Now, we are just waiting. And have been for a good while. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve at least felt hopeful. One day, my mother-in-law called us about an article that she had read in the newspaper. It was about a relatively new procedure called IVF. In vitro fertilization. It was so new that very few doctors knew much about it. But the gist of it was that it didn’t really matter if you had a low count, that they could take one sperm and fertilize one egg in a dish. Once the egg became fertilized, they would put the embryo back into the uterus. That sounded like just the thing that would help us, medically. The closest place that I could find that could do this procedure (at the time) was in Atlanta, which was about a four hour drive from us. I called them to find out what all was involved and they said that we could have a couple of tests done in our local hospital and if we wanted to proceed that would speed up the process. So, I made an appointment with a different OB-GYN than the first one I had seen, and he set up a time that we could have the test. I forgot what it was called, but it was basically where they run dye through the fallopian tubes to check to see if they are clear and to check for other abnormalities. We had the test done, and then I called the office in Atlanta back. When I called them, I found out that it was a really involved process. We would have to stay in Atlanta for several weeks while we did all the tests and blood work. Well, we knew we just couldn’t do it. First of all, we couldn’t afford for my husband to miss work for that long. Secondly, we couldn’t afford to stay out of town in a motel for several weeks. And last, but certainly not least, we simply could NOT afford the procedure. Infertility issues were not covered by our insurance. It would not pay for ANY of it. So, I took that little xray from the test we had done and I hid it away in a little drawer at home. No one, including the doctor who performed it, ever looked at it. They didn’t because we were expecting to take it to another doctor. It was hidden away and we never thought of again for many years.
So, again we are back to waiting. But, we felt okay because at least we are waiting for something. We had some friends way back then who were involved in the foster care program. They suggested that we look into that. It might be something that we would be interested in. We hoped that maybe, just maybe, we might be able to find a “hard to place” child in the foster care program and be able to adopt that way. We weren’t set on that it had to be a newborn infant. We just wanted a family. So, we signed up. We told our case worker at the beginning that we were interested in adoption. They said that was okay. The first thing we had to do was take these MAP classes. ( I don’t remember what that stands for) We took the classes –one or two each week—for several weeks. We came down to the very last class and we talked to the instructor (a different lady ) and told her that we were interested in adoption—maybe in “hard to place” child or a sibling group. She told us point blank…if adoption was our goal, then we were in the wrong place, that the foster care program was not designed to adopt out children but to find temporary homes for displaced children. The goal was to get the children back in their own homes. Which is great, but it would have been nice if they had told us that in the beginning. We thought about and prayed about it some and decided AGAINST foster care. Not because we didn’t feel it a worthy thing to do, but because we were afraid we just weren’t ready for that. Since we didn’t have any children of our own, we felt like we would be devastated when it was time for a foster child to move on. So, we reluctantly, passed on this as well. So, here are again…back to waiting. During all this time, we are still on the “list to be on the list” but nothing has happened…in a good while. During the process of the MAP classes we met another couple who were also interested in adoption. Together, we did a little research on international adoption. At the time, there were several people adopting children out of Romania. So, the four of us drove to Nashville to try and learn a little more about it. For us, it was very enlightening…and also, COMPLETELY out of our reach financially. It seemed like no matter which direction we looked there just weren’t any open doors. We just have to keep waiting on the agency. This was really our only option at the time.
***Now, since we are still in “waiting” mode, I felt like maybe now would be a good time to talk about some other issues that we were dealing with.
Feelings and Finances
First off, feelings. There’s a lot of talk these days about being “transparent”. I am not sure what I really think about all that. I don’t think it’s really our job as believers to be transparent so much as it for us to be a light to a lost and dying world. Instead of worrying being transparent, we should be more aware of how we represent our Lord. But, I am not sure how that I could describe how I felt during this time without “coming clean” how it really was at times. To try and put into words, years of feelings and frustrations, is very hard to do. How can you ever convey to someone how alone you can feel when your arms are empty? How can you ever explain how sad you feel EVERY SINGLE DAY, missing the life you’ve always dreamed of? There’s really no adequate way to describe how truly empty and alone you feel. Yes, you have a wonderful mate, one that you really feel the Lord blessed you with, but together you still feel sadness that this may be all that you ever have. And you try, so hard, to not let everyone see how you hurt inside. And the holidays are the hardest. On Christmas morning, there’s no toys or pitter patter of little feet running down the hall to wake you way too early. Somehow Christmas was harder than any other time, even Mother’s Day. And Mother’s Day was hard too. There were many, MANY times on Mother’s Day when I just wanted to stay home and not go to church. I didn’t want to take away the honor that we bestow upon mother’s on that special day. But, for the one who hasn’t been blessed with a precious little one yet, it is a painful reminder of what they are missing. ~~Just a thought, next Mother’s Day, how about sending a card to someone you know who hasn’t been blessed yet? ~~ . And the things that you have to put up with! You would never believe some of the ridiculous, insensitive, hurtful things that people say! Things like, “you don’t know how lucky you are to not have kids”. And you have to stand there with a smile on your face and take it. These are just a few of the things that you would have seen if you could have looked into my heart. And of course, all this goes on and on, for years and years, every holiday the same.
As for the finances, you have to remember, these were different days. We didn’t have access back then to same things we do today. I know of a few couples today who are adopting or planning medical procedures. Today, with access to internet, one can raise money in so many ways. Technology has changed the way we do things today. I am so happy for the people we know who are facing these things today, that it's not as difficult as it was back then. Today, there are options. We have much, MUCH more access to WAY more people because we can share with friends, they can share with their friends, and so on. Praise the Lord for this technology and the ability to reach out.But, back then, you could only do so much. My husband had a pretty good job and pretty good insurance. But all we had to spend was what he made. And we didn’t really have to way to raise the funds to do anything else. We could only spend what we had access to. So for us at that time, expensive adoptions (like international) and expensive medical procedures (like IVF) were not possible.
Back to where we were…waiting. We waited many long days, weeks, months, and even years. But finally, one day the call we were waiting for came. We could finally get started with our home study. What a relief!