Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So, the [long] story begins. . .

To be perfectly honest, I never intended to have children. Actually, I never intended to get married either. It is funny how God uses surprising circumstances to change our hearts.

I met Matt as a young college freshman. Over the months, our friendship became more than just a friendship and we eventually started talking about a future together. We were riding on a bus in South Korea when he told me that he wanted to marry me. I told him that I wasn't going to marry anyone. We discussed/argued about this and eventually there were no more words. I prayed to God for His guidance, because I was only 19 and so far from thinking of marriage and family. I opened my eyes and the bus had stopped right in front of a bridal shop. I cried. I knew God was using this Asian manikin donned in white to send me a sign and open my heart. Over the following months, I did just that. Matt proposed to me the next Fall. I accepted (of course) and we were married the following June.

As we went through our premarital counseling, the discussions of children came up. I did not want children. Matt searched his heart to see if he could feel the same way, and he just couldn't. He told me during a counseling session that not having kids was a deal-breaker for him. I prayed more and opened my heart to God's will (all the while fighting my own worldly desires & fears) and agreed that we would have children "when the time was right." Who knows when that would be, right? I still had some control over this situation.

We started our lives together as poor college students. Matt finished up his Masters while he worked full time for a small start-up company. I worked full time while I finished up my bachelors degree and then I moved on to chiropractic school, which required all of my time. When I was in my last year of chiropractic school, we found out that we were expecting a baby right around graduation time. We were in shock. It was not a planned pregnancy in the least, but God's timing is always better than ours. Around the same time, a doctor approached me about buying her practice after I graduated. I prayed. . . a lot. I talked to the doctor and she agreed to wait a few extra months for me to take over the practice.

I had a wonderful pregnancy. I finished up all of my school and intern work and I took the last week before my due date pretty easy. Another week later, we went into the hospital in active labor. I typed out the whole birth story here.

To be perfectly blunt, her birth was incredibly traumatic for me. I had a wonderful pregnancy. I expected a wonderful natural birth. I expected to be healthy afterward and walk across the stage a week later becoming Dr. Mom. I did not expect HELLP Syndrome, fainting, bleeding, blood transfusions, bad blood tests, weakness, bruising, rashes, and just general unpleasentness. I'm sure lots of women say this right after a traumatic birth, but I never want to do that again. Ever. In fact, I never really wanted to do it the first time. I mean- Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter with all my heart and soul, and I would go through all of that for her. I truly feel that my lack of baby fever is a way that God protected my heart and perhaps my body from what did happen and what could possibly happen if I had another baby.

To put it in statistics, 1 in 4 women with HELLP Syndrome die. I have a 1 in 3 chance of having it again in any subsequent pregnancies. That is not a risk that I feel called to take.

So, I was fine with the idea of an only child. Lexi is amazing. We are so incredibly blessed. One and done is fine by me.

Then the dreams started. I lose track of time, but it was about 1-2 years ago. I had a dream that I was pushing a stroller and walking Lexi to school. I couldn't see in the stroller, but I just knew that he/she was not a biological child. I felt it. I mentioned the dream to Matt in passing and we moved on.

We started talking about adoption and we attended a seminar about adoption. I'll be honest. The cost shocked us. We put adoption on the back burner and just lived our lives. As much as Matt respected how difficult my birth experience was, I know that in the back of his mind he thought I would come around about having another biological child.

A few months later I had another dream. This time I was holding a Black boy and helping him jump up and down on the bed. I started researching Ethiopa. It didn't feel quite right. Then I started researching domestic adoption. I decided not to bring it up to Matt for a while, and I'm not really sure why.

In June, we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary at The Melting Pot. As we sat in our romantic little booth, I felt that it was time to broach the subject of adoption. I started by saying that I really did not feel that I would ever be ready to birth another child. I felt the tears well up in my eyes. My wonderful husband replied, "We don't have to have another baby if you don't want to." I literally breathed a sigh of relief. I really did not want Matt thinking that I was going to eventually come around, when in my heart of hearts, I just knew that I wouldn't.

So, we talked about adoption again. We started researching agencies and perhaps private adoptions. We feel really called toward domestic adoption. We are meeting with an agency next week.

We are prayerfully moving forward with the quest to find the child that God is leading to be a part of our family. I truly believe that the child is already born. I pray for him/her often. I wonder what this child is going through at this very moment. I wonder how long it will take us to find him/her. I pray. . .

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