A Decision to Adopt

My husband changed jobs about a year after we moved to Austin and started working downtown. We both did, actually… it was about a 30 minute drive (when there was absolutely no traffic.. which was rare) to work for each of us every day from our apartment. So we made the decision to move a lot closer to downtown! It was the best decision ever.. we moved into a tiny apartment right next to the greenbelt and paid more for it than we ever could’ve imagined paying for something so small! We absolutely loved it, though. We decided that since baby things weren’t happening for us right now, we’d adopt a pup.

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She is adorable and loving and energetic… and she and I went on two walks every day up and down the hills of our neighborhood (looking back I was in friggin awesome shape!). She helped to heal up some of the emptiness we felt from being childless. The miscarriage had a huge impact on me emotionally and it was everything I could do not to dwell on it all of the time. One of my closest friends in Austin had gotten pregnant around the exact time I was pregnant.. it had been so fun to announce our pregnancies to each other one evening as we were watching the Bachelorette.. but then I lost mine. And she didn’t which I’m so grateful for.. but it also was extremely difficult to track what would’ve been my pregnancy progress through hers. I did a few more IUI procedures over the next year after the miscarriage. None of which were successful. I believe I was lucky enough to experience a total of six IUIs.

It was around this time, around May 2012 when we felt inspired to start the adoption process. We had always talked about adoption… that maybe we could have a couple bio kids and then adopt a little later on down the road. It’s interesting how the pathway of life allows you to move and change in ways you never imagined. Or forces you, in some cases. The option for IVF was there, of course, but it was so expensive and not a guarantee of success. I didn’t feel like I had any more fertility procedure strength within me anymore. When I thought long and hard about the option of adoption, I got super warm and fuzzy inside and it all just felt… right. We called up the contact at LDS Family Services which is who we chose to go through first (we planned on researching additional adoption services if we needed to once getting a home study done through them). On paper the adoption process doesn’t look super daunting. You have several things you need to get in order- medical files, application information including previous residences etc., letters of recommendation from friends… Realistically the process would take a while for us. Just as we were almost ready for our home study (where someone will come to our home, ask us questions face to face, do somewhat of an inspection, etc), my husband received a job opportunity back in Las Vegas. 😳 It was strange to try to imagine ourselves back in Las Vegas, but we did miss being so close to our families. Especially since some of our greatest heartache and trials had been while living in Austin.. but we also truly loved Austin!! Such a difficult decision to make. My husband had been career searching since coming to Texas, hoping that something he really wanted to do long term would come along.. but it never really did IN Texas. He had a couple great jobs that could have been careers, but I guess he was looking for something a little more fulfilling. This opportunity back in Las Vegas was just that. It would allow us to purchase a home, put down some roots.. so we decided it’s what we needed to do. Now, do we ever regret making that decision to move away from a city we love to come back to the desert? Yes, on occasion. It was a great adventure and it’s hard not to look back and wonder if we could’ve also made a wonderful life out there long term. Even now, almost 3 years later, we feel “homesick” for so many Texas things daily….. (can you say breakfast tacos??)

Because we planned on moving in September, we needed to put the adoption process on hold for a little while. We would be moving into my in-law’s basement for a couple months while we found a house and we didn’t want to have to do two separate home studies, make my in laws pay for background checks (because everyone in the house would have to get one done) and plus, we were hoping to purchase our first home after making a huge move back across the country, so finances were a little (a lot) tight. We found our home and closed on it December 2012. We were finally able to begin the process again here in Nevada! We were now working with a completely different caseworker (new state) and had to do several things all over again. My husband also had to move up to Northern Nevada for about 4 months come January for a police academy, so it was a bit of a stressful, weird time for us. The process moved along, though, and we met with our caseworker any time we needed to while my husband was in town and managed to get our home study done! We were anxious and ready to find our baby and knew that the matching process with adoption could take anywhere from 1-3 years from the time our profile was posted on the website! That’s a scary and daunting estimate when it’s already been 3+ years of infertility..

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In March 2013, our profile posted on LDSFS’ website. We had strategically written out our “letter to the birth parents”, chosen photos, tried to look super cool in the Q&A section and spread the word to every friend and family member we could think of. Our caseworker said that it was necessary to let everyone know that we were hoping to adopt.. that this could help lead us to the birth mother that could choose us as parents for her baby. We received so much support from everyone we spoke to about our situation and even had several people contact us with the hope that they had a family member that was pregnant and thinking about adoption. But none of those really panned out.. and we prayed that we would find our baby soon.

In June, just 3 months after posting our adoption profile, we received an email from a birth mom that was thinking about placing her baby for adoption. It was the first contact that we’d received and it was so incredibly exciting! She was due in December and asked lots of questions. She was beautiful and wise and seemed like such a kind person. My husband, being somewhat untrusting of placing our hearts in a possibly disappointing situation, seemed uneasy the evening after receiving the email. It’s true she said she hadn’t actually decided whether she was choosing adoption or not for her baby, but I still found some optimism in even being contacted! It was the first glimmer of hope we’d received in a long time. We continued to have some correspondence with her over the next couple days.. being cautious with our hearts and guarded hopes, just trying to get to know her. But then her emails stopped coming and our hearts definitely felt the pang of disappointment.

That same week we received the email from that potential birth mom, we were on our way to my sister’s house one evening. I was flipping through my emails on my phone when I came across one from LDSFS’ contact page again. It was from another expecting birth mom! Excitement bubbled in me as I read the email out loud to the husband.. she told us a little about her situation, said that she had loved our profile and hoped that we would consider adopting her baby! Chills shot up my arms and I started to get emotional. I then got to a section of the email where she said that there was an important thing we needed to know. That she was actually the sister and sister in law of some good friends of ours that we’d made while living in Texas. I looked at Jake and he grabbed my hand just as we pulled up to my sisters’ house. We were both shaking and re-read the email about 3 or 4 times before walking inside. The feeling we had come over us as we read her words was not something we expected. We hadn’t exactly felt it with the email we’d received just a few days earlier. The contrast of emotions was pretty significant. We should have been guarded right from the beginning.. that’s what you do with your heart, right?? But we were filled with the knowledge that everything works out in an unexpected, but beautiful way.. when we least expect it. The reason we moved to Texas on a whim without knowing a soul felt more calculated then ever..

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