Six years ago, I had no idea how to adopt a child. Not only was I clueless, I had zero interest. The thought of adoption wasn’t even an option that entered my mind, ever. Not as a child, not as a teen and certainly not as an adult. It wasn’t even on my map.
I did, however, have every desire in the world to become pregnant. I was married at 30, which, to me, was the perfect age to be done with your wild and irresponsible 20’s, settle down, and begin building a family. I patted myself on the back thinking “well done, Tara.” I was married in April, so that following Christmas I secretly celebrated my last Christmas without the chore of buying little toys to wrap and place under the tree. I also secretly celebrated my last New Year’s Eve as a woman who was able to dress up her still fit, pre-pregnant body and go out with her husband without the burden of finding a babysitter. I say secretly because I did not dare share these thoughts with my husband. He was not completely ready to begin a family just yet, so I kept these little celebrations to myself. I knew I would convince him otherwise in the new year. I was so ready.
I dreamt about different ways I would tell my husband and my parents the good news. I fantasized about all the creative ways to announce our pregnancy on social media to our friends and family. I even created a secret Pinterest Board filled with creative baby announcements and cute maternity clothes. I WAS SO READY.
And before I knew it, hooray! My husband was ready, too! You guys, I cannot tell you how excited I was. I was so into this getting pregnant thing, I did everything I could to speed up the process.
At first, I measured it with a calendar, ovulation calendar app, and ovulation tests. Then, I measured it in the amount of coffee I drank (or didn’t drink), in my wine intake, in folic acid pills, prenatal pills, and Luna bars. I switched from Coffee Mate to half and half (maybe I needed more calcium?), and tried to put on a few pounds (maybe I was too small?).
Nothing was happening. No baby.
So then, I measured it with doctor visits and blood tests which lead to countless pills, shots administered by my husband and girlfriends at home, and eventually eight separate fertility procedures. Eight separate failed fertility procedures.
Finally, and desperately, I measured it in how I prayed. I measured it on my knees and in my anger. I measured it with envy and tears and bitterness.
I blamed God. It had been almost four years since I secretly celebrated my “last” childless Christmas and New Years, and each time those holidays came around again, all I wanted to do was crawl under the covers and stay there until it was over. I was mad and I was done.
This was not God’s plan, this couldn’t be. This could not be the life my God wanted for me. A God who promises to give me all my heart’s desires. A God who promises to fight for me if I only stay still. A God who promises that if He is within me, I will not fall. A God who promises to be my strength and my shield.
Where was I going wrong? Why didn’t I deserve this?
Then, after giving it all up, I slowly began to get a different message. A message that didn’t have anything to do with being pregnant. At first, the message came from my cousin who had an adoptive son. “Adopt your first baby and then go back to the fertility treatments if you want.” Hmmm. That was an idea. Then my grandma got on board the adoption train and said “Let’s just get you your first born. I’ll help with the expenses” OK, grandma. OK, that’s a thought. Then I began to watch YouTube videos of adoption days and read blog after blog written by adoptive mamas and…
I can’t tell you when it happened. There wasn’t a day I woke up and it was changed. There wasn’t a moment where all-of-a-sudden I wanted to adopt. It happened slow, but God worked and worked until I went from having zero desire to adopt, to wanting nothing more in the world than to become a mom through adoption. God grew my desire to become a parent, and with that growth, the desire to become pregnant diminished. My heart had been changed. It wasn’t a quick change, but it was a drastic one. I looked at parenthood as a high honor and realized for the first time that however our children come to us, whatever their skin color, their age, their background, their genes… however they come to us, it’s a miracle.
One more thing I learned, when it’s God’s plan, I don’t have to measure that much, and He always sticks to His promises.
Adoption costs were close to $50,000. We didn’t have $50K, but friends came forward to donate their talents and time to make us a video that would go viral just enough to raise half of the adoption costs. We sold t-shirts and took to social media for a good portion of the funds and in the end, family came forward with the rest. God knew we didn’t emotionally have years and years to wait, we had already been through so much, so in His Great Glory, He blessed us with a little boy in just 5 short months. We didn’t have baby boy clothes with our son was born, but they showed up on my doorstep before we left for the flight to get him. We didn’t have the money for flights to Oregon, or to rent a car once we were there, or pay for a hotel room for two weeks, so God sent His people (one we had never even met) to take care of those needs. All was taken care of before our plane hit the ground.
And about those promises- It turns out all my heart desired was this little boy. It also turned out that God was my strength and shield through one of the worst and saddest battles of my life. He never left me, I just couldn’t see the big picture the way He could.
Our little boy will turn two in just two months, and I cannot imagine raising another soul. This Christmas we got to watch him tear open truck after truck with excitement and as I’m typing this, I’m wishing I booked a babysitter for New Year’s Eve. We are HERE. Parenthood. Not pregnancy-hood, but parenthood. For better or for worse. He is ours, and we are his, and that is just how it was always meant to be.