Monday, January 25, 2010

Guest Post by Alicia

William and I (Alicia) met and fell in love in the fall of 2003. In May of 2004 we were married and it seemed our fairy tale life was just beginning. Call us crazy, but we wanted children as soon as possible and dreamed of having our family begin to expand. However, within the year, those dreams were shattered. Our lives seemingly fell apart, all of our hopes torn to pieces along with some of the horribly insensitive things people said or did, as we sought comfort and peace in our new situation. It became a dark and lonely world for us.

However, there was a ray of hope when we went looking for it. We were not against adopting, we just hadn’t really thought about it until we were told it was the only way. And even then, it took a little time for us to fully accept that adoption was right for our family and that it was the right time. In the spring of 2007 we finished our paperwork, our home visit, interviews, etc. and become approved for adoption with LDS Family Services. Then, we waited . . . nothing. So, we started searching by spreading the word. E-mails, pass-along cards, letters, talking with complete strangers about adoption . . . still nothing ever worked out.

Then, in the spring of 2008 we had an intense ‘adoption miscarriage.’ To our surprise it turned into a blessing in disguise. We were so upset by losing her, that we reworked our entire 'homestudy.' Then, we started applying for more and more waiting children: children in foster care, older children, sibling groups, and special needs (we had already been looking, we just opened ourselves up to more). We became so open to “difficult placements” that we were able to receive a phone call that came in June 2008.

For us it happened fast, for our sweet birthmother it must have been something else entirely. When I received the first phone call it was not unlike all the seemingly endless others (that never seemed promising). They told me the situation, explained the special needs, and asked if we were interested. We said yes. A couple days later, our caseworker called and told us the birthmother wanted to talk to us. So, we set up a phone conversation for the next day, and it went well. A couple days later she called to tell us she wanted us to be the parents. The next night we flew across the country, and arrived in the morning, where our 11 day old son was placed in our arms.

Opening our hearts to children that may seem “difficult” not only gave us a son, it gave us our son . . . the son that was meant to be a part of our forever family. We knew him the moment we saw him, and we cried because he was our son and we both loved him so intensely in that same moment. Of course we worried about his special needs, but he’s already accomplished more than they originally told us would be possible. We cried and cried when they told us he is blind, not because it was going to be hard for us . . . but because our son would miss out on so much in life by not being able to see. However, we have since learned that he’s not missing out on anything, it is us that would’ve been missing out on a beautiful life, had we not opened our hearts just a little bit more.

Now, it seemed our family was finally beginning, and we were so thrilled that Heavenly Father finally trusted us with a child. We were content. The day we took our son to the temple to be sealed to us was amazing, and it was a very touching experience. I remember feeling strongly, while in the temple, that our family was only beginning and it was time to start looking for the next one. I ignored it, I wasn't ready to go back into that process again.

Days and weeks began to pass, every day the feelings became stronger and stronger. So, we set up our adoption blog and networked a little. We decided that if we found a birthmother we would just handle the adoption privately with our lawyer. But, we didn't find a birthmother.

In March 2009, we were contacted about adopting embryos (when a couple who had previously done INVITRO decides they are done building their family and "places" the embryos with an infertile couple in hopes of a resulting pregnancy). We prayed long and hard about this option, and we felt good about the embryos, but not with the couple that had contacted us. Instead we eventually chose to use donated embryos (meaning we would have no information on the embryos except medical history, and no possibility of contacting the biological family).

It was an interesting experience to prepare my body to accept the embryos, and there were so many little miracles as my body actually began to cooperate for once. The transfer day was emotional. We started with 10 embryos, only 3 survived the thaw, and only one of those was considered healthy. We had all 3 implanted and began the two-week wait. Within a week, I felt something. I knew it was crazy to even consider feeling something so early, but I felt it. The pregnancy test at the next appointment confirmed, I was actually pregnant!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of being pregnant. I even giggled at the morning sickness, because it made me so happy to actually be able to carry a child. We excitedly waited for the 6 week ultrasound, but it was confusing. The ultrasound wasn't good or bad, but it would need to be repeated in a week. During that week, my husband had gotten sick, then my son, and finally me too. (We didn't know at the time, but it turns out we had H1N1.) I was having a particularly rough night and my stomach started to hurt. I felt a pinch and the next morning there was one tiny pink dot of blood. I tried to stay calm, but in a blessing given to me that night I sort of knew, and the ultrasound the next day confirmed that we had in fact lost our little one.

We followed much of the same pattern as our 'adoption miscarriage.' We began to go through the grief cycle. We gave it a nickname, and tried to let go. But, the physical miscarrying was hard. My body was no longer cooperating at all, it wouldn't let go. After several doctor visits and a scary trip to the E.R., we finally opted to have a D & C. It was very painful physically, but it finally gave me an opportunity to fully let go, so I was relieved.

My advice to others who find themselves in similar situations. Draw nearer to your Heavenly Father, you are his child and he is there for you. Also, seek out every opportunity that might fit your family, and pray for guidance in being led to your child(ren), as well as praying for them to find you. Meanwhile, develop yourself and find the joy in whatever your situation may be.

Our immediate plan was to somehow find the money to pay off all the medical bills and fertility bills, and try for another pregnancy. But, sometimes Heavenly Father says no. We have begun to accept that he blessed us with an angel baby, and only that one chance at pregnancy. We know we are supposed to adopt again. Our meager finances might be drained, but not our hope of having more children.

If you can donate, or you know of a birthmother who might be willing to work with us, please visit our adoption blog at aandw2adopt.blogspot.com

Or you can contact me directly at aandw2adopt@yahoo.com

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