Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Next Chapter

Deep exhale. Classes are done, house guests gone, dishwasher installed. I can finally hear my thoughts. This may be a disjointed, rabbit-trail mess, but I have a lot on my mind and it starts with an admission.

Twice a day I feel a rush of adrenaline. My hands get sweaty, my heart races. I hold my breath, squeeze my eyes, and... my email.

Crazy, right? Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I think/hope/pray that someone will contact me and ask us to parent her baby. I get many bloggy emails a day and I quickly scan every one to set the tone before I settle in for a hard read. I know it's crazy. But, I can't help it. In the last several months I have been contacted three times by a friend of a friend of a friend that wants to know if we'd parent again.

Nothing ever comes from such emails, but my heart has formed frantic habits.

I'm frustrated by what I feel because it reflects a narrow mind. I don't want to be the girl that cookie-cuts God based on past experiences. But it's difficult. It's difficult to trust God in this area of my life. And it shouldn't be. Not after what I've seen.

I've recently come to realize that the emotions I attach to infertility may never go away. I am over having babies and I don't care about the belly or boob-feeding, but I hate the lack of control. Ben and I are ready to parent again. Right now. I want to be able to make that happen. Whether it's via this country or another country; a newborn or a toddler. I want to plan and "try" and breathe easy for once.

When a girlfriend tells me she's pregnant or trying to get pregnant, I want to rejoice. I want to kill the grumble in my throat and tell it to be happy. But, how can I feel differently? I know my issues are rooted in jealousy, resentment, and bitterness. And I hate it. I don't want to be this person. I don't want to be critical and cynical. But how do I help it?

I feel so two-faced.

All of me loves adoption and knows my place in it. Why can't I just find contentment in God's plan and timing and forget about all the fertile myrtles around me? It doesn't concern me or God's plan for my life.

My desire to make a baby is zero. I love the path we're on. I just wish it was less work.

God has been stirring my heart toward foster care for some time, but thoughts of walking back into the hoop-jumping circus exhaust me.

I cannot, however, ignore the stirs (that are beginning to feel like pushes). I requested information on adopting waiting children through foster care, last week. I know God will continue to hand-pick our family, but man is it scary. The process seems overwhelming and brings more questions than I have answers...

I remind myself that I felt the same way after our first agency meeting. Domestic adoption was unnerving, too. Open adoption terrifying.

And look what God did.

I don't know. I'm feeling so much. Sometimes I'm okay with not adopting a newborn again, but then get sad about giving up all that comes with it...

Then I look through the profiles of waiting kids, read their pleas for a family and know my heart is needed...

This will not be easy.

Having a mother choose her baby's family seems far more natural than a family choosing their child. It doesn't seem right. It's not right. No child should be made to feel like a puppy in a pet store window. I could barely make it through a handful of profiles without weeping.

I don't know what comes next.

I do know that we want Ty to have a brother. Or three or four. A sister, too.

Planning may not be possible, but praying is. So, tonight I'm praying. Praying that God will show us his way...and remove the ugly from my heart.


  1. As an adoptive mother that has been in same situation as you and feeling the same feelings as you, I would encourage you to just focus on enjoying your son and let God be in control. I know it is hard but you won't get this time back. God already knows who your children are and where they will come from. There are 4 years between our adopted children. I wish I had not spent so much time trying to figure it all out & just enjoyed my son more while God worked his wonders. Good luck to you:)

  2. This is what all of my posts have revolved around lately. I know exactly where you're coming from. It's frustrating because you feel like you're sitting on your hands, doing nothing while your heart YEARNS for more children to love. I'm so with you on this.

  3. I could have written this post myself. I can so relate to your feelings and fears. It's not the same, of course, because I have given birth to a baby. But the scary feelings that come with the foster care system? With ya on that one. (BTW, it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be). I too know that I should be content and enjoy the children I have. I am a parent! A mom! That was my biggest goal! And it's wonderful. But even so, I still feel that same sting... Infertility really sucks. It takes so much from us and it's like it never goes away. I read an article the other day about a woman that could never have children. She finally came to terms and found a way to survive. Only to have it kick her in the teeth again when her friends started getting grandbabies. Just because we have been given a miracle doesn't mean that our longing for more dies. And it doesn't make us bad people or ungrateful for what we have. Thank you for sharing your pain. It will speak volumes to many already has to me.

  4. Oh, Rebekah. I am so with you. I have the ugly heart syndrome myself. Pregnancy happens all around me and even though I'm okay with that never happening to me, I can't help but be bitter.

    I have also looked through the foster care "ads" and been moved to tears. Part of me longs for a newborn baby but the part just beside it knows there are other children who need love.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of these children were loved no matter what?

    My heart breaks for them.

    Hopefully we can both remove the ugly part of our hearts and take that burden off of ourselves.

