Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It Feels Like Surrogacy

Gestational Surrogacy is when a couple uses a third party to physically carry their child. The baby is from the couples genetics,  the surrogate, is basically the vessel that allows the child to camp out for 9 months. Traditional surrogacy, the women is the genetic mother but she is inseminated with sperm. For some couples these choices are their only option….as the female is unable to either use her own eggs and/or carry to full term for different medical reasons.  Obviously, adoption is when you adopt someone else’s child, that is genetically theirs.

As we go through the adoption process,  almost since the beginning, it feels as though Haile is our surrogate. Now technically she is not, it is her and the baby’s father genetic child, not ours. However I feel like it’s our child in her tummy. And not in creepy, "hand that rocks the cradle", kind of way. More like a way that I feel like this child was created specifically for us, and it's already ours, she just happens to be carrying it. Now for the record,  I realize it’s not legally our baby, I realize it’s Haile’s baby right now….but I suppose because of the way this situation manifested, (which was brilliantly, I might add) it just feels like Haile was handpicked to carry our child. By God ?! By the baby? Perhaps! But I will tell you, prior to me ever even sharing these thoughts I have had several friends tell me this feels more like a surrogacy arrangement versus an adoption.

I really do believe that being involved in the pregnancy from within a week of when she initially found out she was pregnant, makes it feel more like a surrogacy situation as well.  Being at all of the appointments has been such an incredible blessing. Aside from the physical aspects of pregnancy, there’s really not much I am missing out on. Haile and her mom are giving me all the decision making powers. From choosing doctors, tests, hospital, gender reveal, baby name, you name it - the ball is my court. It’s as though I am experiencing the pregnancy myself, albeit vicariously through her.

There have been so many details about this adoption that have been perfect from day one. I could probably write for days about how flawlessly this situation was hand crafted for us.  At one point in my journey, pre Haile days,  I felt very sorry for myself…that everyone was getting to have a pregnancy but me….I was so sad and disappointed that I would never get to experience  everything that goes along with it. But today, my perspective has changed. Yes, I still do mourn that a little bit, but to be able to witness Haile’s pregnancy first hand….it feels incredible, I feel so very privileged  and blessed beyond words. She is the vessel God chose to make our dreams of having a family come true.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013


One of the best parts of witnessing our story unfold was sharing the fabulous testimony. I will never get tired of telling our story. It was so perfectly written, and as the details continue to unfold, I become even more amazed and faith filled. I have been smiling for 5 weeks straight now!

One of my good friends made the comment about how effortless it has been for us. And a light immediately went off, YES, that’s it, EFFORTLESS! If I could describe in one word how this process has gone so far, it would have to be effortless. And that means so much to me, coming from a girl who has been struggling with many aspects of her life for years now. Infertility, weight loss, health issues. All of it was a struggle, emotionally, financially, physically, I felt tormented some days. But almost magically, since day one of when we learned about this adoption, it has all been effortless. The initial news, the correspondence, the meet-up, getting resources such as referrals for our attorney, it was all handed to me. Even down to the details of finances. Of course there’s still legal fee’s and medical fee’s and other expenses involved, but this is really the best case scenario for us even in regards to the  financial aspect of the adoption.

I believe when we are in the divine flow of life, that’s when things begin to happen, with ease. We must be open and receptive to the ideas, people and opportunities surrounding us or presenting themselves. When we are receptive, then these beautiful experiences can flow through us. It’s always available, but sometimes we have to let go of the struggle, of the reigns, and need to control. I believe it is only then that we might discover all the endless opportunities that present themselves, and may have been presenting themselves all along.

I really thought I had all the answers to my problems. I thought I could “fix” all of my various issues doing what I felt was best. Infertility treatments, regular diet & exercise programs, allopathic medicine. What worked for everyone else, I couldn’t quite figure out why it wasn’t working for me. But in hindsight, much of what I did, never really resonated with me…..and that’s when I began to  make changes. I began to pray and I opened my mind to and explored different options. Yes maybe calories in/calories and gym worked for everyone else, I was told it should work for me too, but it didn’t. Yes, fertility treatments allow many couples and single woman to grow their families, but it didn’t work for us.  Treating my health using traditional doctors, well that didn’t necessarily work for me either. I had to keep my mind and heart open to other possibilities. It turns out naturopathy works best for me. My health is better now than it has been in many, many years. And the weight loss, well it took many years of many people and even my naturopath doctor recommending the HCG protocol before I was able to successfully lose weight, (which by the way was the easiest protocol I had ever followed). As far as growing our family, well it seems that adoption was how that was supposed to happen.

