For this Child I Prayed

So there was a stork on our garage door?  What did that mean?  I kept asking him what he was talking about.  He told me, “There’s a paper stork on our garage with a due date of August —.”  We needed to call Tyler.(our Social Worker).

I was still at work.

I tried not to scream.  I worked as a secretary of a telemarketing company.  I had to stay professional, but inside I had butterflies, ants, beetles, bugs squirming inside me, you name it…I was feeling the excitement and anxiety of that silly stork on our garage door.  It meant a miracle was coming our way, it meant hope.

Most of all, it meant that our prayers were being answered, we were one step closer.

I called Tyler from my office at work.  He told me he would be stopping by that night around 6:00 if we could meet with him.  He wouldn’t tell me anything else, I asked and pleaded and even begged, but he wouldn’t say a word.  It was very frustrating.  Inside I wanted to rip the phone to pieces to make him tell me, but I restrained myself and waited until I could go home.

I got off at 5, and got home by 5:30.   Then we waited.  It was the longest 30 minutes of my life.

We tried to eat something, but stared at our plates.  It was useless, excitement was filling our heads, and frankly – we just couldn’t wait.

Finally Tyler arrived, we sat in our little living room, he calmly explained to us what the paper stork meant.

He handed us a file of paperwork.  Inside the file was a letter.  It was a letter that still makes me teary eyed to this day.

It was a letter from HER…the saving grace of our story, the beautiful gem in our adoption.

The very reason we would hold a child in our arms.  For her privacy, I will call her Roxy.  (I’ve always loved that name anyway).

Now I want to reiterate that we realized, even then, that the title “Birth Mom” isn’t a name most women who place their baby for adoption want to be known as.  But because its a title all of us know, I’ll use it here.

Although we refer to her as a Birth Mom, in all actuality, those two words aren’t even comparable or good enough to describe what she is to us and our family.

Due to the sacredness of her letter, for privacy for her, us, and our daughter, I will summarize what she wrote. Some of the most important parts of her letter is the fact that she CHOSE US, that she prayed to know if we should adopt her baby, and that every time she prayed, she heard our names clearly.

Talk about a heart stopping utter surprise.  A completely humbling letter.  Not only had she prayed about us, but GOD answered her prayer – and WE were that answer.

I was dumbfounded, and I sobbed as Tyler read to us the dynamics of the adoption.

Again, for privacy, I won’t share it all.  The baby would be a girl and she would be half black and half white.  She was due in August.

The Birth Mom is white, Birth Father is Black.  There were a few other items to discuss, but I was in a complete fog of happiness.

I was going to be a Mother.  God did trust me with his children.  A complete stranger, another woman, a Mother, also trusted me.  She trusted me with a sacred precious gift, the gift of her child.

The next morning, I went to Walmart and sobbed in the baby section.  It was about all I could do to not buy every baby girl item I could see.  I imagined dresses and sleepers, baby lotions and crib sets.  I restrained myself and only bought a bottle starter kit and a bag of Huggies.

I was excited but didn’t want to get too excited, we were excitedly cautious.  There was always the chance, somewhere in the back of my mind, that Roxy could change her mind.  What would I do then?  So everything I purchased I kept the receipts, just in case.  The rational part of me felt this, the irrational part of me would be harder to convince.

Time took its time chugging along.  The clocked ticked slower.  June would never end, where was July?  Why wasn’t it August already?

Ken and I tried to fill our days with busy things.  Work was a good distraction but we were able to take some camping trips, and even took our neighbors daughters’ around on errands, to the park, or even to McDonalds, anything to keep us busy.

We wrote weekly letters to Roxy to tell her what we were up to, and most importantly to build a bond and relationship with her.  She was very sweet and tried to write when she could.  She also worked and was going to school too.

Our letters were never centered much around preparing for the baby – because honestly as I stated before, we didn’t prepare.  A few outfits, a blanket, a couple more bags of diapers, maybe a diaper bag.  We wrote about our camping adventures including a run in with a ferocious badger.  We tried to keep the letters interesting but honest.  We wanted to impress but not make her barf with brown nosing.

