The story of how Allie came into our lives…
Cory and I met and fell head over heels for each other about 2 seconds later. We began dating and less than a year later, on November 27, 2004, we were married. It was fast, but like many people say when you know you know!
We began trying to get pregnant in April of 2005. Our plan was to have 3-4 biological children (although it was known that I wanted 8 children…no lie!) and then we would adopt. I had always wanted to adopt at least one child. Cory knew that and early on it became something he also wanted to do…someday…
At the end of my first year teaching, an amazingly talented and beautiful person walked into my life. This young woman and I were asked to teach preschool together the following year. We met and within a few hours we began talking about our families. At this time Cory and I were just beginning the infertility process while Kari and her husband had been through the domestic adoption process three times (two successful and one little boy was with them for 5 days before the birthmom changed her mind) with Children’s Home Society and Family Services. I truly believe that Kari was placed in my life to guide me through the hurdles Cory and I were about to face.
In August 2006, we began seeing an OBGYN to see if some basic fertility testing/medicines could help us to conceive. Each month was a roller coaster of emotions. We went from the highest of highs, when we were certain that I was pregnant, to the lowest of lows, when we came to the realization that this month was not the miraculous month for us.
By the end of 2006, I was seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist due to my bicorniate uterus and PCOS. By this point I felt as though my body had failed me. I was put on this earth to have babies and I couldn’t even do that. How could Cory love me when I couldn’t even give him a child? I saw how much he was hurting and it was because of me, because I was broken. I began to wonder if he had known about my “problems” before we had gotten married, would he have still married me?!
I was in such a dark place. It was a place where I would never want to be again and I would never wish that darkness on anyone. I felt so alone…and Cory didn’t know how to reach me…I finally began leaning on God and Cory and slowly we emerged as a stronger and more faithful couple.
June of 2007 brought us to a place where we were undergoing our final IUI after 8 failed cycles. At this point we had to choose, either IVF or adoption. My heart was for adoption, Cory still needed time. I prayed harder than I had ever prayed before and a few weeks later Cory attended a wedding of one of his college classmates. It was at that wedding where he met a little 2 1/2 year old girl who was adopted and he melted. It was then that Cory decided it was time to begin the adoption process.
Little did we know that our little Allie would be born 9 months later!
In August of 2007, we attended the first of many visits to the cities to begin our first adoption process. During this time we were introduced to all of the different adoption choices that we had. At that time, two programs stood out to us as good options…domestic and Ethiopian. In the end we decided to do a domestic adoption because we wanted to experience having an infant.
Over the next 4-5 months we jumped through every hoop, completed mounds of paperwork, and created a birth parent profile for birth parents to look at when they are choosing families.
On January 8, 2008 we officially entered the waiting families book that birth parents looked through to choose who was going to parent their child. A few weeks into the wait I was really struggling and was praying to God that somehow I just needed a sign that domestic adoption was right for us and that someday we would be parents. It was four days later when the phone rang and we were told about a little boy that was born just four days earlier (the night that I was begging God for a sign)!
We met Nezarah 3 days later and we believed that Adam was going to be our son. Nezarah was insistent that in her culture there were NO unwed mothers and NO biracial children. She was certain that Adam and her would be shunned from their friends and family if she were to try to raise him. I can remember promising her that we would keep their culture alive in his life and how she really seemed to like us. Walking out that night, we hoped and prayed that this little boy we were going to name Isaiah would be coming home with us soon. Nezarah went to the foster home that night with her social worker and told Adam all about us and how wonderful we were. When we heard that, we were certain that this little boy was going to be ours. Nezarah wanted to come to our home and see where Adam was going to live. The appointment was made for one week later…they never came. The night before they were to arrive, the social worker called and said that Nezarah had changed her mind and had decided to parent Adam. We were devastated, but at the same time I knew that God had something planned.
When we thought Nezarah was coming to see where Adam would grow up, we decided that we wanted to have his room somewhat done for her. So we spent the next week preparing Adam’s room. We put up the changing table, painted his dresser, bought baby things galore, and even purchased the crib. Ironically, the night we found out that Nezarah had changed her mind was the night that the crib arrived. We decided to still put the crib together and for some reason, it seemed to help us to see that even though Isaiah would never be we would have a baby someday.
Weeks went on and we prayed so hard not only for our future child, but also for our child’s birth parents. What’s difficult when you adopt is that you don’t know what to pray for. If you pray for a child to raise, you know that someone is going to have to go though immense pain in order for that dream to become a reality. It’s hard, so we just prayed for strength for everyone involved.
During this time, God had something amazing unraveling. There was a young woman who was 8 months pregnant who had made the difficult decision to make an adoption plan for her unborn baby. She choose a family for her baby, however due to circumstances in their lives they didn’t feel that this baby was right for them. This young woman and her social worker (“B”) were struggling with the news. Later “T” said that she felt like this baby was such a gift and someone saying no to him/her was tough. The next afternoon “B” was in her office and in comes Nezarah’s social worker who heard about this birth mom and thought that she knew the perfect family for the baby. She told “B” that she really fell in love with this young couple who wanted desperately to become parents and thought that “T” should look at there profile. She did…that profile was ours…and the next day we received a phone call that would forever change our lives.
When I received the call about Allie, I was in shock. Only 6 weeks prior our first adoption had fallen through and we were both so scared to get our hopes up. We waited 11 days before we headed to the cities on Easter Sunday. The next day we met “T” and we were smitten by her. She was tall…over 6 ft (keep in mind that I’m just a little over 5 ft tall) tall, had the most beautiful eyes, was very articulate, and had a great sense of humor. “T” had told us when she met us that she wanted us to have the closest thing to a “real hospital experience as possible.” What an amazing person she is!!! She tried very hard to make an uncomfortable meeting a little less uncomfortable, as did “B” her social worker. It was hard though. You are sitting there, talking to the person that could potentially change your life forever…what do you say to that person? What do you say to someone that’s giving you the one thing that you have been fighting for for so long? How can you even begin to thank someone who is doing probably the most selfless thing anyone can do? How do you even put into words how much having a child means to you?
Two days later, “T” was induced and she called us an hour or so into the labor. We went to the hospital and waited all day and one of the nurses would come out every few hours to tell us about the labor.
At 10:12 p.m. on March 26, 2008, Allie Grace was born. A nurse walked out to the waiting room and asked us if we were here for the “E…” baby. We said yes and were quickly whisked back to the labor & delivery area. We were placed right outside a room where the door was cracked open and a baby was crying. At this point, I think I was so in shock and wasn’t really comprehending everything that was happening. “T’s” nurse came out and asked if we knew what it was yet and we said no. She told us that it was a girl and I lost it. I wasn’t able to control my emotions…I was a mess and before I knew it they brought this little girl out and gave her to me. I was able to walk her all the way to the nursery and even go in with her. What an amazing experience to be able to be right there with Allie from about 3-4 minutes after she was born!
Since the time of Allie’s birth, we’ve experienced some of the greatest joys possible. There is nothing better than the first time your child smiles at you, says his/her prayers, gives you an unsolicited kiss or says “mommy I love you more than pancakes!”
The road to our children hasn’t always been easy, however I wouldn’t change them for the world! God has graced our family with an overabundance of strength, love, and support and for that we are so grateful. Isn’t He wonderful?!?!