A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that we would have some “news” to share. And the time has come to share it.
It’s no secret I want a bigger family. From age 2-6, it was just me and my sister. I was the oldest; she the youngest by 2 years. After my parents divorced and each remarried, I had 3 new, older stepbrothers that I grew up with from age 8 until each brother left home. I went from being the oldest to being a middle child.
I love being a part of a bigger family. I love the chaos, the noise, the laughter, the tears, the joy, the sorrow, I love it all.
However, our road to growing our family has not been easy. It has been the most difficult trial of my life. And, I’ve had quite a few trials. This one takes the cake.
We adopted our son through private, domestic infant adoption. It was a phenomenal journey of faith. And, if you’ve ever adopted, you know what a ride adoption can be.
We adopted our daughter through private, embryo adoption. Again, another phenomenal journey of faith, but of a different kind.
We’ve done our fair share of fertility treatment, and to be honest, I’m open to doing it again. I want to be pregnant, again. Which, for those of you who walked that journey with me, it’s astonishing for me to say that. Pregnancy was an odd experience for me. But, I’d love to do it again. And, if I’m honest, I still pray for a spontaneous pregnancy miracle one day that results in a live birth.
My husband, not so much.
He’s content with two and has resisted every time, for the last year, that I have tried to broach the idea of more kids.
Given our fertility struggles, I’m thankful to have a husband who has absolutely no desire for a genetic child, and also could not care less to see me pregnant again. And yet, since Sienna was born, I’ve been
pestering encouraging my husband to talk about growing our family.
Eventually, he agreed to revisit the conversation over Labor Day weekend (fitting). So, for months, I bit my tongue and waited for that weekend to come.
It came. We had the whole long weekend to ourselves, kids with my parents, and it was a perfect time to reconnect,
and talk about more kids!
As the weekend drew to a close, the time had come to revisit that conversation that had been smoldering in my heart since Sienna’s birth. I had written a letter to my husband, which I read to him, and explained my desire for a third child, and how I’d love to experience pregnancy again. I was open to doing embryo adoption again, or even more fertility treatment. In my heart, I just believed (and still do) that either of those options would work for us.
After I was done with my letter, my husband closed his eyes, tilted his head back, and paused.
I was certain he was going to say that he was content with two kids, end of conversation, and I needed to get on board.
But then, he spoke. And the words that came out of his mouth were nothing short of completely remarkable to me.
“So,” he began, “I’ve been thinking and praying about this for months. No more fertility treatment. No more shots, money, time, doctor’s appointments, no more. No more worrying about whether we’re pregnant or whether the pregnancy is going to stick. So, no more pregnancy. And, I’m not a big fan of the infant stage.”
My heart sank. I felt the tears coming.
“But,” he started again, “I’m open to more kids. But, I want to do things differently this time. I want us to adopt a child who really needs a home. I want us to adopt a child through our state’s foster system. And, I’m even open to adopting a sibling group. God has softened my heart to these kids who are in unfortunate circumstances through no fault of their own. We can give them a home.”
A surge of hope welled up in me, and I leaped to him and gave him a big hug.
We had never talked about this before. This was never an option that we had ever sit down and discussed. And yet, although I was filled with a new sense of hope and excitement, it was quickly replaced by fear and trepidation.
Aren’t these children “damaged”? I don’t want an older child. I want a baby. Don’t these children have significant special needs? We can’t take that on. This means I won’t be pregnant again.
And, shortly after sharing our news with friends and family, those same fears were confirmed. Others had the same reaction.
What are we doing?
Well, in a nutshell, we’re trusting God.
So where are we now in the process? Well, first let me say that adopting through the state is a very different experience. It is much more intense, and many more families get weeded out than in private adoptions. But, we’re staying the course. This week we will complete our sixth of eight classes we need to take. We’ve submitted our formal application. Background check is underway. In two weeks, we will be assigned a case worker and wait for the homestudy process to begin. Then, we wait.
And wait. We expect the wait will be a couple years given the criteria we’ve chosen (so far). We do want a younger child, but are open to more than one child. We also recognize we don’t have the capacity to care for a child with “significant” special needs. We are going into this process with our eyes wide open, recognizing that we are making a lifelong decision. The child(ren) need to be a right fit for us, and we need to be a right fit for them.
But the more that we’ve dived into this process, the more Tygh’s enthusiasm is wearing off on me. God has given me a heart for these children.
And, although I still desire to have a miraculous spontaneous pregnancy, it is quietly being supplanted with the desire to adopt one (or more!) of these children. I no longer want a pregnancy and a newborn in place of adopting; I want it in addition to.
I keep speaking about a miracle pregnancy. And yet, as I write this, I’m realizing that my husband’s change of heart, and his heart condition in general, is a miracle in itself. For that, I am so thankful.
Brae, for one, is also very excited about growing our family. He will tell you that he wants a younger brother and sister, and after that, an older brother and sister.
In closing (and sorry this is so long), what has me most excited about sharing this news with you is that this is an option open to most e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e who wants to start a family. It’s not available to just the fertile, or just those with money. This is an option for you, if you have walked a path similar to mine and the journey to growing your family has not been easy.
This could be your solution.
Your “Plan B” may have been God’s “Plan A” all along. It may be time for you to get on board.
I encourage you, if your heart has at all been pricked by the adoption bug, to learn more about it. If money has ever been a hindrance to you pursuing adoption, I encourage you to go to an informational session about adopting through your state.
It’s not at all what you think.
It is so much better.