I instantly felt a connection with Roxy the first time we met in July.  We sat across from each other in one of the adoption facilities offices.  I’m sure it was awkward for her, maybe even more than us.  She was beautiful (& still is a beauty).  She has these gorgeous dimples in her cheeks that I just knew would be passed on to our daughter.

Of course, there were a million other feelings, impressions, and words spoken.  Privacy can really stink when telling a personal story, but I respect Roxy too much to share those precious experiences.

We left that face to face meeting with her and some of her family members,  feeling positive, happy, and even more hopeful.

In July , we went to a big box store and purchased a stroller and baby car seat.  It sat in the “nursery” for 4 weeks still in its boxes.

I came home from work one day and walked past the nursery.  The bedroom door was open.

The stroller and car seat were put together.  My sweetheart surprised me.  The neighbors had even borrowed us a crib, it was set up waiting to hold its new bundle.

This time, I sat in that purple and yellow baby girls room filled with all the baby things we had purchased and cried like a baby.  It was refreshing and cathartic and healing.  I was beyond grateful, I was humbled.  Ken came in and put his arms around me.  We sat there for a long time.  I imagined our baby girl sleeping in the crib.  I could almost hear her whimpering in her sleep.  It all felt surreal.  Somebody pinch me.  No one had ever been so blessed.

August rolled around, finally!

So did Roxy’s due date.

Ken’s parents arrived to help with the baby, to see their 13th grand baby arrive.

10 days after the due date, we get a call from Tyler saying, “Roxy’s in labor, send her a special gift or flowers or something, I’ll call you tonight with the details.”

I called the florist, I wanted to order a million roses.  There really weren’t I ordered a nice bouquet with flowers I thought she would love.  The card said how much we loved her.  Because it was beyond the truth.  We did!  Even if she changed her mind!  Even if she decided to keep her baby.  We loved her!

We waited for Tyler to call that night.  The phone never rang.  There was no way to reach Tyler after hours.

So we went to bed that night without even a clue as to the progress of Roxy or our chances to have a daughter.

We got up for work the next morning like we always did.  Just another day.  We didn’t expect anything different.  We figured something had happened but still hoped for the best.  Never-ending hope and optimism always taking over the negative thoughts that creep in.

Around 10 am, Tyler called me at work.

He apologized for not getting back with us the night before.  I tried to act like it was no big deal.  But it was a HUGE deal, I was frustrated with him.  This was our future!  Don’t mess with me Mister!  There was some reason, but I spaced it and didn’t really care.

Roxy had the baby the night before.  Our daughter had finally been born!!!!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!

The baby was beautiful, and very dark.  He told us her measurements, he said she was healthy and doing great.  Normal birth, healthy baby, all 10 fingers, all 10 toes.  Perfect Apgar scores, perfect child in every way.

The truth is, I didn’t worry about the baby so much, I worried about Roxy.

Roxy was doing okay.  I wanted so badly to call her, to check on her.  To tell her we loved her, to tell her a million other emotions that I could never express to such an important person in our lives.

Then Tyler said, “We’re meeting around 4:00, let’s go get your baby.”

I think I dropped the phone.  Somehow I heard the rest of his information, I somehow called Ken at work and they were able to get a message to him to go home.

I somehow made it home on time.  Ken and his parents met me in the garage.  We piled in the car, and headed for our future.

Today was the day, today we would bring our baby girl home…

 

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Choices Bring Miracles

Miracles happen, People!

My family is proof that miracles do happen, and not to just the rich and famous, or the “lucky ones”. Miracles happen to everyday people,  just like you and I. Miracles are a product of many things, and for us, miracles have resulted in an Eternal Family. This path wasn’t just an endeavor, it was more than a struggle. This particular path was a choice.

Of course, the path to adoption was paved in Prayer, hard work, dedication, paper cuts, prayer, & hand cramps. There was many months of fasting, scripture study, tons of hope, more prayers, faith and trust in “The System”, “Committee’s”, and other people who never knew us, never met us, people who held our future in their hands.  There were attorneys and judges, people behind the scenes waiting, considering, and waiting some more for decisions. I refer to my family as a miracle, because well, they are. That’s just the plain truth. They are a Divine miracle, a pure gift from God.

Your family is miraculous too, you will feel it is even more miraculous because they are yours.

