My last few blog posts have been about what’s been going on more currently in our adoption process. It’s still pretty surreal that it’s actually all done. No more phone calls, home visits, attorney fees, emails, paperwork… she’s ours! But the end also makes me reflect on the beginning.
It’s hard really to say when this process began. The thing is, I think that God actually began preparing me for this long before Rylee was born, before I even met my husband, before having a child was a real thought or possibility. God has been preparing my heart for Rylee for quite some time now. So, the beginning could be when I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome in my teens and I first asked the doctor “does this mean I won’t be able to be pregnant?” It could be when I became passionate about the pro-life movement and the gift of adoption. It could be when we first spoke with Sarah, Rylee’s birth mom about this. It could have been the first time we held her, and when we left her, crying, Adam saying “yea, she’s ours.” Or, it could have been a completely normal night in February of 2015.
I don’t remember the date. Probably because there was nothing that stood out about this particular day. Adam and I had both gone to work. We had eaten dinner and were sitting on the couch watching TV together to unwind. We were talking about each other’s days and having casual conversation. Then, Adam said “Oh, by the way….” Words I’d expect to hear following “Oh, by the way…” are things like “did you remember to pick up coffee when you went to the store?” “Don’t forget, I have to work late tomorrow.” “We need to pay our cable bill.” You get the idea. What I didn’t expect were the words that followed – the words that forever changed our lives. Here’s about how the conversation went. Adam: “Oh, by the way, do you remember my cousin Sarah?” Me: “Yea, I met her a couple of times, why?” Adam: “Ann called me today. Apparently she had a baby in December and she’s in foster care. She thought of us because she knows that we’d like to adopt.” Me: “What? Honey, this isn’t an ‘oh, by the way’ kind of conversation!” And several questions, which neither of us knew the answer to, ensued. To really appreciate this conversation, you need to know Adam. Pretty much everything is an “oh, by the way” conversation to him. I love that about him. He’s very laid back and even-keeled. He tries not to take things too seriously. He didn’t get why I thought that this sort of conversation should have been brought up in a bit more serious way. Nevertheless, it took about a whole day before I was sure that this little girl (we didn’t even yet know her name) was ours. And thus the process began. It’d still be about two months before we’d ever see her for the first time, three before we’d hold her, nine before we’d bring her home, and thirty-one months before the adoption would finalize. But that first conversation, for us, marks the beginning of this process. We laugh about it now, but we had no idea at the time that our world was about to change so much.
God knew. See, there is something else that sticks out about that month – February of 2015. I mentioned that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is the leading cause of infertility in women. Typically, it’s pretty treatable, but Adam and I have struggled with infertility throughout our marriage. That month, I had seen my doctor and was about to start taking Clomid. I’d had some tests done and needed to go back in. Between the tests and the next visit, United Healthcare (my insurance provider) and Carolinas Healthcare System (one of the largest providers in NC) dropped their contracts. This meant that until – or if – they resolved the contract, no treatment by my provider, who was a doctor in the CHS system, would be covered. They assured us that it would work out and we’d be retroactively reimbursed. But something told me that this just wasn’t the time. I canceled my appointments with plans to either find another doctor or reschedule once everything was resolved. Neither of those ever happened, because it was only a couple of weeks later that we found out about Rylee and our focus shifted to adopting her. God has a plan – in the “No’s,” the “not right nows,” and the disappointments, the Lord is fighting for us, if we can just be still (Exodus 14:14).