bump #28: however He chooses

In my last post {you know the one where I was high on latex paint} I mentioned something about God leading us to our family "however He chooses to do so." Emphasis on He chooses, not we choose.  This is something that has been on my heart the last few months after one of my best friends, upon discovering our issues with infertility, asked how we felt about adoption, surrogacy, or IVF.  And my obnoxious response was equal parts selfish and ignorant when I replied "none of those are our first choice."  Ha! Can we have a moment of silence for the "no duh" moment I created just then. My best friend (who Lord knows is a true friend, because she still speaks to me after such a brainless response!) offered the most encouraging words of wisdom and spot on advice that can only come from a woman after God's own heart, who has experienced first hand what it feels like to be in this place where you so desperately want a family of your own, but you just can't see how it is going to come about. In her case, it was through the beautiful act of adoption.

I am admittedly no expert on any of these subjects (adoption, IVF, surrogacy, etc.) and, until recently, honestly never considered them as options for us. Please, please don't misinterpret me or the place in my heart where these thoughts are coming from. For 28 years I had my head up my bum never truly understood the way that infertility robs you of peace, joy, and freedom in what should be the happiest, most fulfilling time in your life. It leaves you stressed, bummed, and forced to make tough decisions you may or may not be prepared to make. I recklessly assumed that I would pull out my calendar, pick a nice due date month, quit taking birth control, and get bumped up just as conveniently as I wanted to. I know how ridiculous that sounds now, but for some people it really is that easy. Well it seems like it anyway.

But for the rest of us who don't live in fertile fantasy land, there are some challenging questions you have to be prepared to answer. Some difficult scenarios you have to be aware of.
What if the oh-so-desired pregnancy just is not going to happen naturally?
What if it takes years and years of fertility treatments and procedures before you get pregnant?
What if even after said medical intervention there is no family in sight?
What then?

You entertain other options or you give up, of course all the while praying that God would lead you to make the best choice. And there is no one-size-fits-all here, everyone's decision is different and that is ok. We have not decided what happens next, but today, right now, these are a few of our options and how we feel about them. (I know there are a lot more options than these, but they were the three that my friend mentioned, and the same three that our doctor brought up at our first appointment when he said "you will have the family you always wanted, it just might happen differently than you imagined.")

I am going to start with adoption because, of the three, I am the most familiar with it. We are all adopted into God's family and adoption is very clearly at the core of our Father's heart. That is how I first learned about adoption... in Sunday School. I always thought of adoption as something God calls people to do. The Bible says to care for the widows and orphans, and adoption is one beautiful way to do that.  5 of my cousins are adopted, 3 close friends are in the middle of an international adoption, and 2 of my best friends have adopted children. Praise God that if/when we adopt there is such a loving and supportive group of friends and family surrounding and encouraging us through their own example. I also chose to share my thoughts on adoption first because the choice to adopt is very common, and not exclusively for infertile myrtles such as myself. I actually find it interesting that not all of these children were adopted because of an inability to conceive a child naturally. Some people simply have a strong desire in their heart to adopt, regardless of whether or not they have genetic offspring. It is not their back-up choice if getting pregnant isn't in the cards, it is their first choice for starting or completing their family.

So where does that leave me? 
Curled up in the corner feeling like a complete dum dum for saying "it is not my first choice."

In a moment of complete honesty I am going to tell you why I said that.
Because adoption scares me.
Let me rephrase that, I am scared of what happens when an adoption falls through.
(the birth-mom changes her mind and decides to keep the child or place them in another family or any other combination of heart-breaking events.) I realize how uninformed that sounds as the sole basis for not adopting right now, but half of the adoption stories I know end in that way. God always, always turns it around for good, for His glory and I have an unspeakable amount of admiration and respect for all of the families I know that have been through this. {tears just thinking about it} Adoption is not for the weak-hearted and in this present moment, I feel weak and weary-hearted.  My heart is still healing from learning that I might never be able to be pregnant, to feel a baby kick in my belly, to know the all consuming pain of childbirth {ok, so I would gladly take a free pass on that one!} I don't feel like I am at that place where I can devote my whole heart to the adoption process.

Am I happy with myself or with that answer? No.
I wish that I could embrace adoption with arms wide open, without hesitation or fear that it won't work out. But I'm not at that place yet.

Another reason for the reluctance is that it would be years before we could financially afford to adopt. Grad school is a means to an end, but it seems like it will never end!
Money is not the only constraint, but presently, it is a big one.

So maybe we won't adopt now, but in a few years we may. I will never close that door.
Adoption is how God chose us to be part of his family. I love that!

We are open to adoption, and will continue prayerfully considering it.

And if adoption is His choice for us, I know that He will do a work in our hearts to prepare us for all that it entails and we will follow Him to our adopted family.

I am going to skirt around the surrogacy option because we would need win the lottery {a couple times!} before that could be a viable possibility :)  But in all seriousness, surrogacy is truly remarkable and a great option for some, especially my bff Giuliana Rancic, who welcomed a baby boy last week via gestational surrogate. Congrats girl!
Giuliana Rancic becomes a mom via a surrogate

Of the three options here, IVF is probably the most likely next step we would take if our current plan of trying naturally and/or re-trying IUI is not successful.  Unfortunately it is not covered by our insurance, so it is not really feasible right now.

All that to say I never thought we would find ourselves here, in this infertile land. But here we are and no matter what, God has put the overwhelming desire in our hearts to be parents, so he will fulfill that promise however he chooses.

Comments

  1. Not sure if you read this post that my friend wrote (I linked to it when we started IVF), but I think it is right up the alley of your post! FYI, they have twins through IVF and are currently pursuing adoption: http://kaimeyela.blogspot.com/2012/06/on-to-plan.html

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    1. Love it! Thank you for directing me to such an encouraging post! God is in control and always has plan A. Exactly what I needed to hear right now :)

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  2. Love you, girl...and love that we've been in that exact same spot for so many years, and seem to be no closer to figuring out God's will. Okay, don't actually love that. I do know, though, that God absolutely changed our hearts about adoption, and it was ONLY Him. It was no amount of researching or reasoning or pro/con lists...it was God alone speaking to our hearts. And so even though I don't know if that will ultimately be how God chooses to grow our family, I do know that my HEART toward it is 100% different than it used to be, and it was through no effort of my own. So rest assured that if that's the way God wants yall to go, you won't have to talk yourself into it. God will do it. :)

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    1. Love you too! Thank you so much for relating to my jumbled thoughts... sometimes I wonder if people just think I'm crazy :) God definitely changed our hearts, which is one major thing I am grateful for in all of this!

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  3. Beautiful Bren. I've been right there with you thinking the EXACT same thoughts for the last several months. All of the options are scary, overwhelming, and not necessarily how I pictured getting my first child. But, I am trying, just like you, to come to terms with all of the possibilities. But it is a decision making process instead of a heart process... boo! Hoping God prepares you in the days ahead for me family He has planned for you!

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