We cannot dictate to others what they should do or how they should live their lives. What works for one of us may not for another, or they just might not be there yet in their journey, there are valuable lessons along the way. It’s the experiences we have that gets us to our destination, not someone telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. But I do believe when we finally do get into the divine flow of life, that it gets easier. It’s almost as though God is handing you everything saying “here you go, my beautiful child”. That’s what this part of my life feels like..... graceful, easy, natural……..effortless.  
Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Whole New Meaning to Fathers Day

When you're feeling defeated by infertility, the holidays tend to be difficult. While there's plenty of reason to celebrate, there's always those constant nagging thoughts of what it would be like to experience the occasion with a child. Children change everything, especially days like Father's Day, Mother's Day and Christmas. It's not as though we haven't been able to experience joy and laughter in the past, we have plenty of fun and cause for celebration,  but there's not a holiday that goes by that doesn't make you stop and wonder what it would be like if you were expecting a child or had one already.

Today was the first holiday where I was able to experience what it feels like to have a child on the way- maybe not physically, but intellectually and emotionally. Somehow knowing that next year he or she will be here, well it made this Fathers Day a bit more enjoyable. The anticipation fills you with excitement and I won't lie, even a little nervousness at times. But overall, it's a good feeling. It's a fine time to feel grateful...we are finally, finally, finally in our season of harvest, we are reaping what we planted, seeds of faith - after many long seasons of waiting. It's kind of surreal. I imagine it will be for a long time. But when I look at the calendar and count down the days until our little pork-chop arrives (5 months 3 weeks and 2 days), it all starts feeling very real. In this very moment, our dreams are becoming reality.

Today is also Haile's birthday. It's difficult to know what to gift someone who is giving you your hearts desires. Nothing will ever come remotely close. I believe the only way to ever repay her for this gift, is to be the best parents we can be, to give the child a wonderful life filled with everything he or she needs, and having her be part of that, witnessing our parenting and knowing deep down in her heart that she made the right choice when she chose us.

On Friday I will be spending time with Haile. I thought a gift card for maternity clothes and getting massages would be a very nice way to spend time together and pamper her. I want to pamper her...I want her to feel comfortable, physically, emotionally and spiritually with each and every step of this journey. It's the very least we can do for her, the young lady who is giving a whole new meaning to Fathers Day.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Everyone Knows

It's official, everyone knows we are "expecting". It's pretty exciting, I get so much thrill telling everyone, even strangers. I realize some people might find it risky to share with so much time ahead of us yet and the possibility of Halie changing her mind....but I have been waiting 4 years for this day to come, and I am going to experience the joy that comes along with it. Even if it is temporary, I don't care. As it stands today, we are going to have a baby in December and everybody knows! (And if we missed anyone, they certainly will know soon too)

Halie's mom and I continue to bond daily. She is the kind of person I would want to be friends with even if we didn't come together for this baby. I really envision them being extended family. I couldn't have asked for a better situation. It's like God custom designed and hand crafted this situation just for us. 

Thinking back to our failed IVF in late November, this never would have happened, we wouldn't be here today if it had worked. I would be very pregnant and highly doubt I would have considered adoption. It's a good thing that He is our author and knew what He was doing, because I might have screwed up this beautiful NY Times best seller story, with a mediocre story that never made it to print.

I went back and viewed our IVF journey still brings tears to my eyes....but it's easier to watch for some reason. At the end, I stated that I knew God had bigger plans for us, that Faith is believing in what you can't yet see. I had Faith. It's not always easy, it can be challenging, but without Faith I would have been overcome with sadness, anger, hopelessness and fear. That just never felt or
sounded appealing to me. We really do have a choice in how we live our lives. It can be filled with
Faith, or Fear...but they cannot coexist. I didn't always choose faith, I allowed infertility to consume
me for many years. It was exhausting. It was painful. It was lonely.

Today I have a full heart. An amazing husband who has been such a rock through this journey. He has watched me struggle, and I cannot imagine how hard that was. As a wife, I know that seeing my husband hurt or grieve, if even for a minute, breaks my heart. Thinking back to all that he endured, his own feelings and then still being there for me, what incredible strength that must have taken. Every day I realize more and more what an amazing man he is. I keep learning new things about him even after all these years, and as we peel back the layers, it just keeps getting juicier and juicier! There's some pretty impressive qualities at the core of his being. I realize what an inspiration he has been, he has never lost faith. He has always accepted and embraced whatever unfolded in our lives. He never feared what could've been, or what might never be. At times that was misconstrued as him not caring, how could something so big mean so little?! That was never the case...he just never sweat the small stuff. He never let the day to day details suck him in. He knew in his heart that everything was going to be ok. And, guess what?! It is. 

