Abigail, our wonderful adopted daughter, is three years old now. I am a recent discoverer of the world that exists in this blogging universe. It is quite overwhelming. A good friend of mine is going through the adoption process and began blogging and as I read the comments, I was amazed by the instant support and encouragement she was receiving. "If only I had know about this all this time", I thought! With her permission (and help in navigating), I'm jumping into this.
Our story is wrought with pain, as all infertility journeys, but I am continually amazed by the healing that God has brought through it all. How do you summarize the last 6 years of your life in a blog entry? Even knowing where to start is difficult to decide. So, let's start....
At the very beginning....(someone wise once sang these words, I believe...)
My husband, Matt, and I were very cautious in the early years of our marriage about preventing pregnancy. I remember my mother telling me when I was growing up how she didn't have to really every try to get pregnant, so I should always be cautious. In looking back, I'm not sure how much of this was a true statement of fact and how much was just to scare me into not having sex before marriage. I had a wonderful career teaching high school music and was very successful in that endeavor and we were just not interested in having a family early in our marriage. I have honestly thought at times that perhaps God punished us for our selfishness and for trying to "control" the circumstances under which our family would begin, but I know how ridiculous that truly is. God's not in the punishing business. He's about redeeming. Thankfully.
So, ironically, when we decided to officially start a family, it didn't happen. I had quit my job to take a part-time position in worship ministry so that I would be home more when we had a baby. We had already been actively trying to get pregnant for over a year, so the summer after I finished teaching, we decided to go in for official testing. We thought it would be easier to have Matt tested first and then, depending on the results, I could follow. We had several conversations about whether or not we were going to pursue any testing if the results indicated any problems. Our decision was that we wanted to adopt instead of going through any invasive procedures of any kind. I can't explain why this was our choice--other than the fact that God really knew what our future held. Needless to say, the results were not good. We received the results of my husband's tests and decided to consider our other options.
Our knowledge of adoption at the time was very limited. We didn't have relationships with anyone who had adopted--well enough to really ask them about it. An opportunity arose that looked as though it was an incredible answer to our prayers to start a family. It resulted in a fraudulent federal case....(another entry for this story to come!). We grieved as all who have experienced adoption loss or miscarriage do. We had decided that we were pretty much going to buy a condo on the beach somewhere (with what, I don't know...we're hardly the independently wealthy type...), buy a corvette (for my husband), and travel as much as possible for the remainder of our existence on this earth.
God had another plan.
Several months passed and we had begun to talk about maybe talking with an adoption attorney to see what kind of options we had, but we were not making any kinds of decisions. at all...
Then we got a call that changed our lives...
In March of 2006, we received a phone call from a gentlemen whose daughter was pregnant and had heard we were considering adoption. After our initial shock and the knowledge they were actually working with the attorneys we had looked into using, we met and were officially "matched" with a birthmom.
There is too much to write in one entry about the months that led up to Abigail's birth and the three years since then. She is now three years old (as of June 20th!) and is a vibrantly whimsical princess. We have an very open adoption where we see and talk to Abby (Abigail's birthmom--a very interesting story about how Abigail was named--she wasn't actually named after her, but God has a real sense of humor!) very regularly and see her about 4 times a year or so depending on our schedules. I actually spoke with her this afternoon and asked her permission to share parts of our story that truly intertwine with hers and she was quick to say yes. She and I are both interested in just about anything that can help people breed hope in their circumstances.
My prayer is that our story will bring hope to others. One of my favorite songs is "He's Always Been Faithful" by Sara Groves. My favorite stanza in the song is
"I can't remember a trial or a pain,
He did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret
in serving God only and trusting His hand.
All I have need of, His hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me."
I can't say it any better.
Perform. Perform. Perform.
8 years ago