Maybe you were blessed to carry your baby in your tummy, maybe you were there when they were born. I wasn’t able to be there. I didn’t get the opportunity to see my child the first second she was born, to have her plopped on my tummy, to hear her first cry. I didn’t get to smell her, nurse her, count her baby toes and fingers from day one.   Some days those feelings are still fresh and raw and hard to accept at times.  I sometimes feel that I won’t truly accept our infertility until menopause hits, but that’s a whole other story.

You can bet one thing is true, I don’t want your sympathy.  I’m really just stating facts. We are infertility survivors, not childless victims!

You see, I AM STILL A MOTHER and KEN IS STILL A FATHER.

Giving birth to a child isn’t the only thing that makes you a Momma. Just like owning a cat doesn’t make you a vet.  It has taken me quite a few years to come to terms with that thought and those emotions. I heard somewhere (probably a Hallmark movie) something like “Giving Birth to a child is an act of nature, Adopting a child is an Act of God.”

Sometimes adoption can feel like it takes an act of Congress or a Presidential Order.

The first time I called the LDS Church Family Services to start the process to adopt our first child, I was literally scared and utterly clueless.

Where do we start?

My first question was “How long does it take to adopt a baby?”

Up to two years. How can it take up to two years? I mean seriously? Aren’t women having babies every single second of every day? Why would it take so long? I thought a private agency was much faster than a state agency. I couldn’t fathom waiting ANOTHER two years.

I dreaded the time it would take because frankly, I knew the stress and worry I would allow myself to feel. I could tell myself not to stress, but that’s like telling a baby not to eat a cupcake when its sitting in front of them. I’m made to stress, that’s part of my character. It’s part of my history, and it’s definitely a hard habit to break. Patience, above all, has been my lesson to learn in this lifetime. As I’ve posted before, I like to have control over my life. I like to be the one to make things happen, to get them done, to check them off of my list. When I give up the control to God, that’s one thing. But to give up the control of my future to an entire pack of strangers – that is another issue completely.  Excluding my family, the experiences with regular every day people at this point in my life weren’t all that positive.  My past experiences proved to me that overall in the worldly every day work force environment, people don’t “show up”, as Dr. Phil would say.

First up on the long list of my concerns, was the fact these people don’t know who the heck we are. Sure we had interviews with the Social Workers, they did home visits and home studies. We filled out paperwork, we had to have references, you know, like we were applying for the job to become a parent. I understood all of this for safety reasons and legal and governmental paperwork, but it still felt unusually weird.  Cross those T’s, dot those lower case j’s.

Did the biological parent(s) have to fill out paperwork, have home visits and studies, Doctors screening, Bishop/church leader’s letters of approval to get pregnant, to give birth???  Uhhh, Nope.

Another proof that life isn’t fair!  Deal with it Chica!

The largest factor about our situation is that luckily we were going through a church adoption agency. As you may not know, our faith, the LDS (or Mormon) church, is based about our families. And not just families, I stress “Eternal Families”. We believe that we can be with our families not just on this Earth, but eternally, forever. This belief and faith gave me comfort, because above all, I knew that this agency would hopefully use faith, prayer, and the Spirit to receive guidance for our family.

Yes, these strangers didn’t know us or our situation. BUT GOD KNOWS US!  He knew the desires of our hearts, the ache in our arms, the tears we had shed and the loss we experienced in giving up on our dream to have a biological child. He knew then, as he does today for every single one of us, the very things we needed before we did. God would make a way possible for us where there seemed to be no way, all we needed to do was have faith and believe.

In October 2000, our paperwork and visits were complete, and we started the process of adoption classes. We had the opportunity to rub shoulders with other couples struggling with many of the same issues we were experiencing. We were unknowingly like a band of infertile cast offs. It was both cathartic and pathetic.

We met couples who had experienced a whole range of different experiences on their road through infertility. One husband had survived cancer making him sterile. They had used artificial insemination for their first child and decided adoption would be the answer for their second. There was another PCOS couple who had already adopted a child and were working on adopting their second. There were couples who couldn’t yet medically explain why they were infertile, they just were.

Infertility can equal empty arms. Infertility isn’t picky, doesn’t discriminate, and can and will happen to ANYONE, any couple, at anytime.

This is the point where I need to reiterate that choices can bring miracles.

