Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Day Our Lives Changed

It was a beautiful Monday morning. I was driving into work, admiring my new route since we moved into our new home. We moved into an area that is still filled with green pastures, farms and a very small town charm. It's almost like a time warp. Our community is newly developed in the middle of the countryside. Only 12 miles from work and 5 short miles from civilization. It's very refreshing and appealing to be immersed in nature. I consider myself more of a city girl, but I just might be a country girl at heart. Sometimes when driving down the old beat up back road, we stop to watch the cows graze and baby calfs follow their mom & pop around the pastures.

On this particular day, Monday, May 13th, I stopped to take a photo of the sky. It was remarkable, rays shining through the clouds, it really serves as a reminder to me how great our God is. Although the photos really never capture the incredibleness of the moment, I posted it on Facebook with a caption that read "This is the day that The Lord has made, let us rejoice in it". That was truly what I felt in my heart looking up at the sky and feeling an overwhelming sense of well being at that very moment.

A few minutes into the drive, I started thinking about a friend who struggled with infertility over the years and recently had an adoption literally fall into her lap. It was a gift that fell from the skies above. After years of the awful pains of infertility she finally had her take home baby! I thought to myself, if a baby fell into our laps, like it did for her, I would do it, I would adopt. I didn't have what it took emotionally (or even financially) to go through the standard agency adoption program. Not that I wasn't open to adoption, it was just the idea of investing another year into setting up a profile, waiting for a match and then hopefully bringing home a baby. After spending the last 4.5 years in the infertility trenches, the idea of investing ourselves into the adoption process just wasn't appealing.  

A few hours into my work day, I went to my lunch time yoga class. After returning to my desk, I found a message from my dear friend and coworker, Libby. She was asking if I knew anybody that wanted to adopt, as there was a crisis situation that needed potential adoptive parents immediately. It was a local teenage girl who was going to terminate her pregnancy if she didn't find someone to adopt her baby, right away. My friend reached out to me specifically because she knew I had a strong presence in the infertility community and could reach out to a large audience rather quickly. I read her message and immediately reflected back on my thoughts that morning, during my commute. Could it be possible that my "prayers" we're answered that quickly?! I replied without hesitation, and then immediately contacted Frank to see what his thoughts were. He agreed that we simply couldn't turn our backs on the situation and should explore the possibility further. I was instantly put in contact with the birth-moms mother. We emailed and then spoke on the phone the following day. We decided that it was best that we meet-up and share a meal that upcoming weekend so we could discuss the situation further.

It was a long week, I was so nervous and anxious to meet Halie and her mom. I was hoping they loved us, we loved them equally as much,  and there would be a connection between Halie and I. In the interim, I just sat in awe over what had occurred and all the writing on the wall. When I asked for more details, I had an email forwarded to me which had a subject line "update on Kim's daughter" (Kim is Halie's mothers name). The day I spoke to Halie’s mom, Frank received an email at work, with his company sending an explanation of ......adoption benefits. During that week, I also found out that Halie’s due date was Dec 25th. Not to mention, Halie’s mom, the facilitator of all of this, worked directly across the street from my work! All of this couldn't possibly be coincidences. Gods fingerprints were all over it! 

On Sunday May 19th, we met Halie and her mom Kim for dinner. They are both very kind and sweet souls. We shared stories and got to know each other a bit. I left there feeling somewhat relieved that a major hurdle was over but now it was time to wait again. Halie had an appointment scheduled with an agency. Her mom felt it was important that she explored all options. Agencies can offer some additional benefits over private adoptions. They have access to tons of resources and added benefits that you might not be able or offer legally in a private adoption. Of course there is also hefty price tag associated with that, so while we wanted Halie to do what was best for her, we also knew that an agency would be out of the question for us if she decided to go that route. Her appointment was scheduled for June 1st. Before we parted, I gave Halie a letter I had written for her, and we said or good-byes.

The waiting phase had begun, and while I was eager for the day to come, so Halie could decide which path she wanted to pursue, I wasn't feeling anxious at all. I felt calm and at peace. During this waiting phase, I had been in  contact with both Kim and Halie...via email and text, multiple times.

On Tuesday, May 21st, only a couple days into the wait...I received a text from Halie’s mom asking if I could talk. She called me shortly thereafter and started crying before I could really understand what she was saying. Earlier that day we were emailing and she let me know how worried she was if Halie didn't choose us, she knew how heart breaking that would be and she didn't want to see that happen to us. I immediately thought the worst and my heart sunk to my stomach. Imagine my surprise when she blurted out "Halie wants you and Frank to be her baby's parents!" 