  5. BEAUTIFUL! I hold my 2nd child (5 weeks old) through open adoption right now in my arms . . . we too were at that place . . . we didn't know what God had planned but he knew what our family was to be . . . and here we are . . . after many nights of tears, fear, and feeling out of control . . . in God's will.

    You to will get there, keep the faith and we will be praying for you!

  6. I know exactly how you feel! We just finished watching "The Blind Side" and at the very end while I had my two 3 year old adopted children sitting on my lap and my husband was holding one of the 4 1/2 month old twins we are fostering I could not control my tears. They just came and I wept, a hard body shaking kind of weeping that only comes when your heart and your head colide and cannot agree! My husband and I have from the very beginning desired a large family, and when infertility struck us I thought that dream to be gone. Several failed adoptions and I really thought we were finished...until God literally dropped our Princess in our laps 22 hours after she was born! The agency considered her 'hard to place' because there was less than a day from the time her birthmom contracted with them to the time she was born, also because of her race (very sad, but true.) Much to our shock God literally dropped our son into our laps just three months later as a foster son...who as stayed with us forEVER. His adoption was a tough road, but it was his journey God had intended for him and us to go through together. My husband and I desire to adopt again (and maybe again and again.) We would love to be the twin girls' forever family if that is what God has in store, but we do not know that...they have only been with us a month and we still know nothing about why they and their five other siblings were removed from their parents home. Such is working with the state! But we know it is Gods path and we will love on them as long as He allows us too! Keep your faith, and God already has your children hand picked just for you...maybe not today, maybe not this year, but He does know the plans He has for you!

  7. You really have to trust in God. My words of encouragement come with the three children we thought we would never have. Be patient--after all, our third came to us after being in "the book" for a mere 6 weeks. Ummmmm. . . . we were thinking we would wait for a year or two or more with two children already. We had one match meeting where momma decided to parent. It was a little disappointing, but then a month later, we knew it was for a reason when Nay Nay came to our family. I know your want, your desire, your passion to parent. Breath deep, trust in God, listen to Him and pray for guidance. Let Him work for you by following His heart. Pray pray pray pray pray pray pray! May God bless all your journeys!

  8. (((hugs)))

    I could have written most of this post myself.

    Everytime a friend tells me that they are pregnant or that a mutual acquaitance of ours is pregnant, I secretly hope that they are telling me this because they want me to adopt the baby. I'm happy for them, but disappointed for me. :/

    My heart is constantly being tugged at adopting from foster care as well, but my husband is just not there yet. We got good news about his sperm count so now he's back to hoping we will get pregnant "accidentally" which puts any talks of foster care way on the backburner for him. I'd much rather pursue foster care now and let the chips fall where they may.

    Time will tell...

  9. I can completely understand where you are emotionally. I love it when adoption emails come through, and I wish my phone would ring. I have zero desire to be pregnant, but I want to be a mom. Waiting and trusting sure is hard.

  10. OH you have me crying over here. Ive never been in your shoes as far as infertility, but yet I feel your pain, or some of it anyway. I think your feelings are perfectly natural. I had the same feelings after I had Chelsea, and then again after I had Victoria. I yearned for another child. Although our means of getting children might be different, the feelings are yet the same. I think God has put the desire for another child in your heart on purpose and I see nothing wrong with how you are feeling. Its a natural progression. I cant wait to see what God will do!

    Much love,

  11. Starting a family is so difficult. Well, especially difficult for people like us who have difficulty getting pregnant. There is so much to think about, and everything is such a process.

    I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you on this journey. I hope and pray you have the peace and understanding through the difficult process of adding children to your family.

  12. Are you open to any race? There is a HUGE domestic need for families willing to adopt babies that are black or biracial. I have a list of agencies that are looking for families.. if you want it, let me know!

  13. Congratulations on your classes being done!

    I understand starting to think about adopting again. We are, too. We know it will be a while before we can start the process again, but we've been talking about it. I feel the same way - that I want our daughter to have a sibling or siblings. I think you're right -- it's hard to plan when you're not quite sure what the plan is just yet. I think you and your husband will figure it out as you go -- Ty found you, and so will your other child/children. Big hugs.

  14. Oh how I used to hate when people would tell me what I'm about to say...and yet here I go...

    God has a plan for your family...His plan, His'll be beautiful and perfect. (Okay, I know you already know that and what you're experiencing is "this lack of control and lack of knowing how/when really sucks".)

    After each of our adoptions I was always able to see why our wait was what it was. If the wait had been different (read: shorter) we would not have been blessed with the specific child we were. At those times I was able to say to myself, "See He really does know what He's doing so next time don't stress and fret the wait and the uncertainty." That self-advise always worked great...until I was ready to move forward again.

