So, I know it has been awhile since I last wrote. I probably write that every time, but I decided long ago, that although ultimately this blog is for my children, my children also come before my blog. With school year wrapping up it has been a busy last few months. We are just entering into summer break time where I am looking forward to spending time with my children not as a teacher or as school bus driver, but just as mom who wants to have fun this summer.
Tonight, I am just sitting down to fix up a light dinner (aka a bowl of cereal that sounded so yummy!) and I feel a slight nudge... "time to start writing Mallory and Lena's story."
Oh but my cereal! Really? And I hear it again, "It's time Kari."
So I laid my cereal aside, because I find the best time to write is when God lays it on my heart. So that is what I am going to do. Let's see... where to jump in...
The summer of 2008. Nick had worked for Intel 8 years. Every seven years Intel gives their employees an 8 week sabbatical on top of their vacation. We delayed ours one year, because we wanted Ava to be past a year old, and not doing the bottle thing when it was time to take it.
In August, we started his sabbatical time up with a trip to the beach with my parents, my sister, Nick's sister and her son Daniel, and our two children. We enjoyed nights watching the 2008 summer Olympics at that house. I am a little excited for this summer! I LOVE the Olympics. :)
We also took a trip to Disneyland and met Sam & Joy and their kids down there, as well as a trip to Denver, just Nick and I. We did a trip to Sunriver with the rest of his vacation, in December. They were all really great ways to spend his sabbatical. And now looking back at the last four years, I am really glad we did that, because I had no idea those would be some of the last vacation trips I would be experiencing for a few years. For being someone that loves to travel, I am really glad we got those opportunities to do that.
We also talked during that sabbatical time. Shortly after Ava was born, Intel changed their benefits. They started offering adoption benefits, something we had petitioned for the last few years prior. They also started offering infertility benefits. Something that we didn't have when we tried to get pregnant the first time around. As Ava was approaching a year and a half during that time, we started to seriously consider our options.
After two adoptions that were open with the birth parents, I didn't feel that infant domestic adoption was something we should pursue again. Openness is a responsibility, a commitment, and I felt that adding another open situation for our family would maybe be a bit bigger of a commitment than what I would be prepared to handle. We prayed and we didn't really feel a strong calling to international adoption either.
See, in my heart, there was an unspoken dream that would not go away. I remember talking to another adoptive mom about it, about my desire to still experience pregnancy first hand. She said that she didn't have that desire, and she was very content with the children she had. I remember Ava's birth parents Zac & Lacey sharing in the hospital with me how they talked about that I might never get to experience what it would be like to carry a life inside of me and give birth, and their sensitivity towards me in their thoughts about that as they prepared to give Ava to us. I deep down longed and ached to understand what most of my other friends that were moms had experienced. I also wanted to understand deeper what it took for my children's birth moms to be able to have the courage to do what they did when they released their babies into me and Nick's arms. I wanted to know how to pray for other women in a deeper way when they longed for a child, or pray for them through their pregnancies.
But my heart had surrendered that dream long ago. It had grieved the loss of not carrying a child inside of me. Not wearing the maternity clothes. Not feeling a fluttering feeling inside of me, or a kick or seeing an ultrasound, or taking a test that actually would be positive. To not be able to be pregnant with my friends... that was a huge dream I had to let go of. But now I was content. I knew the reality that came after giving birth. Raising children is not an easy task, and it takes hard work and time and learning self sacrifice on whole new levels.
So Nick and I talked during his sabbatical. We talked about our options. We even considered embryo adoption. But then we wondered if our insurance would cover the costs involved there prior to pregnancy, or if you could count it as an adoption with the Intel adoption credit. We never looked into those possibilities. Because through our talking and praying, God laid on our heart, to look into infertility treatment one last time. This time, Nick researched out on the computer all the different doctors out there, and what people had to say about them. It was important to us that we find a doctor that could explain to us what our best options were, and also respect the moral sides that we believe to be critical in all infertility treatment.
He led us to Dr. Hesla at Oregon Reproductive Medicine. We scheduled an appointment to meet, on the last week of Nick's sabbatical. I started to get excited at the possibility. I felt amazingly peaceful as well. I know that this time around all pressure was off. I had my family. I was content with where things were. I knew that no matter what the outcome of all of this, I would be okay. God had proven Himself faithful through times of grieving and times of joy and times of blessing, and I was SO blessed. I can't explain it. It just was a peace from the Lord that surpassed all comprehension and guarded my heart and my mind.
We met with Dr. Hesla in October. He had already reviewed our history from our prior experiences. We found him to be a good listener, a thorough explainer, and respectful of everything Nick and I felt important. We left the appointment with this news.
Because of my endometriosis, and my issues with my body rejecting Nick and killing him off, our doctor felt our best chance was to go straight to invitro. I had just turned 30 in September, and based on my age and my medical history, he gave me a 75% success rate to achieving pregnancy through invitro. I didn't know what to think of that, because their still was a 25% statistic that it would not work. And ultimately I know Who is in charge of that, so I didn't place my confidence in that, although it was an encouraging word.
He also said that he would want to place me on a medication that would stop my periods for three months. The purpose there, is that endometriosis thrives on my monthly cycle, so it is like putting it into to remission for that time, to help my body as it prepared to start the next phase of treatments.
We left our appointment with all the information he gave us, and we prayed.
Finding peace from God, we made the decision to quietly decide to try one more time, to go forward with Dr. Hesla and see what would happen. I say quietly, because we didn't tell very many people. Just a few of our friends and our family, that we asked to be praying for us as we started everything. I remember even being in awe of the peace God gave me about having to do the shot process for the endometriosis, instead of just jumping right into invitro the next month which I had deep down hoped to do. I had to remind myself of the truth that God had shown me from adoption. He already had Josiah and Ava chosen for our family from the beginning. And if He had anymore children for us, it would be worth the wait to follow the direction and wisdom from the doctor and not push, but trust and see who else God might have chosen for us. So again that unexplainable peace filled my heart and we waited and I began treatment for suppressing my period.
I remember walking downtown Portland with Nick as we talked through things, we asked ourselves this question. 10 years down the road from now, would we regret that we didn't take the opportunity to try one more time. And the answer was "yes."
God knew my unspoken dream laid to rest years back and He was beginning to work. And I was privileged enough to be able to witness to what He was going to do. No matter what.