Over the past few days we have received an outpouring of love and support from family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. It has been more than I ever even imagined. It is a beautiful thing to be able to open up our lives and share our hearts with so many people. I’ve already had so many questions about the entire process and about our lives through infertility. I so desperately want to answer them all and I promise I will soon, but as I began writing this post it took me in a much different direction than I was anticipating. I feel that in any story there needs to be an introduction, something that lays the groundwork for the entire book. And it’s just that that’s laid before you, the foundational journey over the past 5 months that finally got us to this point.
How did we get here?
In June Josh and I began discussing what our next steps would be if we ended up coming to the one year mark of trying to conceive and fell short. We initially talked about adopting or pursuing treatment and testing for fertility. After a long discussion and some research we decided that adoption was too pricey and we really wanted to pursue trying to have our own biological children. The topic of fostering came up for a whole 2 seconds but was shot down immediately by both of us because we just knew we couldn’t handle the heartbreak of losing a child we had become attached to.
Fast forward a few months to August and I visited my OBGYN to determine a game plan for infertility treatment and testing. My doctor suggested that if we hadn’t conceived by December she wanted us to go the fertility clinic for an evaluation. At this time she would also start 3 rounds of Clomid (a fertility drug) in hopes of helping our chances without having to pursue more invasive treatments through the clinic. I was totally gung-ho for this option as I so desperately wanted to be a mother and was willing to do whatever it took.
A few weeks after this appointment I began contemplating whether I really wanted to endure the extensive testing that comes with fertility clinics. I am so young (only 25) and really we had only been trying for a year (usually the minimum amount of time before any doctor will refer you for testing). It was in this time that the thought of fostering began to come to the forefront of my mind. As I was driving to work one morning the Lord seemed to hit me in the face with the realization that fostering was the direction we needed to be going towards. Mind you, I was not expecting this in the slightest and I kind of wanted to just say, “Really God? A realization this large when I’m about to walk into work? You couldn’t have chosen any other time for me to have this revelation?” So like any good wife would I sent Josh a text, knowing he would still be asleep, that said the following:
That day at work is still etched in my memory. I remember trying to deny the fact that the Lord was telling me to step into a position where I would have to love so deeply only to lose so painfully. Every time one of those thoughts raced to my mind the Lord would throw out another confirmation of His plan. I literally couldn’t escape them.
After finally having a chance to talk to Josh about this entire thing in person we decided that we would attend the upcoming foster orientation in late September and see how we felt about it then. When orientation day arrived I was so incredibly excited. I couldn’t focus all day at work and I about had a heart attack when Josh ended up being late to pick me up. In my mind this was the first step to finally having a baby in my arms, and it was a big one.
Orientation was everything I had hoped for and more. We felt right away in our hearts that this was what we needed to do. So we signed up for the licensing class and began waiting until October to roll around before we could begin. They say that when you become a foster parent you get a sense of “nesting” that just doesn’t go away. It’s very similar to the “nesting” pregnant women feel except for foster parents you now have multiple ages and genders to prepare for. Which essentially just means, if it’s on sale, buy it! Josh wasn’t too fond of the “nesting” stage as “grocery” trips turned less into buying food and more into searching for baby items!
While I was busy stocking our house with baby gear the Lord was continuing to change our journey. We had originally been signed up to start classes in early October but due to a lack of interest from other potential foster families the agency had delayed the class until November. I was so frustrated at this point. All I wanted was to get started on our journey to finally become parents but of course there was another obstacle to hurdle over and this was the hardest one of all….being patient.
Over the course of the next month I tried to keep my eye on the prize but it was tough. The more I thought about the class the less excited I started getting. Being patient wasn’t my strong suit and it was starting to wear at me. I had already waited a year for a child why was I forced to wait another month? It was during this time of vulnerability that I started this blog. Without being forced to be patient I would not have had the desire or the ability to write the raw and real words you have already read. It was through patience that allowed me to truly embrace this journey.
We have now been in classes for 3 weeks and I will tell you it’s been equally exciting and terrifying. Each class I leave feeling a different way. One day I feel hopeful that we will be able to change so many lives and the next I feel terrified to love a child so much only for them to be reunified with their biological family. I know it will be a tough journey. I know it’s going to be hard and messy and sticky. But I also know that with each child comes joy, laughter, and most of all love. I know that when it comes down to it, all the hard and trying times will be worth it because in the end it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.