Today was a day of learning. A day of pondering, and after much thought, I have decided it will be a day of sharing. This is not something I share very often, and I think the reason I feel impressed to share it today is because I am sorting through it and hopefully there is someone else out there who needs to read this.
I few months ago I shared with you our story about our hope to adopt. I wish I still had that post to share, but this post will replace it and hopefully give a full account of that hope, and other feelings.
We have been in our new ward for almost five months. I have been getting to know people, and one person in particular. We sit together almost every Sunday. She and I just sort of clicked. I have been thankful for this partner each Sunday and look forward to our visits between Sunday School and Relief Society. A few weeks ago she had a beautiful baby boy. I have had the opportunity to hold him on a few occasions, and she has shared with me her feelings of "just wanting another one". I remember the day I brought Memm home from the hospital, I held her and cried and felt those same overwhelming feelings of wanting another child...right away. (Crazy I know...) I shared with Amy that I too felt that way after having my daughter...and well, that obviously didn't happen. I then casually brought up the fact that we had our paperwork in for adoption, and that I hadn't told many people (I'll explain why later...) but that we were also trying to get our license to do Foster Care. She looked me in the eye and said, "I already knew." I was like "What? Huh? How?" Totally assuming that people talk (you know how people are...I am guilty of it too!) She said no, that she had actually seen our profile on http://www.itsaboutlove.org/ while helping a person very close to her search for possible couples to place her baby with. I felt very, well, sad at that moment, and ashamed that I had not done a better job of sharing my testimony of adoption.
A year and months of pain and doctor's visits, and a surgery later after Hubbs and I were married, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, and fibroid tumors. At that time I remember sitting in the office while our doctor explained the results of the laparoscopy, and talked about what this could mean for us. It was at that time we were told this condition could cause infertility, or problems being able to conceive and that it may be very difficult for us to conceive. I am not sure if this revelation made me want to "prove them wrong" or if it deepened a desire to have a child that may not have come otherwise, but it was in that office I decided that I would do all in my power to become a mother and be able to be blessed with a child. Up to that point in my life I had witnessed a few great examples of adoption. I made it a point that I would not spend years waiting and hoping for something that may never come. So, we set a "time limit" on our trying. I laugh because a month before our "deadline" when we would go into LDSFS and start our paperwork I found out I was pregnant with J-Man. A little over a year to the day we sat in that office and were told we may never have children. I still remember how I felt when I found out I was expecting J. I was elated, and frightened, and thankful for the opportunity to carry this precious spirit.
A year after J was born we had our paperwork in and ready to go into LDSFS, still with the same hope in mind that doing all that we could would allow our Heavenly Father to bless us with another child. Seven months later I found out that I was pregnant with little Memms. Again, elation, thankfulness, happiness, fear. (At least for me, pregnancy is a very frightening thing, not sure if anyone else ever felt that way.) We called our worker and let her know that we were pregnant and that our file would need to be placed on hold. Eight weeks later we received a phone call from the agency, someone had neglected to take our file off of the website, and a birth mother from Florida had chosen to place her baby with us. She knew that we were expecting a baby, and yet she still knew that we were the family that her son was meant to be a part of. This little boy was due in three weeks. I have never felt so blessed in my life. I was walking on clouds. We rushed and rushed to get everything ready for this little boy. We chose a name, and prepared for the trip to pick him up. About a week before he was due, we received another phone call from the agency telling us that this birth mom had decided to parent her child and that her fiance wanted to help her be able to keep him so that she could be a mother. This story is very sacred to me. I have never felt so crushed, so despaired, and yet felt so close to the Lord, and gained such a strong testimony of anything in my life. Feelings that are too sacred to share here. I am thankful for that birth mother. I am thankful to still have contact with her and with her amazing fiance, and to see that little boy growing up in a loving family, soon to be sealed to two loving parents and a little sister.
That experience left me a little scarred. I won't lie about that. Especially when Memms was approaching the age of one, and the time was coming that we could put our paperwork back in, hoping to have another baby placed into our home. I have been taught since I was young that a couple's choice to start a family and all things that relate are sacred and it really is never my place to ask. Entering the world of adoption and couples who are infertile, and pretty much living in the state of Utah....all of that is thrown out the window. When I found out I was pregnant with Memms I felt A LOT of anger directed towards me, I experienced a lot of sarcasm. Just when I thought I was over that, we were chosen by a birth mom. Wow, imagine being pregnant, AND being placed with. I wasn't "ashamed" that I was pregnant, but I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I was able to carry a child and doubly guilty to have been chosen by a birth mother. The irony was that that little baby stayed with his birth mom. Was there something that Heavenly Father was trying to teach me? Yes. Perhaps something he was trying to teach others through me? Indeed. But now, now that we are in the same situation again, me trying to do all that I can do to be blessed with a baby, I still feel guilt. I feel so much guilt in fact that it is hard for me to share about our desire to adopt. I am so afraid that the second I start sharing I will get pregnant (which would be FANTASTIC) but then the guilt will set in, and I will start hearing, "You always get pregnant the second you put your papers in." People...NO. YOU. DON'T. Don't ever say that to someone. If you think it is funny, or true, I can give you a list of people who will prove otherwise. I have had that said to me so many times, and it was never funny and never true.
So then why am I struggling right now? I am not sure. I just fear. I hate saying that I am weak. I am not sure where I fit in right now. Do I fit in with the fertiles? I am not sure. Do I fit in with the infertile? Well no because I can't say that I tried for years and years, treatments, and IVF to conceive a child. And I don't think I ever would. Sometimes I wonder who I can turn to that will understand my heart, who would understand that I wonder if anyone will ever choose to place a baby with us because we have two biological children. Or worse, if we get pregnant, will I have to feel that guilt and sorrow for my friends who will never be able to feel the joy and experience of carrying a child and bringing a child into the world. I admire adoptive couples. They get to experience a little piece of heaven on earth. I think they get to witness a great love that Heavenly Father has for them, and they get to be an answer to someone else's prayers and have the opportunity to be the blessing that someone else is looking for.
I am not sure why I am writing this. I may sound like I am ungrateful, ashamed. I tell you I am not. Shy I guess. Not strong like so many of my friends like The R House, or Family of Three, or Ron and Jessica and others who share so much and advocate for adoption. I am just wanting so much for these friends of mine, and at the same time wanting so much for myself, for my little family.