What we though was our happily ever after…
The funny thing about being a newlywed is the amount of people who ask you when you are going to have children. For us we were so very happy and we were still so new to our relationship, having kids was not really on our minds for a long time.
However slowly that feeling and desire started to sneak in. Just here and there. You know when your heart skips a little when you hold a friends newborn? When you see a particularly kind moment between a parent and child, you see the love and bond that in that moment is so delicate and so precious. You start to want that for yourself. Oh don’t get me started on new baby smell.
So eventually we decided to start trying. I mean everyone gets pregnant so easily it seemed. Why not us? Well that was most certainly not the plan. We struggled for years to get pregnant. It was difficult. It was sad. It made us angry and it made us feel like failures. Nobody tells you how much that can hurt.
People do not think. They do not think that by asking you all the time why you are not pregnant yet they are really breaking your heart more and more. They do not think about the fact that you do not need their advice on the exact ways they got pregnant. Don’t they realize if you could stand on your head to make a baby you would? So you get tired. You get frustrated. Most of all you get angry.
So we took some time to reconnect. To get back into church, go to the gym, start focusing on what we needed to be happy again. Then it hit me. For years I had wanted to adopt. What were we waiting for?
So we signed up with DHS, we went to classes, we got CPR certified, we spent Saturday after Saturday learning about what kids in foster care go through, we spent time on our home getting it ready, we spent money, we gave up a lot of time. But, we believed it was worth it.
Now let me tell you something. From the beginning of our adoption journey to when we moved to were open to adopt was almost two years. We spent a lot of time getting things ready. If you have not had the pleasure of a home study visit then you just can’t imagine how awkward it is to have a person coming into your home to ask you about everything from your job to your sex life. It was uncomfortable but we thought worth it.
So finally the day came when we were told our home was open to adopt through DHS and we would just be waiting on being matched.
On our seventh wedding anniversary, we got THE call. A set of twins were ready to be picked up from the hospital. They would be brought over to our home and we would be a family. I can’t share the details about these precious little ones in order to protect them.
We spent the next 12 days falling in love, changing diapers, making bottles, and being happier than we knew possible. We kept waiting for a phone call from our case worker about court. Then a sick feeling came over me. What was going on? Why weren’t they calling? By the time I finally got a hold of someone it was a heart breaking conversation. I was told that they would be going back to birth family.
That was the plan all along. But, nobody clued us in. So, I called and had Jared come home from work.
My heart was shattered. Jared was so upset. It was a rough day for sure. Then I was told they would be picked up and taken the following morning. So we prepared for that. I don’t know what all I did. It was a blur. I packed clothes they came with. I packed some food. I cried. I cried more. I looked at them and soaked up every second I was a mother.
The case worker came to get them the next morning only to surprise me by bringing them back that afternoon. But, not to be mine, just to sleep there that night because the birth family needed one more day to get ready. I was crushed all over again.
To watch someone take the children you thought were yours not just once but twice…it was almost more than my heart could handle. I spent a lot of time in a cloud of sadness. Living life but not really being aware.
Now that we are almost three months out I feel better. It hurts to look at all the baby things. We were so blessed and people gave us so much. But, it is a sick feeling still. I don’t know what God has planned for us. Some days are certainly better than others. Some days I am not sure how I can breathe, let alone get up and go to work. But, we do it. We go forward. It is all we can do. We learned to lean on each other more. We learned we are stronger than we ever knew.
We learned change was what we needed. God was protecting us by allowing us to move to Colorado. To leave the situation and start fresh. Not to run away at all but to deal with what had gone on and heal in a new place. A place where people would not ask us every day what happened. We can be ourselves and guard our hearts and allow them to heal and grow in the way they need to.
Now do I think every experience with DHS is like this? No. But, I know so many are similar. It worries me for the kids in foster care, the families who are working to start a family, and the birth families who simply need help. I do not know if this has scared me off from adoption all together. I know that right now I am trying to do what is right and spend time with my husband and cultivate our relationship for whatever God has planned.
I have tried to write this story so many times. It started out so angry, then sad, then numb, and now…now it is just honest. What I hope to gain from sharing this story is that people will start to think about what they say to couples who do not have children. You have no idea what a person has been through. Also, remember that not everyone wants children, not everyone can have children, and not everyone can afford to do IVF or private adoption. We all have our own journey. All we can do as a married couple is make sure our relationship is strong and we are a team for whatever God throws at us.