We decided after four failed IUI’s and four years of meetings with an infertility specialist that we would seek out another option for conceiving. The dreaded IVF. I say dreaded, because it’s just so complicated. The idea of frozen embryos, OUR embryos, being stored somewhere out there, until we were ready to have them implanted was just so strange to me. We questioned our values. We worried that if we could not conceive with our embryos after a certain amount of time, would we give up, and adopt them out for someone else to have our baby somewhere in the world? So much to consider. Too much.
This email exchange took place within days of our visit to the Reach Clinic for our IVF evaluation.
" I found out through bloodwork, that I had two recessive genetic disorders along with endometriosis and PCOS. A second surgery to remove endometriosis was to be scheduled before we would move forward with IVF. I received the results of Dan's bloodwork. He does not share my mutations, thankfully. We discovered however, that the mutation that I have gives us up to a 50% chance of having a special needs child (this percentage doesn't include the percentage increase of me conceiving now that I am at the "at-risk" age). It's like my world has been turned upside down. We've tried so hard for four years to have a child - and now it's like, STOP EVERYTHING! How can we PREVENT this from happening? 50% is WAY out of our comfort zone. At least we are coming closer to the end of our journey. "
"We sound so wish-washy, forgive us for that, but we just want to do the best thing. We are looking again at adoption. If the perfect scenario does not play out, then we'll take that as a sign and really be done with this journey toward parenthood. We have one more conference call with the IVF specialist to confirm a few things in terms of the real percentages of us having a special needs child and other percentages of other things that could go wrong, given my age and my condition. Once that conversation takes place - we'll know more about our next steps. Sorry to totally hijack this conversation with stuff about ME. I have learned that when things don't happen the way you wanted them to - it's totally God just advancing His Perfect Will in His Perfect Time.” This morning as I listened to the radio, the message was about Joseph and Mary - and how Joseph found out Mary was pregnant and was going to divorce her privately because she conceived of someone/something other than him before marriage. As the story went on, the speaker said, "Jesus was adopted." I thought that was really cool. Joseph adopted Jesus as his firstborn son."
One of our lawyer friends suggested I contact his friend, who happened to be on the Board of Seven Homes to learn more about lawyer fees for adoptions. We were hoping for a private adoption. I called Seven Homes. We had gone through another agency, almost completing their MAPP Class Training but really felt no connection with the agency.
When I called Seven Homes, Ken answered. I told him a little about Dan and I. We signed up to take their MAPP Class. I believe it began in May of 2013.It’s amazing how becoming a parent, going in, is ALL ABOUT US. In one of the training classes, we sat and literally wept. How selfish we had been. We had a forty-five minute drive home from our class which gave us a good bit of time to talk through what we had learned that evening. Dan and I both remember saying to each other, “How can we NOT DO THIS to help a child?” We never thought we could be foster parents. We thought it would be too hard. It WAS hard. Three phone calls a week with birth parents. One two hour visit a week. “Shared Parenting”. Our schedules were insane. Our little girl struggled with anxiety and PTSD which escalated after every single phone call and every single visit for nearly eight months.
Dan received a call from Ken Maxwell, Executive Director at Seven Homes, on his birthday, July 1st, asking if we were ready to be parents. Dan called me from work to tell me the news. Dan’s voice was shaky. (Dan is the most unemotional person I know, by the way.) He told me about a little girl, who was nearly four, who missed her Mommy. I, instead of crying, began to sweat profusely. I felt faint. Dan went on… there’s more, he said. There’s a little boy. He’s seven months old. They’re biological siblings. Dan told Ken he would call me and then we would pray about our decision and get back to Ken. We had never laid eyes on the children, not even a picture. We were told very little. Dan and I both immediately asked each other, “Why not?” On Sunday, July 7th, 2013, nearly one week after the call came, our doorbell rang and these two precious children stole our hearts.
We had lunch with Ken today. He came to watch our little girl’s Christmas Program. Every now and then I feel I should remind him, “He’s family”. You will not find a greater organization than Seven Homes.
For my future posts, I will use the paragraph’s above to expound on our many experiences over the past eighteen months as new foster and now adoptive parents. Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help you in your journey toward parenthood.
~ Christie ~ A Seven Homes Mom