Women who experience a miscarriage usually choose to wait to share that they are pregnant again. They have learned that life is delicate.
We have learned that adoption works in the same way.
Since putting our profile back online on Christmas day, we have been contacted by wonderful women who are exploring adoption. Many have stopped speaking to us. One was a con artist (just awful).
We started talking to one expectant mamma and things progressed beautifully. So we arranged two plane tickets to go out and meet her. Our trip was scheduled for us to meet her on Valentines Day. Excitement and nervousness took over.
And none of you knew.
Just like in miscarriage situations, we held back from telling you. The emotional roller coaster that hopeful adoptive parents willingly ride is beyond words. You cannot truly fathom putting yourself completely out there unless you do it. It’s humbling. It’s amazing. It’s frightening.
As with most expectant mammas considering adoption, there was some question as to why we weren’t building a nursery and why we haven’t started shopping. It’s hard to express to someone who is considering choosing you that even though they are following their heart, we have to keep a small portion of our heart guarded. We won’t have a traditional baby shower. Ours will happen after the birth. We won’t go shopping crazy. Not because we don’t want to (seriously, I can’t wait to obliterate the Nordstrom children’s department). We simply know that this journey is not easy. Satan will try his best to destroy a family from being created. He will fill minds with doubt and fear. He is persuasive.
It is important to note that the contacts we receive aren’t consecutive. They tend to happen at the same time, making matters more confusing and challenging to navigate. It’s a lot like dating. I jokingly say that I date a lot of women. While building our relationship with this expectant mamma, we were contacted by another. We began communicating with both of them at the same time.
As Valentines Day quickly approached, we saw the signs. Our earlier contact was getting nervous. She was second-guessing. She was leaving us. Eleven days before our flight to meet her, she asked us not to come.
We cried. I wanted to sing “Please don’t go girl” by New Kids On The Block.
We wanted to give up.
But we can’t give up, no matter how hard it is. Especially when building a relationship with another amazing woman, Marissa.
As we no longer had a trip planned to leave Idaho on Valentines Day, we decided to make a small trip down to Salt Lake. It’s good to get away and keep your mind off where you had originally planned be and planned to be doing.
And then, like magic, the expectant mamma we continued talking with asked us to have a Skype date.
On Valentines Day.
Here we were grieving our original plans for Valentines Day, and then like a phoenix rising from the ashes, another beautiful opportunity – on the same day, no less – took form. Our Skype date was scheduled.
We still went down to Salt Lake. I arranged a day at the aquarium (Bryce was in heaven), dinner with Alena and Josh (Bryce’s sister and our future brother in law), and then a lovely hotel room to crash at. And the Skype date.
Our heart was still mourning while our brain was excited to explore the possibilities of another adoption situation. What a roller coaster.
Our Skype date happened. It was emotional for us, and I’m sure it was for her. Bryce even said he worried she wouldn’t place, because she seemed scared (but in all honestly, how could she not be!). I pointed out that we probably appear the exact same way, and she’s equally worried about us. There are so many parallels between expectant parents and hopeful adoptive parents. We all fear. We all grieve. We all celebrate. We all love.
Then, as some of you may have seen from my personal Facebook page, I started receiving anonymous gifts.
On February 20th, I received a beautiful bouquet of daisies with a note.
There was no name. I accused my coworker, Mindy, of this shenanigans. She promised they weren’t from her. However, she was involved. She came into my office, closed the door, and said “You don’t know who they’re from?” I was honestly dumbfounded. I hadn’t a clue. Mindy looked right at me and said “They’re from Marissa.” Immediate tears. Flowing. How? Why? I was speechless. Expectant moms don’t send ME gifts, I send THEM gifts. Shock and awe.
I was on cloud nine. (Again, insert the roller coster).
A week passed. On February the 27th, a bouquet of balloons arrived at my desk. I, of course, freaked out with excitement. And then I learned it wasn’t from Marissa.
The note reads “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will loose your heartaches. Whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through.”
This gift came from Marissa’s mom, Alysia.
You guys. My heart was so full.
I (not so successfully) went back to work. Fridays are hard enough, and throw in heart pounding love, it basically renders me useless.
And then the mail came. One envelope was addressed to me.
The card read “Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures… – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland”
Be still my soul.
Still grieving while rejoicing, we set a date to meet. March 7th.
That day was a big day for me, the company I work for, and for a lot of other hopeful adoptive parents. I was working in Salt Lake helping adoptive couples create profiles on the new Adoption.com/Profiles. I managed the photo booth. A few silly photos happened. And while this silliness continued, in the back of my mind all I could think about was her and our date that night.
It was time. We headed out to meet her. She was coming with her parents (Alysia and Josh), Haley (a birth mom who is a huge advocate in the community), and Kelly, a family friend (who is also an adoptive mom). We brought along Tamra, our birth mom friend. Talk about a support group!
We sat down and got to know each other. We talked about anything and everything. I was so nervous about Bryce. It’s hard to do this. I’m sure he worried about me. We’re a team.
As we were all paying our checks and starting to wind down, Marissa spoke up. She said “I suppose you want to know why you are here.” Ha! I said “…to meet you?” I was dying laughing through the whole dinner. She handed us our last gift. One month since we first Skyped.
Can I just say, Marissa does her research! She knows me so well. I really must be an open book. She knows I love Alice in Wonderland, she made a very educated guess that I would like daisies (Alice in Wonderland reference), the last gift she gave me (the necklace), and now this.
I pulled open the cork stopper, and pulled out a message.
Cue happy tears.
Family and friends – we are happy to announce that we are anticipating an adoption September 9th, 2015. It may appear that we will be a family of 3, but in reality we were just adopted into their family. Our family is growing by much more than one and I’m so excited to have every one of them in our family. We invite you to celebrate with us.
I am so happy for you two. Kevin and I often wonder how your journey is going, but we don’t want to ask as we know it can be a painful process. I cried tears of joy reading this. You both are going to be amazing parents and this baby will be as blessed to have you as you are to have the baby. I’m so happy your family is growing (by more than one). Congrats, you two! Love you both!
I cried reading this. Your journey and story are incredible. I am so happy for you two and know that you will be amazing parents. You are truly blessed and are very loved. Love you and wish you all the happiness in the world. I think you should write a book about your journey and story. I am sure it will help others that are going through the same thing. You inspire me and I know you inspire others. Lots of love, April
IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!
“Making the decision to have a child-it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” Elizabeth Stone- In the Village Voice.
You write almost as beautiful as your heart is. I love you deeply and more than you know have internalized part of both the pain. and the joy, of your journey. Thank you for sharing both. It makes you real, and it makes me love you, friend.