October 2009 was the first 'serious' conversation that we had in regards to growing our family through adoption. I graduate with my Master's Degree in December '08. By October '09, I had begun my 2nd year in my 'dream job' as a Middle School Counselor. I was done traveling an hour away for classes a few nights a week. I was loving life, especially because Kevin was set to graduate with his Master's in December '09. We were going to have the type of marriage where we would see each other more than just on weekends for the first time. The knowledge of having time together made it possible for us to consider raising a family together. Very exciting!!!!
Truthfully, we were already aware that my getting pregnant would be a 'tricky' process. I will say, it probably isn't impossible for us to conceive biological children. For me, adoption has always weighed on my heart. It has always been something that I have envisioned as a large part of my family. There were times where I considered that I would have biological children and adopt down the road. Kevin and I had *planned* this for our family before we were even engaged or married. It took us MONTHS to decide whether or not we would pursue fertility treatments. We educated ourselves, spoke with medical professionals and prayed, prayed, prayed. To be honest, I prayed a little heavier that Kevin's prayers would lead him to the answer of adoption (I was suppose to be praying for an answer about how we should begin to grow our family, but I think that answer had come to me long ago). Poor Kevin, he never stood a chance :o!
It wasn't easy for me to sit around and wait for our hearts to be in total sync. I was in no way going to push Kevin into something that he wasn't 1000% sure he wanted. I wanted to know that 20 years from now, after the joys of family and the difficulties, that we could BOTH be positive that everything happened in His timing and will and not mine. During this time, I spent LOTS of time researching domestic adoption, international adoption, adoption agencies, etc. I compiled notes, lists, Pros, Cons, etc., etc., etc. Finally, in the middle of February of '10, Kevin came home from work, looked at me and quietly asked, "What would your response be if I said I want to grow our family through adoption?" I just about fell over. I was beginning to give up hope that we would ever be able to figure this out. We sat down that night with all of the information I had compiled. It took about 2 weeks to decide that we were going to adopt internationally from Ethiopia. A year later, we have completed ALL of the homestudy and immigration paperwork. We bought a new house in there somehow too. We have made it onto the referral wait list and currently sit at #30. What a difference a year makes!
God has done some pretty cool things in the beginning stages of us growing our family. He has definitely worked over our hearts in some amazing ways. I have only told all of what I wrote above about our adoption decision to less than a handful of individuals. However, I do want people to understand that in so many ways, THIS IS PLAN A!!!!!! Our choice to adopt is not 2nd best for us. This is THE CHOICE...the only choice. We are positive, beyond a shadow of a doubt that for possibly the first time in our marriage, we are following His will. We are in accordance with him, together...and it is GREAT!!!!!
I thought I'd leave this post with a couple of videos that were in many ways influential for us. I hope you find them just as inspiring!
We had already decided on international adoption and Ethiopia when we saw this video for the first time, but it somehow confirmed this beautiful journey for us. The blog for this sweet family can be found at: http://weloveourlucy.blogspot.com/
This video with Steven Curtis Chapman helped me realize that if his daughter's prayers could work over the heart of he and his wife, my prayers could definitely have the same power! A shout-out about his wife's incredible book- "Choosing to SEE" by Mary Beth Chapman--I'm not done, but I've cried before the first chapter concluded...WOW!