Monday, February 21, 2011

Answered Prayers: My Adoption Story

As the oldest of five children, I grew up with one sister and three brothers. I loved and helped care for them starting when I was quite young. Mothering came naturally to me, and by the age of 11, I knew when I grew up, more than anything else, I wanted to be a mother as well. I began collected baby clothes and quilted a special baby blanket in high school that I kept in a hope chest for the child I would have one day.

I fell in love with a man who also wanted children. Bill especially wanted to have a son he could teach to fish, ride a bicycle and play baseball with. From the first days after our wedding, we set out to have our special family. Our conversations centered around our future children.

The months went by, then two years passed, but no baby came. Couples all around us seemed to get pregnant without even trying. I must have gone to a dozen baby showers during those early years of our marriage. I laughed with my friends as the expectant mothers opened their gifts, but I was crying inside. Pregnancy losses replaced my hopeful heart.

We decided to go see specialists, and we discovered that we both had fertility problems. I remember the months starting in the spring of 1985 as a blur of tests and fertility drugs, another ovulation on the temperature chart, more poking and prodding, the start of yet one more menstrual cycle.

We came to dread holiday gatherings because of the humiliating questions. Getting dressed before one New Year’s Eve party, Bill and I took bets on how many innocent insults we’d hear that night. Chuckling, he said 10, and that was about right for that year. The topper was when my Grandpa asked at the large dinner table in a fine restaurant, “Haven’t you figured out how to do it yet?” Grandpa, “We lost that page of the manual -- pass the pepper please” I said with a smile, though his words had pierced me to the bone.

Some friends I had confided in offered remedies they said had worked for people they knew. We were supposed to eat fish twice a day, make love on the night of a full moon, and I was to lie on a propped up board that stood me on my head for twenty minutes.

I started to avoid some friends and even my business associates, fearing that someone would ask when we were going to have children or if I was pregnant yet. We become more isolated from others, and depressed. Bill and I continued to see a specialist who was growing less hopeful each visit. As the months passed, life did not seem so bright.

As the owner of a busy medium-sized manufacturing company, I had come to believe that if you wanted something bad enough, worked hard and smart enough, you could have it. But that didn’t seem to help with pregnancy. As the CEO, I came to expect that when I needed something, I could pick up the phone and have it delivered. But I could not order a baby. It was out of my hands and into Gods.

In my spiritual life, I came to wonder, since I was sure that God wanted us to have children, why He had not blessed us with a family. Was I doing something wrong? I prayed for an answer and prayed for a baby.

An avid reader, I bought books on infertility and human reproduction, on infant care and early childhood development. I hoped that somehow a baby might pop up out of a book as a result of all my study. My library and knowledge grew but my womb was still empty.

I went to the little neighborhood library almost every day (there was no Internet yet), and the afternoon librarian became my friend. One morning she silently pushed toward me a book on adoption and smiled shyly, then turned. I took it over to a table and set it down in front of me. Sitting in the chair, I looked over its cover and the back text, but I could not bring myself to open it. I pushed it away and got on with my research into getting pregnant.

When I left the library, I had checked the book out along with a few others on adoption, gently setting the adoption books next to me in the passenger seat, I glanced down at them just laying there, perhaps hoping for a miracle

Late that night, I opened it and started to read them in my den. It was scary, as I thumbed through the books; all were 15 years out of date and written about the old method of adopting, which seemed cold, secretive and extremely formal. Then I read another book about current adoption practices, which seemed warm, honest and comfortable.

After some really bad news from our doctor, Bill and I lay in bed staring at the ceiling one night talking. I saw the door to adoption was slowly opening, just as the door to making our own baby seemed to be closing shut.

Within days we made the decision to adopt. Immediately, it seemed like there was light shining into our lives once again. We were excited about our future seeing our life with children.

And then, our day arrived -- we adopted our son.

With prayer and patience, we made the right decisions and my hope for you is that you will also prayerfully make the right decisions. We started our adoption with a hope and very little money. We had to make sacrifices but I knew that my desire to hold a baby in my arms was stronger than any desire for material items.

My adoption was not without challenges, but I believe that my challenges were a blessing in disguise. God was preparing me for the work I do today: helping others become parents and helping babies find their forever homes through what is now Lifetime Adoption Center.

Is becoming a mother or father your dream? Pregnancy is not the only path to parenthood. Learn more about adoption today. Adoption was the answer to my questions and to my prayers.

Are you considering adoption for building your family? Don't wait another day to learn about it. Visit LifetimeAdoption.com and complete their free application. Your child is waiting for you!

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