    I agree with what anonymous said about focusing on enjoying Ty. (Which I know you're already doing.) I too wish I had not spent so much time trying to figure it out and more time just enjoying the present. Stay strong and keep the faith. God's perfect plan...God's perfect WILL happen.

  15. i'm praying for that too. so much of what you said is true in my life too.
    its so hard to give up control.

  16. I have been right where you are now for months now. I long for S to be a big sister, or a little one we're okay with that too. And like you we've had 7 calls/emails/conversations with friends of a friend about situations. So far none have worked out, but we're still hoping. We know that it will happen in God's timing, but we are really praying that He hurries up ;) Sending (((hugs))) your way today as we both wait for our next little one to love.

  17. What a beautiful post. I truly admire and appreciate your sincerity and honesty. I too sometimes wonder if that pang of anger, jealousy and hatred I feel when I see a pregnant woman or a beautiful family will ever go away.

    The truth is, feeling those awful, ugly emotions are something we cannot control. I have come to realize that God has dealt us this hand for a reason--He has sent us on this path and this journey for reasons I cannot explain.

    Infertility is awful, there's no getting around that. But, I now realize that I have a choice in how I approach this terrible situation.

    The other day, a friend was marveling at how "OK" I seemed to be with the fact that my husband and I will likely never have a biological child without major medical intervention. It made me laugh, because deep down I know I will never be "OK" with this. What I do know is that each and every day I make a conscious choice. I only have two options: 1. Be completely miserable, unhappy and angry OR 2. Accept God's plan, try to make sense of the situation and learn to accept my reality. I have to choose and re-choose many times, but I know that is my choice.

    Your blog is beautiful and inspirational and I encourage you to keep it up. You truly inspire people like me who are battling infertility and seriously considering hopping off the emotional IF-related treatment rollercoaster and adopt instead.

  18. I confess that I am struggling with this right now. Pregnancy announcements and baby showers are everywhere and my womb is still empty with what seems like a dead-end. I don't know where God is taking us but this is so hard for me. It doesn't make sense and seems so unfair but deep down I know that I'm supposed to believe that God is sovereign and his plan perfect for us but I would be lying if I said I always believed that.

    I will be praying for you, Rebekah. May the Lord give you His peace during this wait. Will you pray for me, too?

  19. Sometimes it is just knowing that you can't do something in your own timing that makes you want it all the more. Satan works that way and he'd do ANYTHING to take us from focusing on where God is leading us. I know these feelings all too well, the jealousy the resentment. It often amazes me that such deep rooted emotions cannot be treated once and forgotten... instead they stay there, just under the surface, waiting for the "band aid" to be ripped off so they can start churning and burning all over again. Overcoming struggles in life is so often not just a one-time-fix... it is a daily struggle. I pray God will cover you with peace and strength from the Spirit to keep your mind open and clear for the path He is working in your life. You are amazing!

  20. I had felt the same way. Zero desire to make a baby. I didn't think I ever could and then in the middle of my resentment, jealousy and bitterness I found myself staring in the ultrasound screen where a 30 week old lil' man was opening and closing his little mouth and moving around! A miracle! A gift from God! I was doubting Thomas and God remained faitful to me even when I had lost my faith in Him. He gave me an incredible gift when I barely gave him the time of day. Now,I carry a living testimony inside my body. Feeling the jealousy, resentment and bitterness towards others while I waited for a baby...I now wonder how folks feel towards me. I don't doubt their sincere wishes but in their heart of hearts...I wonder becasue I had such a hard time TRUELY being happy for others.

  21. I love you girls all so much! It's so nice to be surrounded by knowing friends.

  22. When we first brought R home, I thought I was completely finished with the pain of IF. Silly silly me. We aren't "ready" for number 2 yet. There are a number of stars that I want to align (or at least get close... one of them being another few months of time passing). BUT we are thinking about it and just those thoughts cause the jealousy monster to reer it's ugly head. ALthough I will say, that it isn't NEARLY as bad as it was pre-R.

    I'm there with you, sister! There kind of things are just a part of it all... but I DO feel like I am a better Mama than I, personally would have been without having to work this hard.

  23. Maybe you should atleast wait until your baby is not a baby anymore before you start looking for more babies. He deserves atleast one year with both parents.

    Also, I wonder why if you work full time are you looking into fostering to adopt. You know you would have to quit your job and stay home. Those kids have way too many breaks in attachment in their little lives to be shuttled to daycare.

  24. Well, I might be the odd man out on this one. :)

    I don't comment often (here or anywhere, LOL), but I just had to say that first of all, I DO understand where you are coming from with wishing it were all so "simple" as those families who do not struggle w/ infertility. I am soooo 100% there with you!

