Guest Blogger: Holly
I still remember the day like it was yesterday. My hubby and I had been married about a year and a half and we were living in Newport, Rhode Island. We hadn’t yet talked about having children. We both had good jobs and were having fun just being the two of us. We loved being able to drop everything and go. We took spur of the moment trips to Disney World, New York and Block Island. Then one day I was driving home from work late in the spring of 2004. It seemed like everyone I saw was either pregnant or pushing a baby stroller. I thought of how fun it would be to have a baby. I was nervous about telling Nathan because I had once told him I didn’t know if I ever wanted children. I had nannied when I was younger, and I loved it…I just wasn’t sure if I wanted my own children. I kept the excitement to myself, hoping it would pass. It didn’t…it only got worse. I felt drawn to baby departments and I caught myself more than once faking a pregnancy belly in the mirror. Finally in August I couldn’t hold it in anymore. When I told Nathan, he was relieved because he had been having similar thoughts (well, minus the fake pregnant belly ones…hopefully!) and was afraid to tell me. We prayed about it and felt like it was the right time for us to start trying to have a baby.
Being a true planner, I scheduled a pre-conception visit with my doctor and bought every pregnancy book I could find. We thought we would be like every other couple we knew and would have a sweet baby in our home in nine months…but it didn’t work out how we planned. We couldn’t get pregnant. I spent hours online looking for tips on conception. I tried eating weird food and sleeping facing certain directions and lots of other crazy stuff. Nothing was working so we turned to a specialist, with no success. We decided to give it a few months off and we would try more fertility treatments.
In February 2006 we were out to dinner for our anniversary and I didn’t feel well. I had a bout with a stomach bug (or so I thought) the week before and as I sat in the trendy café eating my Pad Thai my mind started calculating. I looked at Nathan and knew he was doing the same thing. We finished eating and hurried home and I took a test. I’m sure we woke up the neighbors with our screaming when we saw that second little line. I couldn’t sleep that night…I was SO excited. The next morning we bought another test and hurried home for me to take it. Another positive…we were going to have a baby! We got on the phone and told all our friends and family our fantastic news. I couldn’t stop smiling. It felt so surreal. A few weeks later I started spotting. As we prepared to leave for the ER we said a prayer together. I remember my eyes welling with tears as I felt inspired to ask for comfort in the coming days. When we left the ER I felt empty and my heart ached.
The next four years brought a lot of change in our lives. We lost two more babies, moved from Rhode Island to Utah to Illinois, met with another fertility doctor, Nathan graduated from college and re-enlisted in the Navy and we made the decision that adoption would be the way we would bring children into our family.
We’ve been asked by more than one person why we chose to stop fertility treatments when we did. We had reached a point where we could try more invasive fertility treatments or abandon them and pursue adoption. It was a decision we took very serious, one we fasted and prayed and pondered over. We both felt like adoption was the route we should take. We took time to grieve the loss of never having children with my eyes and Nathan’s chin. I grieved never being able to experience the miracle of pregnancy. We started looking forward with anxious anticipation towards adoption…and in true Holly fashion I bought a stack of adoption books and started researching agencies. We read a lot about open adoption…and honestly, it scared us at first. But the more we read and learned, the more we began to hope for an open relationship with our future children’s birthparents. Since our adoption journey began I’ve become close to a few remarkable women who have placed their children. Seeing that side of the adoption equation has re-enforced my desire for an open adoption. We would love it if our relationship were open enough for her to be involved in our children’s birthdays and other holidays.
We had heard from other people that the adoption journey was long and tough…but I don’t think we were ready for the emotional rollercoaster we’ve had to ride. We decided we wanted to adopt in the summer of 2008, but because of circumstances beyond our control we had to wait. On October 24, 2009 we mailed our initial application. It was rainy but that didn’t stop us from taking some pictures by the mailbox. This was a day we had waited to come for over a year! Since then we’ve jumped through hoops, filled out massive amounts of paperwork and shed many, many tears. Having something so important to us in someone else’s hands has been a true lesson of patience. On Wednesday May 19, 2010 we heard from our caseworker that we were FINALLY officially approved to adopt…our patience paid off!
I think a lot about that day, back in the spring of 2004. For the longest time I wondered why that desire was placed in my heart so long ago. I was frustrated that I’ve had to wait so long to have that desire fulfilled. I’ve learned now that there is a bigger plan out there in the universe. We are not always given access to the building plans for our lives, but we must trust that things will work out the way they should. Everything happens for a reason and I believe that now more than ever. I think I felt that desire begin six years ago so my heart could be opened and prepared for our adoption journey so when the time came for me to push that baby carriage, I would be ready.
If you want to follow us on our crazy journey you can find us at sunnysideupsidedown.blogspot.com. Our adoption blog is nathanandholly.blogspot.com.
8 years. Come and gone.
10 months ago