Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our Journey to Adoption

This is a difficult post to write.  It is impossible to convey the hopelessness and confusion that accompanies trying to do something that you feel you were put on this earth to do - "multiply and replenish the earth".  I have always known that I would be a mother.  That is the one thing that has comforted me through all of this.  My impatience frequently gets in the way (that is my nature).

Edward and I have planned on having children from the start - no waiting for us!  We figured we were already too old to hold off (oh, how young we were!).  We both wanted a large family (and that may still be in the cards for us - who knows?).  We both also figured it would happen pretty quickly.  Other family members were getting pregnant right and left, and we were sure that we would soon have children joining the throngs of new cousins.  We went through one round of new cousins, then two, then three, then four.  But for us, still nothing.  We went to several doctors, who helped us out in various ways, but we still did not achieve our end goal of becoming pregnant.  Fertility procedures are not fun - mix together vulnerability, romance on a schedule, and drugs that make you crazy hormonal - and you're going to end up a mess, physically and emotionally.

There came a point where I could not do it anymore.  We were exhausting our savings, I was losing hair (literally) and was a total emotional basketcase, and I could not handle the disappointment one more time.  So we stopped.  My hair grew back (Whew!), my sanity was restored, and adoption became the right thing to do.  We had already begun the process, so we now put ourselves 100% into getting ourselves approved.

Now that we are approved, we pray daily that the right child will enter our lives.  We have so much to offer and KNOW that we will be good, loving parents.  We know that Heavenly Father has a plan for our family, and we trust that in His time, our family will be made complete.

How We Became "Us"

Since this is my blog, you will rarely see anything on here from Edward.  He's got his own webpage, which you can see from the link on the side of this blog.  So for Edward's perspective, please go to his webpage!

Get settled in, this is a little lengthy:
After serving a mission for the LDS Church in Puerto Rico, I returned to school at Utah State University.  I really wasn't sure what to do when I graduated, but figured I'd go find a job in the school district that my parents lived in.  One day during one of my education classes, they announced that some representatives from a school district in Texas would be doing a presentation to recruit student teachers.  My interest was piqued, so I went to the meeting. 

At the meeting, they described this glorious place where everybody who student teaches gets a job, the students are this AMAZING mix of cultures, and the pay was almost twice as much as a beginning salary in Utah.  Rational me knew it was too good to be true, but poor me was thinking that a guaranteed job with a double salary sounded too good to pass up!  So I called my parents and asked if they thought they could help me do this.  They said sure (I'm still not sure why), and six months later I moved myself out to Texas. 

It was too good to be true, that's for sure, but I do not regret my decision to move.  I had many learning and growing experiences and I feel I have a deeper understanding for the hardships that many people face as a result of poor choices or disintegrating culture.

My first week there, I was assigned to an FHE (Family Home Evening) Group at church.  This is a group of single people who get together on Monday evenings to have gospel discussions, play games, eat, and FLIRT.  Edward was my FHE "brother", and we immediately became friends.  I was impressed with how easy-going and non-judgmental he was towards others.  But I didn't think of him "like that".  We continued like that for about a year (just hanging out with groups of friends).  Then one night in the fall of my second year teaching in that scary school district, he tried to get a group of friends together to go star-gazing.  I was the only person who would go, so the two of us went looking for an open field (the only one we could find was where they had torn down all the trees to put in houses, and it was right next to the airport - we didn't see many stars to say the least).  On the drive, I witnessed a side of Edward that I never knew existed.  This was an extremely thoughtful, intelligent man who had obviously given much study and pondering to many questions and issues. 

We had a great time star-gazing, and I was positive he would ask me out on a real date for the following week.  I waited, and there was no phone call.  I kid you not, I waited for TWO MONTHS for Edward to call me back, and he never did.  Oh, I saw him at church and at FHE, but he never called for a date.  So I gave up and moved on.

The following spring, several friends were getting ready to go float down the Guadalupe River and invited me to go along.  I was way too busy to go, but agreed.  Edward was in the group, and we stopped for a pit stop in a small town.  Edward needed a hat, so I volunteered to venture into Wal-Mart with him.  By this time I was SO over him and his lack of call-back skills.  Then he tried on a cowboy hat and I totally melted.  Pathetic, right?  I spent the rest of the weekend shamelessly trying to get his attention (I even conveniently fell asleep at the campfire so that he would have to set my tent up for me).  Needless to say, by the end of the weekend, we were an item!

Only problem is, I was leaving in two days for Utah, and I was planning on staying there for almost two months!  We ended up talking on the phone for hours each evening, and by some momentary lapse of intelligence, I invited him to my family reunion.  We had only been dating in person for 2 days and he purchased a ticket to fly out and meet my family!  It was insane.  I spent the entire family reunion trying to avoid him as I sorted out what it was that I wanted.  Poor Edward - it's a good thing he's so patient!  We got engaged the day before he flew back to Texas.  What a sweet moment that was - the moment when we both just KNEW that this was right.  We were married 5 months later and have never looked back.

We've Been Approved For Adoption!!!

It's hilarious to think that I almost didn't check my email Thursday night.  I had to stay late at school for a PTA Meeting and didn't get home until 8:00.  What with it being so late, my plan was to avoid getting any emails from church (that sounds really awful, doesn't it?).  ANYWAY, just on a whim before I went to bed, I went ahead and checked my email (even though I knew I was going to regret it).  I saw an email from our caseworker, and figured we had something ELSE missing that they had never told us we needed.  I opened the email and almost laughed!  Seriously, at this point my expectations are pretty low.  The email said we were approved and that our profile was already online.  For a few minutes I just sat there and wondered if someone was playing a joke on us.  So I immediately checked online, and sure enough, there was our profile!

And to think I almost didn't check my email. . .