    And I get that you're a pretty widely known blog, and that word of mouth is a powerful thing, and I get that you aren't "soliciting" these moms who contact you in any way. Just for the record, I do know that. :)

    I guess my hang-up is -- and maybe you can clarify -- I cannot even begin to put myself mentally/emotionally in a place of "hoping" or "praying" for a mom to reach out to us in that way. I don't know. If I had to choose our #1 reason for not having jumped into the process again, it would be the placement experience. HANDS DOWN. I just don't know if I'm emotionally capable of doing it again, you know?

    Don't really know where I'm going w/ this comment, but I do know my floors need to be mopped, so I guess I'll land this plane and sign off. :)

  25. hmmmmm, i think i have been here before.

    love you bekah. can't wait to see what HE does.

    and you KNOW i am excited about it! :)

  26. Praying that God gives you a sense of peace & blesses you with an answer regarding your concerns.

  27. Praying along with you for the next chapter in your life. Can't wait to see what God has in store for you guys.

  28. we are in the same boat.....homestudy is complete but instead of working with an agency this time, it has to be word of mouth....i agree that it is so difficult not be able to plan your family within your own timeline....that it is left in the hands of others looking for you....i'm trying to completely let go and have faith that if there is another little soul meant for our family that he/she will find is so difficult though to completely "let go".....just wanted you to know you are not alone ~ i hope your next baby finds you soon.

  29. I'm praying for you and Ben and Ty and know that God is going to bless you with more children to love and bless these children with you and Ben as awesome parents.

    I love your heart, Rebekah. Even more, I love how you love the Lord and Ben and Ty. Your devotion is inspiring.

    I don't know how your future children will it as newborns through open adoption like with Ty, or as toddler/older children through foster care.

    I DO know that God has given you an unconditionally loving spirit that takes everyone (and anyone) into your heart, with open arms. I DO know that God has given you the ability to truly, without judgement, see the 'bigger picture' in adoption and this is shown through your relationship with Ty's biological family. I know that there are others in our world that share your ability, but as an adoptee, I have not encountered too many 'adoptive' parents that open their hearts like you have...because it is the BEST thing for their child.

    THAT is a gift. Truly.

    I love your heart, girl. xo

  30. The longing and knowledge that ones family is incomplete comes from God alone and irregardless of whether our current babies are babies, toddlers, or children. Our God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty, there is NOTHING He cannot do. He alone plans our days and not-a-one of us should judge a single other on her commitments of work or home. Thank God we don't have to make those kind of calls in one another's lives. And thank Him for beautiful families like the Rebekah's.

    I love you, Lizard.

  31. I always appreciate your posts because you are so honest, open, and real. Thanks for sharing all of the ins and outs of what you are feeling along this journey. Just wanted you to know I'll be praying as you continue to trust the Lord for those next steps to adding to your beautiful family!

  32. I have to admit my heart has had those "ugly" rumblings lately, also. I always wonder when my infertility will be behind me. And then I realize, it probably never will be fully behind me. And the lack of control over my life is hard to stomach. It's there for anyone, but some people are more easily able to keep their illusion of control:). Those of us with infertility have to face the loss of that illusion. Keep on keepin' on, sister! I LOVE your blog, but you know that:).

  33. As I was filling out the adoption application and answering questions about me and my husband I had this overwhelming feeling of being inadequete. Answering the question describing my emotional health made me a bit upset. Knowing that so many people having children never have to answer such personal questions to have a child. Being put on display in order to make our dream come true is something that the fertile community can never understand. The phrase "just adopt" is so hurtful.

  34. Congrats on finishing classes, whew!

    I hear you on much of this. It IS so frustrating that we can't exercise the same family planning that the FM women amongst us can.

    We're ready too, in a big way...but we just have to be patient and see what the future holds. Much easier said than done, even after the miracle of waiting for and finally welcoming our boys.

    I love this post, it speaks right to the core of how I've been feeling. I can't wait to see what's coming next for you and Ben, too!


  35. Hearing your cries and I know God hears them, too. I'll add this wish to my prayers for you.

  36. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers! I am sorry that you are having these struggles. All I can offer is my prayers and a reminder that God has plans that He will lead us on. It's not always the easiest to listen to Him but it's what we all should do. I know there have been times He's been telling me something and I've been too worried about something else to listen to him.

  37. The lack of control really is the worst part of adoption. I always said I would be ok with waiting as long as I knew when the end date was.

    I have one son through a private domestic adoption (placed at 6 months) and will also be going through foster care and will probably be starting the process early next year (assuming I can hold off my impatience long enough). You do not have to quit your job if you adopt foster kids. Some kids have attachment issues and some don't. And just because a child has attachment issues doesn't mean they can't go to day care. My son does have attachment issues that we are successfully working through even though he goes to day care. Does it make it a longer process? Yes, in my son's case I think it does. But that doesn't mean it's impossible.

    If foster care is where your heart is, then go in that direction. It is not for the faint of heart (I am a child welfare social worker myself) but then again, no adoption is.