Not Showing, But Definitely Glowing

  Here's the thing, you guys.... I NEVER dreamed of adopting. And when I say that, I'm not saying it like "Yeahhh if we couldn't conceive on our own, maybe I'd consider it". 

  I was saying it like, "NO THANK YOU! I can't sell myself to get a baby. I can't be cold with the Biological parents. I can't have lawyers handle things for me, how would I control everything then? I couldn't raise someone else's child, I mean, I would feel like it would choose its biological parent(s) over me one day. What if I can't love it like my own?"

  Do you get what I'm saying? I was STERN. I was DECIDED. I was NAIVE as all get out, obviously.

-- A Quick Recap --

  On August 1st, Jesse had a cystoscopy and urethral dilation scheduled. The doctor had "solved" the issue. "It's definitely not your prostate. You're WAY too young. You have urethral strictures. Picture it like you have kinks in the garden hose! Easy fix. All we need to do is dilate them to correct the issue!". Boom. Problem supposedly solved.

  Jesse went in for surgery and came out a new man! Or so we thought. Doc comes in to release us and says "Good news! We didn't have to dilate you! It was a little rough [the cystoscopy] but I'm just guessing that's from the previous strictures and surgery you had."


"Jesse has never had strictures. This is Jesse's first surgery."

  Doctor - I kid you not - then replies, "Really? Huh. For some reason I thought he had this before. I don't know why I thought that. It's gotta be your prostate then. I mean, it was a little tight. Then again, you're so younggg". Then he babbled on about how dealing with his symptoms is probably going to outweigh going through some "invasive surgery" to correct the problem or the symptoms are probably a better deal than side-effects to the medications he could prescribe. Medications that have side effects of infertility. Thanks but no thanks, Doc. To all of it. We are tapping out for a while. 

  I was distraught. We have fought for so long and so hard to get Jesse's health issues figured out. I mean, we spent SO much money and time that we left the hospital feeling nothing short of defeated.

--- Fast forward to four hours and many tears later ---

  I went to my parent's house to cry it out and throw a pity party because it SUCKS to deal with this kind of issue. It SUCKS to feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Anyway. Back to the good. I was crying and said, "This is it. If we can't get anyone to take Jesse's prostate problems seriously, we will legitimately never conceive. I'll never be a Mom. Jesse will never be a Dad. All of this time, wasted. All of our money, gone. We're back to where we started."

  My Dad, the cool-calm-and-collected man he is, then says to my Mom, "That reminds me, hun. Sheila (Our Pastor's Daughter) called and said you should call her back. She wants to run something by you." 

My Mom called Sheila and this began the greatest conversation I have ever eavesdropped on. 

  Sheila and her husband Andy tried to conceive for 12 years. They experienced a miserable 9 miscarriages. They understood our struggle on a whole different level. 
So 12 years ago, they adopted their daughter from China. Andy's coworker asked him if they would be willing to adopt another baby, the baby of a girl his wife knows that is pregnant with her second child and can't keep the baby. They were so content with their little family and are in a place where adding another child into the family isn't feasible, so they declined and threw our name into the ring just incase we may be interested.

  I've never felt more perplexed in my life. Why is this happening today? Do I have to decide now? I don't want to adopt a baby! I want to grow one on my own! My husband's child! In my belly! 

  I came home and talked to Jesse about it and we mulled it over for a couple of days. We finally decided, you can't beg God for a baby for four years just to come back with "but wait. not that one. a different one." 

  That's when our mantra was first spoken, "We say yes, until God says no". You can't wait for God to bring something to you, you MUST be proactive. Seek it out and God will provide. So that's what we started.

  I woke up the next morning and Pinterested a boatload of different ways to announce an adoption. If we are doing this, I'm going all in - no holds. The decision will be made so that I can't have a second to go back on it!
Instant tears.
  I was sobbing softly as I laid on my stomach with my two dogs licking the tears off of my cheeks. I got up and ran to the couch where Jesse was sleeping and woke him up by grabbing his hand into my own. He looked at me, "What's wrong?"I could barely get the words out, so I choked over them as I said,
                      "I get to be a mom! I finally get to be a mom and you get to be a Dad!" 

Jesse just smiled so sweetly and said, "I know, babe. I know!" And that's when it started. I had to get this ball rolling! I called Sheila and told her, "We're in. We're ALL in. Let's make us parents!"

