Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gues Post by Sharon

Our journey is a little different. I haven’t always been infertile; in fact, I have a 14, almost 15 year old daughter. About a year after my daughter was born I started to have a lot of pain. I mean excruciating, doubled over, felt like I was dying, pain. I felt a lump in my lower abdomen and called my doctor. He told me I had a hernia and scheduled me for surgery. During my surgery he found that it was not a hernia after all. He thought it looked like a lump for endometrial lining. He cut it out and sent it to the lab. He found that in addition to the lump, it was everywhere else too; he zapped what he could and closed me up. A week later at a post op appointment I got the results of the labs. Sure enough, it was a large, almost baseball size lump of lining. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis. I have been in for several surgeries since but it keeps coming back.

About 4 years after my diagnosis (my daughter was 5 by this time); I went to the doctor, knowing my endometriosis was back. The doctor decided to start me on a fairly new treatment that consisted of putting my body through a 9 month menopause, doing surgery and putting me on medication to “shock” my system back to normal. During the course of the treatment I met the man I would soon marry. So my doctor decided that right after getting married would be the optimal time for me to conceive. He timed it so that he put me on a high dose of Clomid right before I got married. This way my body would be used to the Clomid already. The treatment worked, but didn’t work. My endometriosis was gone, but I gained over 100 lbs. in the course of the year. (Incidentally I haven’t been able to lose that weight either.) On top of all that, the treatment ended, I was on Clomid for 6 months, and I wasn’t pregnant. Jacob, my husband and I, were devastated. We decided to see if there was some other reason I wasn’t getting pregnant. We went to the doctor again, and he decided to do a hystoselpangiogram to see if my tubes were blocked. It was found that my right tube is completely blocked and my left one is almost completely blocked. This means that I don’t ovulate, and when I do, the egg is too weak to be viable. My chances of getting pregnant were slim to none. The doctor kept the blows coming by diagnosing me with PCOS as well. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with a spinal cord condition. With this condition, I can lead a normal life, I am active and don’t really have many problems with my back. If I go climbing a couple of mountains, yeah, I’ll have issues, but for the most part it doesn’t bother me. But a pregnancy could put too much strain on my spinal cord and could paralyze me. So even if I could get pregnant, I shouldn’t. (Yup, I’m a walking medical journal. I know!)

So, knowing that having children together was impossible at best, our thoughts turned to adoption. We both knew we had always wanted to adopt. My husband’s grandfather was adopted as an infant and I have a great aunt and uncle who adopted several children, and a younger brother and sister who were adopted as infants. And those are just a few of our adoption ties.

We had been married for almost 2 years when we first contacted the adoption agency, but we were told we had to be married for over 2 years; at least. So we waited. During the wait my husband joined the Army. During our 6 years in the Army we lived in Kansas for 5 years and New Mexico for the last year before moving back home to Utah. During our 5 years in Kansas we attempted to adopt. We decided to adopt through the foster care system. We went through the classes, we were approved not only to adopt, but also to be foster parents. We were foster parents for respite care and emergency care which were both temporary foster parents. Or so we thought. During that time we had a sweet 8 yr old boy in our home; we'll call him "I". It was supposed to be for 2 weeks, but we ended up having him for a few months. He came to us with a lot of issues, but together we found ways for him to deal with his issues. He made huge improvements with us and our caseworker was amazed. He was supposed to be adopted by another family but that fell through. We decided to submit our application. Our caseworker, his doctors, therapists, teachers, everyone, was all for it. His caseworker however was not. She didn’t like my husband’s job in the Army and felt that with him deploying a lot that “I” would be better suited in a different home (which we found interesting since the family who was supposed to adopt him before us was military and the husband in that family was deploying at the same time my husband was, but I digress). We were crushed and after a lot of thought and prayers, decided to close our file with them. I still think about "I" all the time and wonder how he is doing. I know he was adopted shortly after our request to adopt him was denied. And from what I was told, he is doing well. Nevertheless, heartbroken as we were, it was 2 years before we could think about adoption again.

We started the paperwork to adopt through our church’s agency in Jan. We didn’t know why at the time but we felt very strongly that we needed to start the process right then. This was confusing to us because we were moving 9 months later. We were going to wait until we moved so that we wouldn’t have to worry about moving our file or anything. But no, we felt very strongly, now was the time. So we did. We were approved to adopt through our church’s agency in April 2009. Time went on, and we moved. Even more confused why we felt so strongly that the process needed to be started months earlier. But, we moved, we updated our file and just before Thanksgiving 2009 we found out we were updated and good to go again. So again, we waited. In Jan. 2010 we found out someone was considering placing their unborn baby with us for adoption. 5 and a half agonizing weeks later, on Wednesday March 10, 2010 at 5:22 p.m. we got a call from a person very dear to us asking if we would be the parents of the baby girl she is carrying. The only response I could choke out was we would be honored! Baby Rose (We don’t have a first name chosen yet, but Rose is will be her middle name- Rose is also her birthmom’s middle name) is due on July 29th and we couldn’t be more thrilled! We will have a very, very open adoption and are so excited! We know now that if we hadn’t started the process when we did, and we had in fact waited to start the process until our move, we would not be ready, even now to adopt this little girl. We would not have sent out cards with our adoption information on them when we moved or for Christmas. We wouldn’t not have told everyone we know about our hope to adopt. We would not have saved money for legal expenses. And perhaps most of all, this wonderful, courageous, young woman, would not have known we were hoping to adopt, and she would not have chosen us.

My advice to hoping to adopt couples, and couples trying to conceive is that sometimes it isn’t always clear why things happen the way they do. But they happen for a reason. That may seem easy for me to say in retrospect, but trust me, after almost 9 years of hoping and praying for a little one. After almost 9 years of heartache and devastation. We are finally able to look back on everything that has led us to where we are now, and know, that this all happened for a reason. There is so much more to our story that I wish I could share, but for our birthmom’s privacy we have opted to keep some parts of our story private. To follow our journey, check out our blog:

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