In 5 short months our baby will be coming home to us. There's lots to prepare for, yet it's frightening to get to far ahead of yourselves. I don't think I want to hold back anymore, I did for too many years. I can't make decisions based on fear. I believe if God has lead us this far, then He will continue to guide us and protect us. So we surge ahead.

A few weeks ago I was bursting at the seams with joy, wanting to spread it with everyone who has been prayerful for us. I think it's only fair that you get to experience the joyful news after all of your prayers! And today, finally everybody knows! I am a proud momma to be. 

Sent from my iPad
Saturday, June 1, 2013

Halie's Gift

I decided to create a Facebook Page for close friends and family members. My intent is to keep you updated throughout our adoption process. The blog will host posts with more thorough content and the Facebook page will allow me to spew random or miscellaneous thoughts, photos and quick updates. As you can see, the name of the page is Halie's Gift. So simple, yet so profound. I don't think it's possible to receive any gift greater than that of child. Infertility or not, a child is a blessing. Being given the gift of raising someone else's child is probably the greatest honor of all. There's lots of trust, belief, and love involved. Imagine what it takes to trust someone else with your baby or child for a few hours. Now imagine a lifetime.

Haile and I have been spending time together. I want her to be confident that she has made the right decision by choosing Frank and I to be her baby's parents. Bonding is an essential part of the open adoption process, at least as far as Halie's family and I are concerned. When you adopt through an agency, they usually match the birth mom and adoptive parents around 7 months into her pregnancy. I just couldn't imagine missing all of this precious time with Haile during her pregnancy. Not just to get to know her, but to get to experience the pregnancy with her first hand.

One of the things I had to grieve with infertility, was the ability to experience a pregnancy for myself. To know what it felt like to have another life growing inside you. To feel the physical changes, the baby kicking, the body changing. While I might not get to experience that aspect of the pregnancy, there's so much more I will enjoy during this open adoption process. I took Haile to her first doctor appointment and will bring her to the rest of them. I got to see the baby moving around inside her belly and hear the heartbeat. She is currently 12 weeks and 4 days and her official due date is now December 9th. We will soon pick the hospital she will deliver in. We will also choose what tests she will take, if and when we do a gender scan. Haile's mom has given me full permissions to make all of the decisions and "own" the pregnancy with Haile. It's thrilling, really. Some of it is a little nerve wrecking, I am faced with decisions that I never thought I would be, or at very least for myself, not for another person! Having another woman carrying your soon to be child adds a whole other dimension to the decision making process. I am not only considering what is best for Frank and I as parents, and the baby of course, but what is also in Haile's best interest. That's a lot of people to consider coming from different sides of the continuum.

Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;
Some days I am still in shock that this is actually happening. It just seems so surreal. I find myself smiling often and pondering all of the fun experiences I will get to experience now, ones that I thought were just buried dreams. Nursery room, child care, family vacations!, oh my!

I think the part I love most about this journey is how effortless it has been. Everything just fell into our laps. No paperwork, no profiles, no long drawn out processes. Everything has been so simple. I didn't even have to search for a lawyer, that was handed to me as well. And not only has it been easy, but God constantly reminds and assures us we are on the right path. As each and every detail unfolds, there is clear evidence of Gods hands in all of this. For example, when I pulled up to Halie's appointment and discovered her doctor was in the same medical building as our a infertility doctor. I always felt good energy when I went there and it made me believe I was going to bring home a baby. When that didn't happen, I was more than disappointed. But maybe I wasn't so wrong, maybe my intuition and good vibes weren't so far off! God knew all along I was going to bring home a baby from there....I just never imagined this would be how it would happen.

When I entered into the infertility trenches, I was surrounded by many women of faith who inspired me. I always felt as though they handled their journeys with Grace, and that's what I aspired to be, a woman of faith who knew that if she just let go of the reigns and trusted in God, He would not disappoint. And it was then that the struggle ended. I embraced the path we were on and knew no matter what, our lives were good and we would be happy and fulfilled regardless of how that looked.  It was only then, that our world would get turned upside down, yet again.

If you are in a season of waiting, no matter what it is you a waiting for...know that your time will come. It may not be in the way you planned, or even how you envisioned it, it might not be on your timeline, but it will be. Just surround yourself with believers. Stay in close company with those who speak blessings over you and are prayerful for you. Keep the dream alive in your heart. Be committed but not attached. And then sit back and watch something very miraculous unfold.