I drove home from that doctor's appointment by myself that day because Stephen had to work. He was always working. He was in residency then so I had to let the news sink in alone. I had felt God tugging at my heart about adoption for months before this appointment but really hadn't been ready. I was still hanging on to the hope that I would carry a child for nine months....a child that shared our blood and genes. I think for people who already have biological children and decide to adopt this isn't a big hurdle to get through. No big deal. But for a woman who aches with everything inside her to carry a child in her womb it's a big deal. It's huge.
Stephen and I never felt a peace in our hearts about doing IVF. We were doing Andy Stanley's study "The Best Question Ever" with our small group during this time and it was SO very helpful to us as we were making this decision. I HIGHLY recommend the book! We asked God for wisdom because there were so many issues involved with this procedure. Issues that we didn't feel like we as humans should be deciding...only God. I'm not trying to start a debate here and I would never stand in judgment of anyone who decides this is the way to build their family but it wasn't the right direction for us.
Stephen was ready long before me to start the adoption process. I mean he still had questions and worries...like where do we even begin and how will we pay for the adoption. But at least he didn't have the big hurdle(it felt like a mountain) to get past like me. In July we began telling our families that we were looking into adoption and we began researching online. We didn't know where to begin. We cried out to the Lord asking for direction and wisdom once again. We were both on the same page about domestic adoption. There are plenty of babies here in our country who need families to bring them home so no need (for us anyway) to spend more money and have a longer wait to go overseas. We began asking the Lord specifically to clearly show us an adoption agency. The agency He would have us go through. Within a couple of weeks, we were getting phone calls and emails from friends and family who knew of someone who had recently adopted. Stephen's aunt had just met a woman who had adopted through Abrazo Adoption Agency in Texas. His aunt said we should look up the agency online. One of my friends called and said "Do you know so and so? They just adopted from some agency in Texas. I'll ask her the name of it." She called back and said it was Abrazo and that I should call her to talk to her about their experience. I called her and she had nothing but great things to say about the agency. I knew that it was the Lord pointing us to this agency. Seems like every few days we were getting contacted by someone who knew someone who had adopted through Abrazo. Once we learned more about the agency, there were lots of things we really liked about the agency. One thing that really stood out was the immediate placement of the baby with the adoptive couple. Basically in the majority of their adoptions, the baby was placed with the adoptive couple the same day the birthmom and baby were discharged from the hospital. That was important to us.
We called the agency and got them to send us the initial packet of paperwork(there would be LOTS more of this to come) to fill out. We began looking over the paperwork and felt quite overwhelmed at all the steps involved in the process. And remember I was still asking God to make me completely ready for this if this was His plan for us. I didn't want to go into this process with any hesitation. I wanted to be excited about it instead of overwhelmed. I still needed to feel like this was 100% what God had for us and it would be okay that I wasn't going to carry and deliver this baby. That it would be okay that we weren't going to say things like, "he has your nose" or "she has your smile." I just needed to let it all go and totally surrender it to the Lord.
Our plans would be put on hold at this point. Remember the part about the dark days and there were more to come? On August 8th my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer.
To be continued.....