Thursday, February 11, 2010

Guest Post by Christy


HOPE: my most favorite and adored word. HOPE: a word that holds a power and strength like no other. HOPE: A word that I hold dear to my heart like a child to their “blankie”. It comforts me, it has soothed my aching, longing heart. "HOPE puts one on the path towards a better tomorrow."

There are many facets and experiences in the world of adoption. Everyone has their own situation, their own side, their own story to tell. This is our story, our experience. Our experience was not perfect, but it was full of many tender mercies and was nothing short of a miracle.

The scripted life I had planned for myself has not materialized. Instead, a different life, one I could have never written on my own, is playing out on my” big screen”. At 22, I was told I had a medical condition, most likely caused by a childhood illness that left me unable to have biological children. Unmarried at the time of the diagnosis, the choice regarding children was taken away from me even before I had time to make any decisions about having them. As a child I carried around dolls. As a teen, I babysit the neighborhood children clear up through my college years. At BYU, I chose my degree/profession of a family & consumer science educator based on my love for family and children. There are no words to describe the devastation this infertility news caused. My doctor told me, more or less, there was NO HOPE of children. One thing you should know, when you put those two letters “n - o” in front of my most treasured word, you turn me into a fighter! It is my belief that those of us who become mothers through adoption are some very determined women! I would have a family, no matter what we had to go through to make it happen.

From the moment we decided we wanted to create our family through adoption to the day we delicately placed our son in the car seat for the three hour trip home from the hospital spanned over seven years. What we learned through this life experience: perseverance, diligence, letting go of old dreams and creating new dreams, patience, living through heartache, changing direction on life’s path, trusting in the Lord and His time table, unconditional love, and immeasurable love for a birth mother and her family.

I don’t believe that my husband and I are “cursed with infertility”, but rather we have been “blessed through adoption”. Our adoption experience is a living testimony to us that miracles do still happen on the earth today. HOPE has offered so much strength to me when I didn’t think I could move one foot in front of the other anymore. Some children join families in a direct way, others in an indirect way through the miracle we call adoption. Either way, we end up in families we were destined to be a part of; both birth families and adoptive families. There is no doubt in our minds that this little boy that is our son was meant to be a part of our two families.

Our open adoption experience is also a living testimony that angels do walk the earth. Our son’s birth mother, although young, was very wise beyond her years. She is our angel, our hero, and the young lady who crowned us with the title of mother and father; something we had been longing to have for years.

In late May of 2006 we received "The Call" from LDS Family Services that a birth mother actually showed interest in our profile! It had been three years since our paperwork had been completed. A few weeks later we met face-to-face with our son’s birth mother and her family, whom we now call “our family”, for the first time. We felt very comfortable with them and enjoyed a three hour dinner together getting to know one another.

A week later, on a typical Saturday evening in late June, we received a non-typical email with the most beautiful ultrasound picture. The email read:

“Dear Mom and Dad,

Can’t wait to meet you!

Your new baby"

One look at that picture and we were smitten. We were chosen to be this little boy’s parents! In future email correspondence from the birth mother, I was offered the sacred opportunity to be in the delivery room to witness his miraculous birth, which I accepted without hesitation. Moments after his delivery, her concern was for me, “Has Christy held him yet? I want her to be the first one to hold him.” and not about herself and her recovery. Although young, she was wise beyond her years.

We spent the 72 hour waiting period our state requires before the birth mother can relinquish her rights sharing time with our new “birth family” family members, holding our son, and caring for both of his needs and his birth mother’s needs. We felt like we were catching up with extended family, not sitting with strangers we had known for less than ninety days. When the time came for her to be discharged from the hospital, many tears were shed; tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of separation, and tears of HOPE. Everyone knew that the right decisions had been made, as difficult as they were. We wanted her to know that this was not a forever “good-bye”, but a “see you later” we’ll be in touch often.

About one month after we had been home with our son, I was enjoying a “back roads” drive to admire the fall foliage in our area. I could not believe the vibrant colors and how blue the sky looked against those autumn colors. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I realized that for the last few years my life had felt like a black and white movie. Without a child in my arms, it felt as if my life had no color. Those years of waiting to love a baby of my own held some of the darkest moments I had ever lived through.

The glorious six month mark quickly came upon us and we were able to finalize Tyler's adoption and walk through the Chicago temple doors together as a "family" as made legal by the courts and walk out a "forever family" being sealed together through the sacred ordinances of the temple in the Lord's house. It’s been over three years now and I still cannot hear nor sing the children's Primary song, "I Love to See the Temple" without tears.

Another month passed as I anxiously awaited my first “official” Mother's Day. My poor husband thought he was free from tears on Mother's Day now that we had adopted our son, but this time there were tears of joy, love and gratitude for the sweet miracle in our home and his birth mother. There were even tears of sorrow as I thought about the pain our dear birth mother and birth mothers everywhere were experiencing. It was on this day also, that I realized the errors of our thinking while we were dealing with our seven years of “waiting” for our adoption miracle. Instead of thinking of what we lost, the chance for biological children, we should have been looking ahead with HOPE at the blessings that would be in store for us when we would be chosen by a birth mother to parent her child. We were not cursed with infertility; we were blessed to have been chosen by a loving Heavenly Father to become parents through adoption! The two of us were a couple that our Heavenly Father knew would have strength enough to survive the challenges of the adoption process - Adoption is not for the faint of heart! We were a couple that would have the capability to raise a child placed in our arms by another woman. Not only would we have the opportunity to raise a child, but we would get to meet, know, and completely love the true angel in the birth mother that would entrust us with the sacred duty of raising her child. How special it is to be living among angels.

As we ride the roller coaster of the adoption process again and as our “wait” seems to move forward at a turtle’s pace, we find peace in knowing that the Lord is again designing our specific family. He knows each of us individually, our needs, and He has not left us alone nor will He. Creating families is a delicate process that takes time, thought, and “waiting”. It is all done in love. Adoption is truly all about love. Oswald W.S. McCall has said, “Remember that while you are seeking you are also being sought… you will be found. You will be led. You will enter in. Look for that. Expect it. Expect to come to revelations of the Lord. Expect shells to break in their season. Expect boats to ride as the tide comes in. This is HOPE; to desire and to expect."

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” ~Jeremiah 29:11

1 comment:

Triumph said...

Congratulations, what a touching story.
Hope does make all the difference.