Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3 Years of Infertility

Welcome to March 1, 2011.

While driving to work this morning at 6:45, it dawned on me that today is March 1st. March marks our official third anniversary of trying to get pregnant. Three years ago, I can remember how exciting it was to begin trying to grow our small family of two. We were newlyweds living all on our own 500 miles away from where we grew up and our families, hellbent to make it on our own. I remember the innocence and hope we had. I remember the fear of what it would be like to become parents. We used to go shopping and whenever we were out, I would pick up baby clothes and buy small outfits here and there. I began sewing and started by making a few small baby quilts that I deemed for our future children. All of those items went into a large tupperware container at the end of the first year as we officially were diagnosed with the "I" word... Infertility. I have not touched or opened this container since early 2009. I used to dream about being a stay at home mom and what it would be like. I dreamed about what our nursery would look like and what we would name our children. I dreamed about how many children we would have.

During the second year, we struggled a lot with my health problems and lengthy bleeding. I would bleed for more than two weeks or three weeks at a time. With my long cycles and heavy lengthy bleeding, we were more unable to conceive. We visited with fertility clinics and various fertility specialists as well as regular OBGYNs specializing in infertility. We spent over $10,000 out of our pockets going from one doctor to the next trying to diagnose our problem and trying fertility treatments.

This last year, our third year, has really been spent finding ourselves. We went to a domestic infant adoption seminar hoping that we would feel called to grow our family that way, and we left feeling more discouraged than we had through the entire journey. We knew that was not the plan for us at that time. This past year we discovered that not only do we have female factor infertility, we are also dealing with male factor infertility as well. Our combined infertility exponentially decreases our chances of conceiving children naturally. After going to the domestic infant adoption seminar, that is what pushed us to finally have Jack tested. After we had Jack tested, we basically did nothing towards growing our family except praying that it would happen naturally.

In September of last year, a month after our seminar and only a few weeks after finding out about our MFIF (Male Factor Infertility), I began to feel God pull me towards Foster Parenting. God began to speak to me through memories of my childhood and through radio ads on Christian radio stations that I listened to throughout the day. I began to pray for Jack and in December, after 2 months of praying, Jack began to feel his heart being pulled in that direction.

In January, we met with our Pastor to catch up with him and to talk to him about our struggle with infertility and how we felt like God was calling us to Foster. He told us that that road was not an easy road to walk down and to just keep going as long as we felt God was still calling us down that road. In February, we attended a Foster Care seminar at Bethany and felt even more drawn.

Yesterday, I mailed out our application with most of our completed paperwork and I called and signed up for classes to get our licensing process going. Our first class is on Thursday.

Which brings us back to today, March 1, 2011.

This morning around 6:45, it dawned on me what the date was. It dawned on me that this month marks 3 years of infertility. Now every day after today, we have been trying to get pregnant for over three years. I was heartbroken and hurt. I started to feel my eyes getting misty and I tried to fight to keep myself focused and just to get through the work day and not be drawn down by it.

All of a sudden, I felt God whisper into my heart, 'For I know the plans I have for you, delcares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' The very scripture that is on the wall above our bed where we sleep every night. I instantly felt renewed and felt hopeful. God had a plan for us from the very beginning and although it has never been easy, He had a plan for us. His plans are not to harm us, and although we do get hurt, his intention is not to hurt us, not for us to feel broken and incomplete.

We will finish up our first classes for licensing on April 21st and we could have a placement in our home as soon as some time in May! We might not be permanent parents and foster parenting is not a "cure" for infertility, but He has given us such a joy to be able to serve the world in this way, I can't even describe it. I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to serve these children and their parents as we help them through one of the most difficult times in their lives. And all we have to do is love them.

So, happy third anniversary to Jack and I in our infertility struggle. By the Grace of God we have not only been able to stay together through this, we have grown stronger and closer to each other in our marriage and closer to God in the process. We know that God loves us and doesn't intend for this situation to break us, even though we do feel like we are breaking sometimes.

Here's to hoping and praying that next March, I won't have to be talking about what the 4th year was like for us.

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