Why We Said Yes to Adoption (and no to fertility treatments)
While I certainly know that not all people choose to adopt solely because they’ve struggled with infertility, I’d be a fool to think infertility isn’t relevant to adoption. Because the truth is, most of us do choose adoption after we’ve experienced years of not being able to conceive on our own. Many couples arrive at adoption after enduring much loss – miscarriages, failed fertility treatments, surgeries or countless months of negative pregnancy tests. It’s a long, grueling path. Our hearts are hurting and weary. We’ve dreamt of having children our entire lives and suddenly it seems like a dead end. Then, this new idea, adoption, presents itself. I’ll admit, it took my husband and I a while to warm up to the idea. Could we really adopt? Is this what is meant for us? Could we love a child that is not biologically our own? Isn’t the whole point of being a mother to carry a child in your own body? At that time, there were so many questions in my head and no one to give me the answer. Now, as I sit here two years after our first adoption, the answers are so clear.
Many may consider adoption as a “second choice” for those of us who try to conceive naturally and cannot. I assure you, my friends, adoption is no second choice. My very inexperienced and naïve self thought I could plan my life. I thought I had control and the power to manifest exactly what I wanted – children included. I was healthy. My husband was healthy. There’s no way that WE could struggle with infertility. But we did. For nearly two years. And it broke us. When we received our official infertility diagnosis, our doctors suggested IVF and said it was highly likely to be successful. IVF is very common and they’ve mastered it to a science. According to the doctors, this was the next logical choice. It was as simple as filling a cavity for a dentist.
But we said no. Actually, we never even considered it. Despite the promising words of our doctors, those words were empty to us. And conceiving otherwise would be impossible. It was truly devastating and my heart was crushed. I had never felt that kind of heartache, physical heartache, as I did then. But even in the swells of that grief, there was a spark in my heart. I can’t explain it. I just felt a calling in my heart that was so clear and loud that it was impossible to ignore – adoption. I had been silently considering adoption those last few months as I felt our journey to conceive creep to a slow, painful halt. I could feel a new horizon coming and I knew it would change our lives forever if we just let it.
When we started the adoption process, it truly felt like I was living someone else’s life. Because this was NOT what I had planned. My heart was continually fighting against my fearful brain that was telling me how reckless this all was. I contemplated giving up every single day. I felt scared and lost every single day. But my heart kept me going like an unstoppable force – adoption. And suddenly, we were home study approved and officially a “waiting family” with our attorneys. I remember the exact day I received the email saying we were officially a waiting family. April 30, 2016. I was overwhelmed with emotions as I read that email and wondered what in the heck we were doing. It nearly drove me insane not to have control or know what was next. I’d read horror stories about adoptions gone wrong and families that wait for years to finally bring their baby home. I had hope that we were on the right path but it still felt surreal. I had no idea that only 11 days later, I would hold my daughter in my arms. May 11, 2016 is the day I learned about faith. It was the say my heart said “see, I told you so”. She was the reason my heart called me to adopt. And I held all 6 pounds of her in my arms. Six months after that, I would hold my second reason in my arms.
Here’s what I know now. We don’t hold the playbook, friends. We don’t hold the divine plan. God does that. Now I see so incredibly clearly that adoption was our first choice. It was God’s first choice for us. It just took me 29 years to take a second to just feel what my heart was telling me instead of selfishly clinging to my own plans or words of doctors. It took me time to muster the courage to do something big and choose a less-traveled path. It took that experience to show me how powerful faith is and how LOUD God speaks through our heart. Even when it seems impossible and scary and overwhelming, trust it. Have faith and it will deliver the most magical gifts. My heart guided me to my most joyful days. I have two little people who I call my daughters. The love I have for them is a feeling that can’t be put on paper because it is that immense. Whatever you’re facing today, no matter how big or small it is, listen to your heart. Our hearts always know the way.