Monday, February 26, 2007

my boat, finale

Wow - the end of my last post sounds so drama. To offset that, I will point out that I finally figured out how to add photos to my blog. Isn't my family beautiful?!

In 2002 I became Mom for real. I won't lie and tell you that I've loved everything about the last four years. Come on: sleepless nights, soy formula, diapers, stinky attitude, whining…(okay, so the last two apply to me, too!). That said, I KNOW God has entrusted this beautiful little person to Tucker and me. Madison couldn’t be more "fit" to our family had I physically given birth to her. Believe me, most days I feel as though I did.

Which brings me to the fact that I didn't give birth to her and will likely never give birth to a biological child. In January 2006, we tried in-vitro for the first time. There were several healthy-looking embryos and we were hopeful. Because of my age they did a test on the chromosomes and it showed no viable embryos. Not one. They said that could explain the lack of full-term pregnancy in 9+ years.

We are fully aware that God could provide a miracle pregnancy. But the more I read and listen to what God is saying, the more I realize that isn't what He has for us. Believe me, there are days when it seems just fine that I've never been pregnant: when my sister's swollen legs/feet were killing her, when my friend's nausea makes her want to vomit, when my friend can't walk because of her sciatic nerve...

But more times than not, I long for those experiences. After all, God created woman to be a companion to man and the mother of his children. Not being able to physically birth a child makes me feel inadequate, broken. Being surrounded by pregnant friends isn't easy. While I am so incredibly happy for them, it's another reminder that I won't have the swollen ankles, nausea, weight to lose... how often do I want to hollar: I'll trade you!

While there are days I feel this to my core, I also have hope in my personal relationship with God; I can call on all He has taught me during this trial. My trial is just that -- mine. My friends have trials that I wouldn't want to trade. And I can see that God's plan is so much better than my own: if we'd become parents when we planned (1 year into our marriage), we would not have the marriage we have today.

I am blessed to have a husband who is my best friend and partner in this trial. Many couples split up over infertility. We are stronger because of it -- as individuals and as a couple. And on our schedule, we wouldn't have our Madison! So you see, there is no doubt that God has made me exactly this way for a reason. And I pray daily that God can use my trial to help someone in the same boat.

So to conclude this intro to my blogging world: I am at peace with my boat, knowing my God, my husband and my daughter are in it with me. And lest anyone doubt: I am head over heels in love with my daughter! And I can't wait to meet her sibling.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

my boat, part 2

By the spring of 2002, we'd had multiple procedures, loads of hormones, 3 surgeries, one miscarriage and had gotten to the point financially that we could either try in-vitro or adopt. We hadn't yet made a decision when we got a call from a friend who knew of a baby about to be born. We got the mass of paperwork, home visits, etc. done in ONE week (usually takes months) and sent them off to the birth family. The same day my friends threw a surprise shower for me, we found out that the family had selected a local adoptive couple.

Failed adoption #1.

After a sufficient time of mourning, we began to see this event as God helping us make the decision to go with adoption instead of IVF, so we moved forward. We passed out our photo portfolio to friends and adoption agencies. Just a month later, on Mother's Day, we were selected by a birth mother through another friend. For 3 months we met with this birthmother, went to her Dr appts and got a nursery ready. Shortly before the baby was born we were told that the birth father wanted to raise the little girl.

Failed adoption #2.

At this point we were beyond heart sick. We decided to take some time "off," we closed the nursery door, fasted every Sunday (a big food day for us!) and prayed for guidance. Literally 40 days later we got a voice mail from Steffany at the adoption agency that did our home study. She wanted to know if we wanted to use the agency to find a birth family, and that their fee had gone up. Since our first 2 attempts were private and would've been MUCH less expensive, I didn't call back.

Steffany called again the next day and told me the fee schedule. I called Tuck, who said that if it was God's will for us to find a baby through the agency, He would provide the financing. What faith he has. I called back and Steffany told me: "Well that's good news because you've been selected by a birthmom!"

Almost two months later, Madison was born and life changed, as all parents know. As I continue in the blog world, I hope to share the incredible-ness of our girl. :O) In my next post, however, I need to explain that the ache to give my husband a physical combination of us has not gone away. And probably never will.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

my boat

Well, here I am blogging. I've watched friends & strangers blog for 2+ years, and finally decided to join 'em.

So I'll start by explaining "this boat I'm in." I'm infertile, yet I'm also Mom to Madison: a beautiful, wise, strong, passionate, vocal, loving 4-year-old. My boat is comprised of all that those two things offer on a daily basis. My hope is that I can blog about my trials and joys in this rocking boat... and maybe help someone else in a similar boat (2 Corinthians 1:4).

I've wanted to be Mom ever since my baby brother came home from the hospital when I was almost 6 years old. I remember mothering him, then going on to "mother" my friends, other family members and my students that I taught. In my mind it was all practice until I found the perfect husband and became Mom for real.

Well, I did find the perfect husband! And after we'd been married for a year, Tucker and I started trying to have kids. That was in January of 1998. By Aug 2002, we'd had umpteen "procedures," suffered one miscarriage, had 2 adoptions fall through and had spent thousands of dollars trying to be Mom & Dad. We were DONE... but God wasn't!

We got a call in early Sept of that year that we'd been selected by a birthmom who wanted to meet us. That birthmom, April, has come to be such a blessing in our lives. She selected us to parent her unborn baby girl; that same 4-year-old that I mentioned earlier! In making that one decision, April has become part of our family along with her 2 daughters, Madison's sisters.

I'm looking forward to this blogging adventure. For now, my pillow is calling!