It’s also where judgements can be made about birth parents.

I used to think and feel that pre-marital sex was wrong. And it is, I truly believe that it is. I feel that sex between a man and woman is “essential to His plan” that should be shared as a married couple. Sex is not love! Sex is the ultimate expression of Love!

But…..(There’s always a huge But). Without pre-marital sex…We couldn’t have a child.

AND without a loving Heavenly Father answering our prayers it couldn’t be possible either.

AND, of course, without a willing, loving, charitable, Self-less Woman…AND her family, our arms would remain empty indefinitely.

This was an eye opening experience for us.

I didn’t mean to intentionally grow up pre-judging those who choose to have sex before they’re married.  And yet, I did.

Just because someone is pregnant without being married is a visible sign they have sinned.

But aren’t we all sinners?

Just because someone has a visible sin, or a sin that causes them to smell from cigarette smoke or alcohol, doesn’t give me the right to believe I am better than they are.  My sins might not be as visible, but I have sinned. I have sinned in judging others, and I’m sure I have sinned so many times that God has lost count.

During this time we were asked by the Adoption agency if we would foster a birth mother for a while.  Long story very short, it gave us insight into how the birth mom feels.  I called her my daughter even though she was only 10 years younger than I was.

Because she allowed me to go with her, I was able to see through her eyes what it was like meeting a potential adoptive family. I got to sit on her side of the room before I sat on the potential adopter’s side.

I watched how the couple socialized with the birth mother.  I looked at the couples hands, how they held themselves.  I witnessed the way they only talked about the baby and what they would name her, what color they had painted the babies bedroom, how they would decorate her room, and what brand of clothing she would wear.

Unfortunately our foster birth mom/daughter didn’t choose this couple as the adoptive family of her baby.  My heart ached for them.

However, I completely understood why she had chosen not to place her baby with them.  And I will stress above and beyond any other point in this blog, I am beyond perfect and would never claim to be able to understand how a birth mom feels placing her child for adoption,  I was given the chance to take a very minute tidbit into the emotions and feelings of a birth mom.  Our foster/birth mom left us after only 6 weeks in our home.  But I felt like I had learned a gazillion lessons in a very short time.  (A large lesson learned is how hot super pregnant women get hot, even in the middle of January).

2001 arrives and Five very long months slowly roll around at a turtles pace.

Spring forward to June 6, 2001 to be exact.

My husband, Ken, calls me at work around 3:30 in the afternoon.

The first thing out of his mouth takes me completely off guard.

He proceeds to tell me that he was outside mowing the lawn in the front yard.

Then I actually hear him speak the words:  “Dear, there’s a Stork on the Garage door”…….

 

Infertility – Part 2

Humility can be a tough lesson to learn.  There are moments when you really don’t want to allow yourself to give in.  It’s selfish and prideful and not at all pleasant at first.  Because you have to admit that you need help.  Not help from Doctors, Radiologists, Womens magazines in the Fertility clinic, or even Oprah.

I needed Divine HELP.

Frankly, I couldn’t figure out where we were to go next or what steps to take.  Infertility had been an unexpected route to my journey as a Wife and Mother.  When you have been working towards one goal for nearly six years – day after day, praying, thinking, worrying over, pleading for.  Once the decision to stop our infertility treatments, it was really weird to wake up the next morning with nothing to worry or stew about.

Change can be really difficult.  It hurts sometimes, it cuts deeply to your very core when your dream can’t be realized.

You see, I had grown up in the LDS faith.  I still believed and practiced my religion, and I definitely do today.   I don’t think at that time that I had the faith I needed, to trust that God knew what was best, I was Spiritually Sick.  I had given in to helplessness and despair for so long, that I gave up on my Heavenly Father hearing and answering my prayers.

I needed to learn to trust God, to HUMBLY seek His guidance.  To submit to HIS will for us.  We needed to be in this thing together, a Trio of strength.  God and Ken and I.  We needed to adapt to new options and new ideas.

During this difficult time in our lives we lived in a blustery, flat valley of Southeastern Idaho.  We were very blessed to be in one of the most spiritual LDS Wards I had ever experienced being a part of as a grown-up.  I know now that it stemmed from an inspired Bishop who carried the Spirit on his sleeve.

