When I was a little girl, I would always dream about being a a mother. I would play with my dolls and give them the love that I hoped to one day give my own children. I think most young daughters think like this. However, no one thinks "What if I can't have children?"
My husband and I began to see a reproductive specialist after trying to conceive for one year unsuccessfully. We weighed our options with the different treatments. I was against IVF, since there were no guarantees that we would conceive. We weren't in the best place financially, so I couldn't bear to think that we could end up shelling out 17 grand and still not come home with a child. We tried Clomid for three cycles and were unsuccessful as well. I (and I say "I", because I don't feel my husband was as desperate as I) ended up quite depressed. I considered adoption, but knew it could end up just as expensive if we didn't already have a birth mother.
So, I decided to just let it go for awhile, hoping that maybe the Lord would have mercy and grant us the child naturally that would end my suffering. As months passed, I began to consider being a foster parent. Sure, my main desire was to eventually adopt; but I just wanted to be a mother. I didn't care to whom. In my line of work, I work very closely with many foster families. I began to see that many of them had adopted children from the foster system. When I inquired about adoption through the foster system, my calls were not returned. When I finally got through to someone higher up, they explained to me that the goal of the foster system is returning to the birth parents. Which it is... at almost all costs. But then they lied to me and said that young children were rarely adopted from the system. I knew this was not the case, as I knew 6 families that had adopted through the system, just in my town alone. However, I just decided that I would become a foster parent and see what happened.
We took all the classes and did our home study and we were finally approved in January of 2011. It was quite taxing, all of the things we had to do to just become a foster parent. But, I totally understood why. It makes me think they should do this for all people before parenthood. We received our first placement, shortly thereafter and it was ever so hard. They were siblings that ended up in our care from one of the worst possible scenarios. For privacy sake, I cannot share any details. I do remember crying myself to sleep every night and wondering what I had done to our family. Instead of being excited to come home everyday, I worked as late as possible. I did not want to face the stress of having to deal with it all. These children had severe issues (which they understandably should considering the situation) and I felt helpless. I dropped 10 pounds the first week with them and was a basket case with all of the safety issues that arose. I didn't want to quit on these children and vowed not to.
Then through one of many emergency situations, we learned that one of the children required such care that would not allow for daycare or for me to work. So, these children had to be placed with a family that did not have two full-time employed parents. After this incident, my husband and I were very skittish about any future placements. People assured me that our first case was one of the worst cases ever, and we were likely to never encounter such a difficult case. I still wasn't having any of it, though. We waited until April before we accepted our next placement - which happened to be a beautiful baby girl. When I accepted the placement, I knew very little about her other than her age. When she finally arrived at our home and I began to read about her, I was overwhelmed by some of the coincidences and similarities. I won't go into what they were for privacy sake, but I felt for sure that this was the Lord telling me that this child was meant for us.
From the very beginning, things were pretty easy. We faced little involvement with many of the tradition dealings of foster-caredom. Which I was thankful for. We quickly became attached and my husband and I cared for her as our own. Many people would remark about all the things we did for her considering she wasn't "our" child and would probably be "going back". You know, all of the money spent and extravagant things given to her. I quickly became disgusted listening to those who had once so eagerly encouraged me, now saying that I needed to be careful. My response to them was this: " This child is in the system through no fault of her own. It's not fair to withhold love from someone, just because they might return to their birth parent one day". What if I decided to treat this child as if they weren't mine and not take any pictures or ever do anything special with them? What if I did nothing and then they ended up staying with me forever? What do I tell that child? "You don't have any pictures of your first two years of life, because we were certain you were going back". You don't guard your heart from children. You give them all the love you can.
Never was I more sure that this child was to be forever ours, than the day three different people told me to be careful, because she might go back. Two of these people, were some of my biggest supporters from the beginning. I couldn't fight the tears after undergoing such a spiritual attack. But that is exactly what it was. It served as a confirmation to me that this beautiful child would be staying with us. Why else would the Devil, be working so hard against it? Trying to steal my faith and joy. Little things would pop up now and then, but my faith was for the most part solid. She was my child. I don't think I had ever fully trusted God for anything until her.
I don't wish to share many of the events that transpired to her finally being able to be adopted by us, because I feel it would reflect negatively on her birth parents and I don't wan't that. I don't wish for them to be judged by me or anyone else. I want the best for them and I can actually truly say that now. There was a time that I couldn't pray that prayer. I can just say that in life we don't always make the best choices and hopefully we all will make the best if and when we get a second chance.
After being with us for nearly two years, our little girl finally shared our last name. It was such an awesome feeling being able to make all important decisions concerning your child. We could actually get her ears pierced now! It was a long road, but not that hard when I fully trusted in God. Infertility is horrible. It can make you feel like a failure or as if you are being punished. However, in the end, I feel like it was one of the greatest blessings ever. I feel like throughout this journey, God was calling me to trust Him more than ever before. And, I can truly say that I did.
I chuckle about the little things all the time. When people unfamiliar with the situation, say that she looks just like me. When she starts making all of my silly faces. When people say that she's a great dancer like her mama! It warms my heart!
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