Sunday, December 21, 2008

Can I freak out for just a moment?

Yesterday morning I woke up and couldn't stop thinking about the upcoming possibility of having an infant in our home.  Holy crap!  This is for real! I mean, there could be a little baby in our home any day now.  Does anyone else realize this?  Wes seems to be just coasting along with the idea.  Apparently, for him it just isn't real until it's real.  Whatever....he's crazy.  :)  

Anyways, for me it's like these moments hit me like waves with the reality of it all, and I get a little freaked out for a moment or two.  I don't know how the heck to be a mom!  I know, I'll come naturally;  We'll figure it out; We'll make great parents....Yes, I realize the nicety of all these comments, but STILL!!!  Come on guys!  They could call us tomorrow and say, "Hey, can you be ready to take a baby in the next hour?"  Oh yeah, sure....bring 'em on over.  No problem.   One moment we're a childless couple with a Christmas tree, two cats, and an empty crib.  The next, we're changing diapers, and trying to figure out what in the world our baby eats!  

Okay, it will be fine.  I know.  I'm sure of it.  But it's still a little nerve-wracking.  No doubt about it.  

So tonight was our last class.  We got loaded up with all of the practical info on the financial side of things.  It was good.  And we also got to hear about what other kind of support was available for us and our children.  We got our certificate of completion.  We're pretty much ready to go.  We've got our home study on Christmas Eve, but that's it.  

Yes, a little crazy.  I feel so unprepared, but I guess no one ever feels completely prepared.  We don't know what the timing of all this will be.  I keep feeling there is something special about Christmas day (aside from the obvious holiday aspect!).  But I don't know.  We'll see.  We are just trusting absolutely that God knows the exact date and time of all of this, and who our little one will be.  It's strange to think that they are probably already in the world somewhere.  It's only a matter of time....ah, let the peace come....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

When Are We Truly Ready?

So this is the beginning of our journey to adoption.  Actually, the journey started about 10 weeks ago, when we started foster care/adoption classes through the state of Kentucky.  And if you want to be really specific, the journey can be traced even further back.

In the summer of 2005, we began the seemingly crazy whirlwind of trying to get pregnant.  I remember how nervous I was about the prospect of having a baby.  Was I ready?  Did I have any idea how to raise a child?  Was Wes ready to be a father?  Were we truly ready?  Well, time played a key role in this decision process, because we began to have more and more of it, as the months passed, and still no positive sign on that stinkin' stick.  

To make a long story just a little less long, a year passed, and still no baby.  We did the fertility tests, and very quickly found our answer.  To put it sperm.  I remember the pain of that day we found out.  I felt so out of control, and so robbed.  After my doctor delivered the news, I left work, went over to my friend's house (she still wasn't home), and I layed in her hammock outside and just sobbed and sobbed.  The hurt....rather the loss, was overwhelming.  Both Wes and I barely spoke that day.  Not out of anger, but out of NOT knowing why.  Shock and hurt.

It seemed liked the next day, my brain switched gears.  I simply accepted the news, and starting pouring over websites about international adoption.  At that point, I accepted this shocking loss, and just replaced it with a new idea, a different option.  I just felt desperate to get control again, and get a little one in my home as soon as possible.  Little did I know that God was going to teach us some important things on this new part of our journey, things that didn't exactly line up with what I was thinking at that point.

Well, in the midst of all this adoption study, we found out that the reason for the infertility was testicular cancer.  It was like a slap in the face.  Just like the infertility, I was NOT expecting this kind of news.  Neither one of us could have imagined this diagnosis.  

When the doctor called me into the room in which Wes was sitting, and he told me that my husband had cancer, all of a sudden, I didn't care one bit about a baby.  The first thing the doctor tried to comfort me with was our ability to have children.  I remember cutting him off as I was weeping, "I don't care about children.  I just want my husband to be okay."  He so gently said, "He is going to be fine."  And that was all it took.  A peace flooded the room.  I looked at Wes, and he was a vision of stability and calmness.   There was simply a blanket of peace on his face.  It was amazing.  And I just knew that he was going to be fine.

Three days later, on November 6th of 2006, they removed the affected testical, Wes came home and seemed to sleep forever.  He was fine.  He was wonderful.  Just tired and sore.  He was healed.  And in the midst of all of this, Wes was taking 18 hours of school and working.  He was amazing.  At the very end of his semester, each day went like this;  he went to work from 4:30 to 8:30 in the morning, headed over to have his radiation, and then went straight to classes, and got home in the evening.  He graduated with over a 3.0 that December.  I was so proud of him.  Also in the midst of all of this, we sold and closed on our house while Wes was still fresh out of the hospital, moved in with my parents for a month and a half, and then moved to Kentucky the day after Christmas of 2006.

Fast forward to about 12 weeks ago...  

Throughout these last two years, we have found greater happiness in our marriage than we could have dreamed possible.  God healed so many broken parts in us individually and as a couple.  At the beginning of this very long first blog post, I mentioned that I simply accepted the doctor's diagnosis of our infertility.  They said we'd never have children.  I totally don't believe that anymore.  The way I see it, if God can create an entire world in just a few days, He can create one tiny little sperm....that's all it takes.  So while it hasn't happened yet, both of us believe, without a doubt, that we will get pregnant.  We don't know when, but it will happen.  In the meantime, I have really thought about adoption.  And this option is no longer a replacement for our own biological children.  It has something I have always had in my heart to do.  That's it.  Wes wasn't quite there yet.  He wanted the biological child first.  Well, apparently God had a different idea.  After a conversation one night with a friend who has adopted through the state, it was like God did a complete transformation of Wes's thinking on this issue.  All of a sudden, the adoption option busted wide open.  Two weeks later we started the foster care/adoption classes with the state.

It has been interesting to go through these classes.  There have been times when we have absolutely disagreed with their philosophies of how to raise children.  But there have also been eye-opening classes.  It has been an interesting process to say the least.

And here we are in the present.

Our last class is on Monday, the 22nd of December.  We have had one home study, and our second and last one is on Christmas Eve.  Technically, we could have a baby in our home by Christmas.  Practically speaking....I have NO idea.  I'm sure many of you are wondering how this whole process works when you are going through the state system here in the States.  Well, with most babies, you have to foster before you adopt.  This mainly because the birth parent is usually going to be given the chance to go through rehabilitation in some form or another (whether their child was removed because of abuse, neglect, or drug use).  If they complete all the requirements to be reunited with their child, you will only have that child for that length of time.  If not, a parent's rights will often be terminated, and then you are given the option of adopting that child.  Then there is the safe haven law.  This allows a parent to leave an infant under 72 hours old at a safe haven, such as a fire station, hospital, or police station, without penalty.  With this kind of situation, the parent has 30 days to return and "reclaim" their child.  After that, their parental rights are often terminated, and the infant is able to be adopted.  

We are not sure how it is all going to happen.  All we know is that we could get a call one day, and within an hour, their could be a baby in our home.  Wow!  A little scary.  This baby could be any race and either gender too.  So we have absolutely no idea what to expect.  NO CLUE!  :)  But we wait with great anticipation, and just a wee bit o' nervousness.  :)

We wanted to make sure we got this blog up and running before we actually have a child in our home, just so we could remember what we were feeling before our family grows by one more.  I feel like things are going to get a little blurry once we have a baby in the house.  At the beginning of this post, I asked if we were truly ready.  I don't know if we ever FEEL truly ready, but at the risk of sounding a little cliche, God knows exactly when we are ready, so our trust and hope is in Him, who knows what's best for His children.