Through the Valley of Miscarriage & Infertility to the Mountain of Special Needs Adoption, Part 1
My journey into the world of special needs parenting has been a tough one. If you are reading this post, I know you can relate.
We adopted our now 5 year-old son at birth back in December of 2013. Almost one year prior to carrying our newborn little man out of the hospital, we had left a different hospital in our home town with empty arms and broken hearts.
In December of 2012 my husband and I joyfully entered my OBGYN’s office with eager anticipation to find out the sex of our third child. Within an hour’s time our world came crashing down as I was whisked to the labor and delivery floor of the hospital to deliver my baby. According to her measurements, her heart had stopped just 24 hours earlier.
My life would NEVER be the same.
Once in my hospital bed, I pleaded with my doctor to perform one last ultrasound as I had to be sure. I still believed that this was just horrible error on the part of the ultrasound technician. Surely, my baby girl was still alive. I had felt her kicking just the night before. There had to be some mistake.
My doctor graciously and lovingly complied with my request to reassure me that there was nothing that could be done to bring her back. Of course, she was right. It was not a dream, but it was a nightmare.
I was soon given medicine to induce delivery. Time stood still. It was as though every ounce of oxygen had been removed from the room and at the time, my life. My precious hubby and I waited in that room for almost 48 hours before I delivered her lifeless body into the world. The shock of seeing and holding her was too much to process.
My Ryan Adeline was not coming home to live an earthly life with the girls, Ian and I. She had already left for her forever home to be with God.
I spent the next six months in a state of deep grief.
It took all of my energy just to function at a basic level. We had two little girls, ages 7 and 4 at the time, who I had to care for. I ceased all of my outside activities in order to preserve whatever mental and emotional energy I had in me in order to love and care for my family.
I woke up every morning, descended the stairway, made a cup of coffee and curl up in the worn-in corner of my couch. That was my quiet time place. My quiet time spot-on-the-couch was my place to meet with the Lord. Every morning for six months, I would “journal pray” to the Lord for hours. I would pour out my heart to the Lord asking all of the hard questions…
“What did I do to cause this?”
I poured out the pain to Him repeating over and over again,
“It hurts. It hurts. It hurts.”
Each morning, I would beg Him to kiss my Ryan Adeline’s sweet baby cheeks for me.
The amount of times that I pleaded with Him for our next child is too great to count. I remember specifically writing these three words as a caveat as I prayed and prayed for our next child: “FROM MY BODY”.
“Lord, please prepare our home for our third child FROM MY BODY.”
Little did I know that He was preparing me for the adoption of our son. Before I was able to receive the concept of adoption, however, we lost three more pregnancies and three more babies.
Any woman who has struggled with infertility knows the myriad of confusing and painful emotions that come with losing a child.
My precious cousin who just recently experienced this trauma herself described it as entering into a tribe of women who have gone before her and suffered the depth of pain that only the death of one’s unborn child brings.
This tribe of women know, however, that with deep pain comes the opportunity for incredible growth and an even greater longing for life. Each of these women know that the cavern of excruciating anguish inside her soul can lead to an immense strength and an even greater passion to fight for her family. What that strength and passion looks like is different for each woman.
Often times, as I experienced, she and her hubby will continue to try for that viable pregnancy. Some are able to be successful and deliver a healthy baby. Some precious ladies pee-on-a-stick over and over again only to stare at that dreaded “Not Pregnant” symbol. Some of us ride the additional roller coaster that I know all too well. She rides the high of a “Pregnant” symbol only to plummet when she begins bleeding a week or two later.
It often is the latter that leads some couples to adoption. That was the case in our situation.
After about 9 months of “trying” and miscarrying, my husband and I opened our eyes to the fact that God had another plan to grow our family. Apparently, He whispered that to me much earlier in the grief process but I hadn’t noticed until then.
“FROM. MY. BODY.”
Now that I think about it, I think He was loud and clear. Our third child was going to enter our family through ADOPTION.
“God decided in advance to ADOPT us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.” -Ephesians 1:5
What about you, Friend? Does your journey on the road of raising a Special Needs child include adoption or infertility? Would love to hear some of your story. Comment below.