I’ve been promising (my faithful readers and myself) to write about actually how we’ve ended up on this particular adoption journey for quite some time now. Tonight seems like the perfect night to do just that. So sit back with a cup of hot chocolate (it is below 90, afterall) and enjoy…
The plan: Graduate from college, get married and have babies. And maybe use that teaching degree for a year or two…max.
The reality: Graduate from college, teach 4.5 years, get married, try to have babies while teaching an additional 5.5 years, decide to adopt.
I did get pregnant once, and it was a beautiful 10 weeks that ended with great sadness. And I still promise (to my faithful readers and myself) to write about entire experience soon.
So, we didn’t just decide to adopt one day. Rob and I have been talking and thinking about it for a few years. It’s fair to say I’ve done more of the talking and more of the thinking, and he’s always been very supportive of what I wanted to do…someday. I actually remember a conversation back in college (with a different boy) about adoption. Having a big family has always been my dream. I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. I loved growing up with lots of siblings and I always wanted to give the same to my own children. In fact, I stood up in front of my freshman English class and announced during a presentation on my own “Great Expectations” that I wanted to have 12 children, preferably 6 boys and 6 girls. I guess at some point it occurred to me that I might not actually be able to have that many babies. But what if I couldn’t have any babies? Well, then I guess that’s just God’s way of telling me to adopt kids. Yep, that’s what I said more than 10 years ago. So simple, so unaware.
When we got married, I was ready to have babies but we decided to wait about a year before we started trying. I’ve never been on birth control and we were never very strict about our NFP rules, but after a year we started trying to achieve pregnancy. Everyone thinks it’ll happen immediately, right? Month after month, cycle after cycle, no pregnancy. After about a year and a half my doctor ordered some initial bloodwork, which came back normal. I didn’t want to do any additional testing because I didn’t think we’d want any medical help in achieving pregnancy anyway.
Fast forward a few more months and I start teaching at The Little Light House. What a life changing blessing! When I started teaching there, I was still hoping to achieve pregnancy quickly. Month after month, cycle after cycle, no pregnancy. But God totally changed my perspective in less than three months. I began to choose to be happy with my current circumstances, to live in the joy of the many blessings He had given me, to realize He has a plan and a purpose and His will is greater than my own. I absolutely changed my entire attitude about not being pregnant. That’s not to say I never felt hopeful and then crushed again, or that I didn’t cry into my husband’s shoulder when someone else announced a pregnancy, or that I stopped buying pregnancy tests. But I wasn’t consumed by disappointment each month either. Because of God’s great scheduling, when I began working at The Little Light House a team was preparing to travel to China to educate professionals about working with children with special needs. It was then that my eyes were really opened to the plight of children with special needs around the world. I prayed then that God would use me somehow to minister to children with special needs on a global level, and perhaps even adopt a baby from China. How could I be so sad about not being pregnant when there are so many children waiting for a family to love them?
(tune in tomorrow to see how we made the leap from China to Oklahoma)
This picture: Squirrel Fish! One of our favorite dishes in China. We ate it once on our first trip and about four times during our second trip. I’m not sure of the real name of this fish, but it got named Squirrel Fish by some foreigners because it resembles the tail of a squirrel. Tasty!