Sitting here, my heart bursting with happiness and an overabundance of various emotions, I want share our story to grow our family. This was not an easy road to travel. It was filled with heartbreak after heartbreak. I still don't think it has really set in that I am a Mom. I want take a minute to pause photography talk and share our story to hopefully provide others in this situation a little hope. Many couples have struggled to grow their families. I want all of you to know you are not alone. Everyone's journey to start their family is different. And, with a lot of patience, it is all worth the hard times in the end.
Haris and I were married in 2014 and immediately started trying to get pregnant. We all know those biological clocks are ticking and I was concerned mine would begin to slowdown. After a year with no results, we decided it was time to get some tests done. Just to make sure everything was working properly. Long story short, there was a less than one percent chance we would conceive naturally.
Our next step was IVF. Four years of endless doctor visits, blood draws, ultrasounds, procedures and many restrictions, but we finally got a healthy embryo. A girl. We named her Lexi Ann. This was in September of 2018. I couldn't believe it had finally happened. A positive pregnancy test.
However, the thing about IVF is just one test isn't enough. They do three tests over a period of time to make sure your body's hormones are increasing. Test one was great, test two I was still pregnant, but the numbers had dropped. At test three I was no longer pregnant. My body had rejected our perfectly healthy baby girl with no explanation.
The next couple of months were rough. Not only was I mourning the loss of our child, but I was mourning the loss of never carrying a child. Still, we wanted a family. At the start of 2019 we began the adoption process. Adoption is not easy. There are a lot of hoops to jump through, a lot of tough choices, many, many interviews and then there is the price tag of course (not that IVF is cheap). On top of that, you are leaving the fate of your growing family to a stranger. Praying someone chooses you and follows through with their decision.
We completed all of the requirements by August and went active for adoption (meaning someone could choose us). On October 16, 2019 we received a call. A birth mom had picked us and we were going to get a baby girl. I was so excited. I immediately started shopping and preparing. She was due December 8th, so the wait was not long. Exactly two weeks later our adoption agency called with some concerns. There were a few red flags from the birth mother that made it a risky adoption, so we had to make a choice. After many tears, we decided to part ways and go back on the list. Once again, waiting to be picked.
The days dragged by with every passing day growing a little harder. The best thing to do while waiting is completely forget about it. Move on with your life and when your receive that call, then worry about it. Until then, there is absolutely nothing you can do.
On February 12, 2020 around 2:30 in the afternoon I was in downtown Geneva having a spa day with my sister-in-law in preparation for my big upcoming birthday. That's when I received our next call. A birth mom in Seattle had chosen us. This situation was much different than our first match. The birth mom was only 12 weeks pregnant and the birth father was involved as well. Typically birth moms are not encouraged to match that early because a lot can change emotionally once the birth mom finally feels the baby kick for the first time. However, our birth mom was positive that we were the people to raise her baby. So we took a leap of faith and matched.
For seven months we waited, staying positive that it would work out (which is not easy to do). We were lucky though. Looking back now, I am so grateful for that time we had to get to know our birth parents. Not only can we tell our son about them in the future, but we formed a friendship that has allowed us now to become something more, family.
Due to covid, we made the choice to drive our camper across country. We arrived a week early to spend time with our birth parents and their families while waiting for Hunter's arrival. It has been the most incredible experience. There is so much love for our birth parents and the strength they have to do this selfless choice. Hunter comes from an incredible family. We are so lucky to now call him ours.
Sitting here now, at 4am, listening to my baby sleep, I don't think I would have wanted our family to grow in any other way. This was our journey to become a family. He is the perfect baby for us. He was meant to be in our lives. Our birth parents were meant to be in our lives. The loss of never carrying a child of my own is gone. Instead there is love for this handsome guy in front of me. He is our child. Blood is just blood. Love is so much more.
For those struggling with their own journey I wish you lots of love, patience and strength. It is a roller coaster of emotions with more downs than ups, but so worth the journey in the end.