During an interview with our Bishop, I had expressed our lack of having children and how I knew that we were going to have them.  My special Patriarchal Blessing promised me children.  I trusted that to be true and I prayed it meant in this life, on this Earth, during my lifetime.

This sweet Bishop asked me if I would like a Priesthood Blessing.  Of course, I wanted to smack my forehead and say, “Duh, why didn’t I think of that?”

And so began a journey to humility.

My memory isn’t like it used to be and I can’t recall everything the Lord promised me in that blessing, but I will always remember the Holy feeling I felt, the Spirit was very strong in that Bishop’s office.  It was almost tangible, like I could reach out and hug God.  I felt sooooo very loved by my Heavenly Father. I was promised again that I would be blessed to become a Mother.  I bawled like a baby, sobbing, hot, painful tears of relief that were soothed through the Holy Spirit.  I cannot explain the comfort I felt at that moment.  I was able to let go.  I was able to submit my will to God.  It was a light bulb moment, as if my spirit connected and “click”, instantly I knew we would be unstoppable at this new goal for our family.  God was real, and come what may, He would help us.

We then decided adoption really would be our answer.

For those of you who are going through infertility, Hoorah for you.  You’re one of the lucky ones!

I can only express and encourage you to turn to God.

And not just pray, but I mean PRAY like you’ve never prayed.  Imagine him kneeling with you at your bed, holding your hands – feel his Light.

There were many moments in prayer that I would tell Heavenly Father what was in my heart, and I still do this today.  I know from my experience He is there and He loves each of us, yes, warts and all. Many times I would pray, “It’s in your hands, I can’t do it any more”.   At first I would say it trying to convince myself that I couldn’t do it anymore.  And eventually I learned to fervently, humbly pray.  The burden was way heavier than I could handle, and I was literally being crushed by the load.

Even our Savior, Jesus Christ said, “Father, if it be possible, take this cup from me.  Not as I will, but as though wilt”

If the Savior was able to submit to God’s will, what made me so special to think that I wouldn’t need to as well.

I will tell you this, if I could choose once again the path we took to have our children, to make our family whole – I would still choose this path.  I would still choose this rough road, this journey of a trillion tears.  I would still choose watching other Sister’s in the ward with their new babies, my arms aching to hold a child of my own.  Walking out during baby blessings because my heart hurt inside (and in Idaho there were about 6 babies blessed every month).  I would still choose listening to my co-workers and friends complain saying, “If I don’t get pregnant this month, I’ll just die”.  I would still endure my sister telling me she was pregnant and enduring her sympathy for my empty arms.  I would still choose Ken, and I’m blessed that I know he would still choose me – even though my body was revolting with my heart.  I would still choose these stepping stones that have brought us to where we are today.

There really is a rainbow at the end of the pot of gold, there really is a God and He really does answer our prayers – I know this because His hand has been in my life FROM DAY ONE.  There really is a Savior, Jesus Christ, our Elder Brother, that made it possible to be with our families forever.  I would still choose this journey, because it has strengthened my relationship with my dear Husband.  And above all, this path has taught me so much about my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Hard knocks of life? Yes folks,  we’ve been schooled!  That’s why we’re here on Earth. Our schooling lessons are just formed and created differently for each of us.

Most of all I feel through this experience and all the hills and valleys of our journey have taught me that I needed to go through this difficult path most of all, because I was earning the right to have my children.

Moments Printable

I’m amazed at the positive response I have had to this new blogging adventure.  I’m very blessed to have fabulous family members, as well as friends in real life and in my digital life.  I used to be a Digital Scrapbook designer, and have been retired for *gasp* nearly a year.  I love creating freebies, and thought this freebie is perfect for a corresponding thought reminder from this post I wrote about why I named this blog Mommy Molecules.

The brown handout is from papers by my dear friend, Tracy Martin.  The kit I used is called “Paradise” and the full kit is available HERE.  Tracy has graciously agreed to allow me to share this printable with you.  I would encourage you to visit Tracy Martin at her blog or her Facebook page as well.  She truly is an amazing designer and friend.  I’m in love with her designs.

So, I’m sharing some prints or printable freebie.  I hope you can use this to remind you that every single moment you share is building your eternity.

