In the midst of all of our struggles with adjusting to Texas, struggling at work, and missing family in Kansas City we were preparing to start a family. We had our plan all right. Wait a year to enjoy a bit of married life then start trying to get pregnant. Didn’t quite work out that way.
Jennifer got pregnant 4 months after we arrived in Texas but within weeks this was no longer good news. She miscarried and it hit her hard. At one point Jennifer questioned why I was so stoic and unemotional over the whole thing while she was inconsolable. I told her, quite matter of factly, “The way I look at it you didn’t lose a baby – you lost a pregnancy.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!
I actually said that. Even worse, I only said that because someone else had said that to my mom years ago – and it was her own baby she’d just lost!!! Unfortunately – that wasn’t the only time I was guilty of waiting for somebody to give me my opinion on a subject.
Pain Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
Unfortunately, one miscarriage became two and those were followed by an ectopic pregnancy. Jennifer stayed overnight in the hospital twice during this time and experienced the worst pain of her entire life. I’ve never felt more helpless than the night I took her to the ER for the 2nd time. All I could do was hold her hand and wait for the doctor to evaluate her, hoping he’d give her something strong enough to take the pain away quickly. Thank God that moment finally arrived.
The physical pain was gone but there were other wounds to tend to and they simply didn’t heal as easily.
As we were going through this ordeal we visited one of the top fertility specialists in Dallas. His solution was rather simple and unintentionally dispassionate. He felt it was Jennifer’s physical shape that was holding her back. That wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She would have much rather learned her reproductive system was the culprit.
Of course, after the ectopic, her reproductive system was to blame. With our chances of pregnancy drastically reduced, we decided adoption was the best route to parenthood for us.
Ready, Able but not so Willing
We got an adoption education quickly (well one of us did). We decided on domestic vs. foreign and we chose a facilitator in California (well one of us did). We paid our deposit, created a family profile to be shown to potential birthmothers, and waited for good news (well one of us did). And waited…and waited.
Looking back, I can tell you with complete candor that I was along for the ride. Jennifer took the lead, did the research, got the ball rolling and did most of the worrying as time passed with no situations to consider. In a way, I was content with the inactivity. I wasn’t sure I was ready to be an adoptive parent. My biggest struggle was wondering if I could bond with a child who wasn’t a product of my own DNA.
I also wasn’t so sure about the idea of dropping everything at a moment’s notice and heading to California, or wherever, to meet our child. I also didn’t like how much money it was going to cost from beginning to end. I was always concerned about our adoption budget and I’m sure we saw fewer situations come our way because of the limits I put into place.
While fertility issues were dominating our home life, my professional life had actually improved quite a bit since my arrival in Texas. I owe much of this to a mentor who unknowingly started leading me down a certain path…
Check out the previous chapter…
The story continues…