  Now let's make this known right now... I know absolutely

nothing about becoming an adoptive-parent. I know absolutely nothing about adoption rules, regulations, boundaries with biological parents, nada. I was clueless! I started researching things and Sheila would meet with Bio-Mom again to make sure this is truly what she wanted for her child. 

  It has been the most smooth and beautiful snowball effect I have ever witnessed. 

*I do not own this photograph*
(I Pinterested it because I'm resourceful.)
How will I spend time with this baby? We can't afford 5 days a week of childcare. I work nights and weekends. Jesse just got a new job that sends him out-of-state 2 nights a week and working crazy hours. 
God provides.
I get an opportunity to work 4 days/week. 
Jesse's paychecks are allowing us to live comfortably with me working less hours. 
Jesse will be home one full day during the work week. 
I will be home one full day during the work week.

But this baby won't be ours, biologically. Will it love me? Can I love this baby?
God provides us with hearts so full they could burst.
After considering a Sperm Donor, adoption actually puts us in the same non-biological parent boat. We're officially on the same team. We can figure it out together!
As for loving this baby...
This baby isn't growing in my womb, but it is growing each day in our hearts. 
I truly mean that. I have waited 4 long years to love a baby and all of this pent-up excitement and love has me bursting at the seams. Turns out, same goes for Jesse! We already love this baby as our own! No matter the genetics! 

How do we feed this baby? Formula is EXPENSIVE.
You guessed it, 
God provides.
A close friend of mine tells me she knows a woman who would be willing to donate breast milk to us. And when I say that, I don't just mean a little bit of breast milk. I mean, a freezer full of healthy breast milk. FOR FREE. Incredible.

How will we afford the lawyer fees?!
God provides. 
I have an uncle who is a lawyer and actually completed the adoption process for my Dad to adopt Seth and I. 
He said that he would be willing to take a look at our adoption situation. 
He hasn't done an adoption since mine and Seth's. But he said it would be "Poetic Justice" to help us adopt a baby.
Life really has come full circle.

But what if Bio-Mom hates me?
God provides courage and opportunity.
I got the guts to start texting Mom and told her our story. I asked about hers. I found myself truly wanting to get into the headspace of this mom. I wanted to know that I wasn't stealing this child out from a Mom who wanted to keep this child but felt pressured to give it to us.

   Jesse and I met with Bio-Mom on a Sunday after church. I felt so strong with my partner-in-crime by my side. We not only got to meet Bio-Mom but we even got to meet her child! Her child is adorable and Bio-Mom was great! We set our boundaries early on what we were looking to get out of this deal.

   I actually ended up changing my mind from a completely closed adoption, to a semi-open one. (Hear me out).
I mean, I found myself empathizing with this mom. She is growing a baby in that belly. She is making the best out of a situation in her life that other people I know may not even be brave enough to do. She wants this baby to have two parents and to be loved. She loves this baby so much that she wants more for it than she can provide right now.
Hey! We can do that! We're married! We can love this baby! 

God's handiwork is FAR greater than my hypothetical plans. God is so graceful.
I couldn't rave more about how smoothly everything has gone.
This biological Mom knows our struggle with infertility and her fear was us backing out! 
Are you kidding me?! WE'RE the lucky ones! Why would we back out of such a good thing?!

Today I got to listen to our baby's heart beat. I got to see that baby snuggle up in Bio-Mom's belly and drive the ultrasound tech up a wall with all of it's squirming.
Today I left with the ultrasound photos.
I left with the ability to surprise my husband with an "Exploding Golf Ball" gender reveal. 
Today, I felt like a Mom. Today, my husband felt like a Dad. 

I got to refer to baby by name rather than referring to the baby as "Juniper" (an ongoing playful name Jesse has referred to our unborn child as for the last four years).

I am so insanely blessed by Bio-Mom.
I am so insanely blessed for my family and friends who are willing to do whatever they can to help make this transition a little smoother. A little better. A little sweeter.
I am waking up every morning thinking of our changing future. 
I am scared out of my wits.
I am so excited that I could sing it from the rooftops. And I don't mean that rhetorically. I mean it literally.

I am going to be a Mom. I am going to watch my husband be a Dad.

I will one day get to stand in the doorway in my robe, hair a hot-mess and 1000% exhausted, and adore my husband as I watch him rock our baby to sleep while whisper-singing "You Make Me Wanna" by Usher. 
(He claims that will be his lullaby. He's insane).

We couldn't have written this story better ourselves.

God always provides, you guys.
If this story doesn't convince you of this, I don't know what will!


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