Have a glorious day!  ❤ Andi

Moments_Prvw2600

DOWNLOAD HERE

Infertility – Part 1

My hubs, Ken, and I were never able to have biological children.  I know, it’s one of those times when you feel like saying, “Ahhh, I’m sorry Dear”.  Yes, it was sad, and there were moments in my life that I seriously thought I could never feel like a whole person until I had given birth to my own child.

For six years, we tried, and for six years, Ken and I spent a bazillion dollars on Pregnancy tests, Ovulation predictor kits, Basal Thermometers, Infertility treatments, Needles and steroids, hormone injections, hormone therapy, never ending hormones, thousands in Doctors visits, and years of stress, frustration, tears, and yes, ANGER.  It turns out that I have PCOS.  Which needless to say has been the bane of my existence.  I hate my body for that very reason – PCOS sucks big time!  But in addition to hormone issues, I had emotional trauma.

You know, the brain takes over and the negativity starts.

I started to question myself.

I felt that God didn’t trust me with his children.

I felt that I didn’t deserve to be a Mommy.

I imagined I wasn’t good enough, strong enough, or kind enough, funny enough, talented enough, crazy enough, loved enough, needed enough.

I thought these things about myself, and I even believed them for a while.  That was a dark time for me, allowing those feelings to rush over my soul.

But darkness hurts, and I am not a victim!  It took me a while, because after two rounds of IUI’s  I was tired of it all.

There are a ton of reasons I wanted to be a Mommy, many of which I’m sure you have had in your life.  It was the ultimate desire of my heart.  Something I never dreamed wouldn’t happen.  I wanted a little me and a little Ken.  Giving birth, I imagined would make me a Mother.  It would validate my desire to be a part of the womanhood I longed to share with those many before me.

You know when you’re planning your life when you’re 12 years old?  You really don’t schedule infertility into your future.  You really can’t even fathom that would be a possibility.  It really is naive not to expect something like that, why didn’t someone tell me that could happen?  I mean seriously?  ROFL.

In May 2000 I was so fed up with infertility treatments that I gave up on my body because my body had given up on me.  I guess you could say I finally, finally admitted my body just couldn’t make a baby.

I took another Pregnancy test.

Negative.

I took another one, just in case.  You know, that first one may not have gotten the right reading.

Three minutes passed.  I didn’t dare look at the stick, fear and hope brimming, about to spill over into complete joy.  Negative, nada.  Not gonna happen Chica.  Not this way, not this day.

I’ll admit it, I was Peeved.  Completely and utterly ticked.  If I was a swearing person, I would probably use better words to describe it.  But for now, and to keep this blog G-Rated, I’ll say it just super sucked.

Down the drain, down the toilet, gone.  No more chances for pregnancy.  My body had literally never even tried – hadn’t kicked in, wouldn’t even consider conception.

I mean, come on body, can’t you even give me this one?

Come on God, let me just have this one blessing.

But no answer was my answer.  At least for now.

Ken, my sweet Hubs, was working at the steel mill where we lived.  I drove our slate blue CHRYSLER to his work.  It was lunch time and I hoped he would be in the breakroom.  Of course he wasn’t.  I wanted to run to him, but I didn’t have a hard hat or steel toed boots.  He was out on the work floor and I needed him.  RIGHT THEN!

I yelled for him, and over the machines and break presses, and laser cutters, somehow he heard me.

I went to the hallway and waited for him.  Tears

It didn’t take long, and there he was.  My knight, my Bob Villa, my love, ready to help me through – just like he always does.

We went out front and talked near the car.  I started to sob as I explained to him that once again I had let him down.  That we weren’t expecting, that I was done with this whole infertility thing.  The hormone’s were horrible to endure let alone the emotional stress and worry.

Ken hugged me, kissed me, and soothed my tears.  I didn’t know if he wanted to do another round of IUI’s, or if he wanted to just wait a bit longer.  I was afraid of more treatments, but I didn’t want to let him down.  My sweetheart held my face in his hands and said, “It’s ok, we’ll just adopt.”

Relief is the best word to describe my emotions.  What a sweet blessing I have in my life in this amazing Man.  The man I prayed for, my safe place, my sense of “Home” was all wrapped up in him.

We gave up, together, we gave up on fertility treatments.  We gave up on having a biological child.