a shock to me.

Inevitably, I began to hear people talk about it. In the back of my head I was almost equating adoption with ABORTION. I don't know why I felt this way, something to do with how I was raised maybe... but I honestly felt that if a woman was placing her child for adoption, it was a cop-out. She was trying to get out of her responsibility and the consequences for her bad choices. Hmmm... Yeah, I was basically a moron. Adoption is the exact opposite of abortion. But like I said, I was naive.

The turning point came when I met an awesome girl who had four adopted siblings. We worked together at a job where we had lots of time to talk. I asked her a lot of questions, trying to understand adoption from the perspective of someone whose life it had touched so intimately. She made the comment that she couldn't stand when people referred to the blessing of children as "consequences." Ha ha... ummm... yeah, I felt kind of dumb at that moment. I'll always remember her saying that. I loved her family's story and was amazed at the love her parents had shown to these "random kids," as I saw it then. I wasn't fully sold on the idea, but it was the beginning of a change of heart for me. Looking back, I can see I was growing up and expanding my horizons as I met new people and learned from others' experiences.

It took me a couple years of meeting lots of new people and reading and watching everything I could about adoption before I felt comfortable with the idea. As I became more educated, I became more and more pro-adoption. There are so many broken homes, single parents, and young parents struggling to provide for their kids. There are kids brought up in abusive households. Sometimes babies are born into a bad situation - something they didn't ask for. When a girl finds she's pregnant, those mommy instincts will tell her she needs to protect that child at all costs. And in some bad situations, the pregnancy can be the wake-up call that she needs to either change her situation into a more positive one... or save the child from it some other way. If it's in the best interest of the child, adoption can be a beautiful answer to a heart-wrenching situation.

On the other side of things, I also fell into the "infertile community." I learned firsthand that there are countless couples with the potential to be great parents who are either struggling with infertility or looking to expand their family in other ways. It only makes sense that these couples be given a chance to love a child of their own... and allow the birth parents a chance to start over and make different decisions. That's what the mercy of the Lord is all about. In a perfect world, adoption wouldn't exist. But in God's mercy, it's an answer sometimes in a broken world.

I don't remember when I said it for the first time, but I remember saying to Zay, "I want to adopt." It was a passive statement, something I thought that I'd be ready for 10 years from now... and something I didn't really think Zay would agree to. It was foreign to us still. I thought he would laugh it off as one of those things I say I want to do, but not really. But there I was confessing this desire to adopt that had been growing inside me for years. And to my surprise, he was okay with it! We had a huge discussion about it, letting out all our hopes and fears and reservations. Since that moment, we have continued to learn more, this time together. On top of that growing desire, we had to face our own fertility issues, and we soon realized that adoption was the path we were to take much earlier than we ever thought.

And here we are! Starting that journey.... which it definitely is - a journey, a process, a roller coaster ride. I'll be blogging about it. We're lucky enough to be in a position where we know we could provide a loving home for a child. We're not the wealthiest people (by far), but we are dang hardworking, willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary, and we have so much love for each other. We've had our struggles, but we've accepted each other for who we are, we support each other no matter what we want out of life, and we've had years together to learn what kind of parents we want to be and to build a home together. Not everyone is blessed with that much preparation time before being blessed with a child. Not everyone is blessed with a partner that loves, respects, supports, and cherishes them through thick and thin. We are in a position to be able to lovingly provide for a child, teach them all that we know, give them opportunities that even we didn't have growing up, and hopefully instill a love of God and service to others in them. It's exciting to think about!

We are ready to be parents and adoption is our answer.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog