Honestly, I hadn't planned on doing this over on Kelly's Korner this week, but I was just reading some of the other blogs that have posted over there and became inspired. There are some pretty amazing stories over there.
Here is a very short version of mine.
On May 14, 2004 I married the love of my life. Seth and I were both 29 when we married and both ready to start a family. We tried for 2 years to have a baby. After year one we called upon the help of professionals and started fertility treatment. These years were the hardest, most confusing and loneliest times I have ever experienced. After 3 failed IUI's we were placed at a cross road. our spirits were low and well as our bank account - fertility treatment is EXPENSIVE! After a lot of prayer and soul searching, we decided to leave the fertility path, choosing not to go on to IVF, but to adopt. This is the road we felt God calling our hearts to walk. Once we decided to adopt, I felt such peace. The kind of peace that only comes from abandoning my own plan and following his.
In August of 2006 we signed up with an international adoption agency and were thrilled to be adopting from China. At the time, the wait to bring our daughter home, was 18 months. While waiting we made the easy decision to become foster parents. I am a Social Worker and knew I always wanted to foster. Seth was nervous, but also agreeable. We felt this was the best time to open our doors to children who needed us. We had no children of our own, therefore we could take children had potential anger problems, or had been sexually abused. We knew this wouldn't be an option once we had our own children, so this was the right time for us.
On September 8, 2006, we got the phone call we had been waiting for - Our FIRST foster referral. We accepted Lydia (a 5 month old baby), and her very young 14 year old mother, Christina. The placement was perfect. Lydia was the sweetest and best baby girl and her mother was too. We dedicated the next three weeks to caring for them and teaching Christina how to be a mom to her baby. Then one day Christina didn't get off the school bus after school. She had run away. Lydia was still with us.
The next two years were a complete roller coaster. Christina was "on the run" for most of the time, but would get caught and picked up and placed back in foster care every couple of months. There was not a suitable family member to take Lydia, so she remained with us. In the meantime, the wait to adopt from China was getting longer and longer. 18 months had come and gone and we were still facing several years to adopt our baby. We weren't getting any younger, and our patience for our own children and to start our family were growing thin. So, we decided in April, 2007 to adopt domestically.
We were chosen by a birth mother that very summer and we were thrilled. In August 2007, the baby was born. We traveled to Chicago and spent several days anxiously waiting to bring our baby girl, Carly home. But the morning she was scheduled to be discharged from the hospital, we got the phone call from a Social Worker that the birth mother had a change of heart and decided she wanted to parent. We were devastated.
11 months later we were chosen again. And once again we were placed on an emotional roller coaster. We got the call from the birth mother on a Thursday afternoon, and on Tuesday morning, OUR baby Zachary was born. His adoption story could be made into a movie. It was nothing short of a lot of drama, fraud, and scandal. It was not easy, and just like before, we were told by the hospital Social Worker that the birth mother had changed her mind. And we were sent home empty handed and devastated once again. Three days later the birth parents called us. She had changed her mind again and wanted us to adopt her baby. We were skeptical and jaded. There had been A LOT of bad things that had happened during the last week that included all of the above. But we made a plan to adopt. On March 16, 2008 we OFFICIALLY ADOPTED Zachary. It was the BEST day of our lives. Then exactly two months later, we got to do it all over again when we were FINALLY able to adopt Lydia on May 16, 2008! Now we could finally celebrate and we were a family.
I have always kept a private blog. I started the blog in 2006 as a way to document our adoption journey to China - which we have since withdrawn from. After the adoptions of Zachary and Lydia, I knew I needed to help others. Seth and I had a wealth of knowledge from our experiences through infertility, then International adoption, Foster Care, and finally Domestic Adoption. Throughout these journeys I would have given ANYTHING to talk to someone who had walked in my shoes. I would have given ANYTHING to ask questions, to have an ear, to have support from someone who understood what we were going through. This was a roller coaster we were on, and at last, I found it coming to a stop. I felt compelled to put our stories out there and help others. So, I started a new blog, a public blog...in hopes to help others.
I have made some wonderful connections through this blog in a short amount of time. I have given and received support. It has been a true blessing. So, that was our very abbreviated story of how we became a family. It was never my plan but it was his and it was perfect!!! I wouldn't trade my kids for 100 biological kids. They are my dream come true and my purpose in life. Every tear, sleepless night and hurt in my heart was worth the fight for them. Our story now continues as a family of four (for now, wink, wink) as we tread our way through this big giant world of life!
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