Tears began flowing, I was so overjoyed! I couldn't believe it, Halie decided already and we wouldn't have to go through the treacherous two week wait! After 50 some negative cycles, it was the first time I received great news during a two week wait!

"Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. Prov. 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will direct your paths."

Halie and her mom want an open adoption, that means that she will get to be part of the baby’s life. To what extent has yet to be determined but we will come up with a trust agreement that everyone feels comfortable with. She is currently 10 weeks along. This means I will get to be part of the entire pregnancy! Attending appointments and bonding with Halie. This is a dream come true for me! I love how perfect her situation and ours are a beautiful match made in heaven!

It's going to be long road with many ups and downs, we are both fully aware of what a volatile situation we are dealing with. This might frighten some away, but I believe that regardless of the situation, God will protect our hearts. When you are faith filled, there is nothing to fear. 

We are going to be parents! God had a special plan for us all along. He was never telling us no, he was simply saying "not now". Please join us on our journey as Gods perfect plan unfolds. Our baby is growing in Halie’s belly and in our hearts. What a beautiful precious gift we will receive!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dear Halie

May 19th, 2013

Dear Halie,

I would first like to thank you for taking the time to meet with us. I realize that you have some tough choices ahead of you, but hopefully this process goes well for you and you feel peace and comfort in what ever your ultimate decision ends up being.

As you might know by now, a couple years ago, my husband and I had to choose between fertility treatments and adoption. Both were a big financial investment, and unfortunately we had to pick one or the other at the time. We chose fertility treatments with the hopes that we might not only get one chance, but perhaps multiple chances if they were able to harvest enough eggs. Sadly that is not how it worked out for us, but we have no regrets with the choices we have made thus far. God has somehow managed to take a difficult situation and as a result create stronger love and bonds between my husband and I. It’s been a long road, but we continue to stand strong in our faith knowing that God has great plans for us, greater ones than we could have ever imagined.

Just a few short hours before I learned about you and your situation, I actually had a thought that very morning,….that if God were to place a baby in our laps, that my heart and mind were open and receptive to the idea of adoption. It wasn’t that long ago that our IVF cycle had failed, and we were taking the time to recover emotionally and financially from the outcome. We had just turned a corner and I was feeling recharged and rejuvenated. I had come to terms with our inability to conceive and was ready to embrace whatever life had in store for us. While the desire to have a child never completely goes away, with Gods amazing grace, I was able to release all fears or anxiety and know He would provide for us, however He saw fit. There was no need for me to be sad or worry.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived back to my desk after a yoga class, and discovered a message from a dear friend and coworker who notified me of this possibility. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I didn’t even hesitate, I called my husband and explained what had just occurred and told him I couldn’t turn my back away from such an amazing possibility! He completely agreed! Within minutes I had an email response sent which had quickly put me in touch with your mother.

I have been so nervous and sometimes anxious over the last few days, leading up to our meeting. I have wondered what you were like, if you would like us, if we would connect, if you would think we would be worthy of your precious gift if you decided to go forward with adoption.. I have also wondered how you are doing, how you're feeling, and what a frightening time in your life this must be. As I write this I still don’t know the answers to some of those questions. But one thing I do know for sure, is that I feel blessed that I have been shown how open my heart is to meeting you and caring for your child. The opportunity to possibly provide him or her with a loving family, a good home, and giving the child all the wonderful the things we had as children growing up, and more. There is such a strong desire to meet you and find out more about you!

I recognize that you do not know us at all, and what an awkward situation that might be for you. It is my hope that you give us the opportunity to show you what real, down to earth people we are. We both have great families, great friends who would support our decision to adopt…we like to have fun and laugh. We spend our time together, serving each other, our communities and families. We are simple people who work hard and play hard. We have huge hearts and a lot of love to share with both you and your baby.

Halie, regardless of the outcome, I want you to know that I think you are a beautiful brave girl. I can say this without even meeting you, because beauty comes from the inside. To even consider this path to adoption is simply amazing. Even if we aren’t the path you choose, it doesn’t change how I view you at all. Know that you will always be in our thoughts and prayers. God has special plans for you and your baby. Believe!

Warmest regards & Many Blessings.
Kim & Frank