"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin

Our journey of living with infertility and trying to grow our family has been a great trial for both Jody and me personally and for our marriage; and yet with that, it has stretched us and allowed for tremendous growth spiritually.  Our path to becoming parents has come with many tender mercies from the Lord along the way that have allowed us to feel His deep love for us.  All gentle reminders that a loving Heavenly Father and Savior are mindful of our needs and are ultimately in charge of our lives.  They have a special plan for each and every one of us. The real test for us is to be patient and to trust that for every loss we experience in this life, there are compensating doors filled with rich blessings waiting to be opened just down the road in our journey of life.

Soon after we were married in 2002, we began not too long after that trying to start our family.  After a year of not being able to get pregnant, I won't lie--I being the ripe age of 32 started to panic and fear the worst.  I made an appointment with my OBGyn to discuss what might be preventing us from conceiving.  He did a battery of tests of both me and Jody (so NOT fun).  He then prescribed Clomid to me and told me I shouldn't worry--that this "magical drug" should do the trick and work like a champ.  Well, 6 months later I was back sitting in my doctor's office---and yes, still not pregnant.  We discussed other fertility options.  He then referred us to a fertility specialist in the Austin area, and well, that is where our lovely journey of infertility treatments began.  

5 doctor/specialists later and a bazillion dollars spent....the diagnosis has always been the same...unexplained infertility and mild endometriosis.  During this time I was in a graduate program and working full-time and Jody was knee-deep in the on-set of a his new legal practice that he had opened.  We were super stressed on all fronts.  Definitely a very trying and stressful time in our marriage with our professional lives and then all the lovely infertility stuff going on behind the scenes.

In late 2004, after trying several failed rounds of IUI treatments by doctors in Austin and the Rio Grande Valley, after a botched IVF treatment that put me in the hospital for 5 days where I almost lost both my ovaries, and after spending many hours on our knees in heartfelt prayer asking for help and guidance...we finally came to the realization that adoption was the path God wanted us on.  And so--we changed our focus--and put all our eggs in one basket and began our journey to adopt.

In late 2005, we met with representatives from our adoption agency (LDS Family Services) and began all the lengthy paperwork and dreaded homestudy process. Argh!!  It took us months to get it all turned in and to complete the homestudy.  There were all sorts of interviews in our home--very invasive and personal questions I might add, i.e. about our sex life, our childhood, our divorces and what led to those...yada--yada.  Not a fun process but we were committed and pressed on despite having to open our lives up to complete strangers.   After about 6 months of completing paperwork, personal/couple interviews, homestudies--we were finished with our part and the agency began the task of trying to match us with a birthmother.  We were told that all we could do was sit back and wait to be selected. Talk about killer...the wait was hard---really hard.   We did our best during the next 6 months to just keep busy and live our lives.  We both threw ourselves into our jobs and made more of an effort to enjoy our time together. It was SO NICE  to not worry about having to go through any more fertility treatments and stress about the money of paying for them.  During this wait time, we traveled more -- took trips to San Francisco, Portland and even bought an RV and started camping.  It was a really special and fun time for us. 

In early July of 2006, our agency called us late one afternoon and said that they had a birthmother who wanted to speak to us on the phone.  They wanted to know if we would be willing to do so.  She had been holding on to our adoption profile and storybook for months (unbeknownst to us) and was about 8 weeks out until her due date.  She was having a boy.  We happily and anxiously agreed to talk with her over the phone.

The next day, our phone rang and we both ran to it...literally---we almost hurt ourselves lunging for the phone-- I still crack up when I think about that moment.  We knew it was her calling.  A 2 hour phone conversation followed.  It was an amazing experience and we really got to know each other quite well during that phone call.  She had many questions for us--such as: how we were raised, what our hopes were for our family and what our parenting styles would be like.  She especially grilled Jody about what type of father he would be.  I think most of the men she had in her life had hurt her and this was a real sticking point for her in making her decision.  At the end of the phone call, we encouraged her to pray about her decision (she had narrowed it down to us and another couple we were told).  Jody told her that she needed to make what she felt was the best decision for her and her baby.  If it was selecting the other couple, we would wholeheartedly support her in that because she needed to feel good about her decision.  And then we ended the call and afterwards, got on our knees together and offered a heartfelt prayer of our own for this dear birthmother.  She had such a big decision to make.

2 days later our adoption agency called and asked if we could come to their Dallas office.  They said the birthmother wanted to meet us in person.  She had more questions for us.  I remember my hand shaking as I held the phone.  We were ecstatic and yet, so nervous.  We had no idea what to expect.  The entire 2 hour drive up to Dallas, it's all we could talk about.  I think I ate more peanut M&M's on that drive up than I have ever in one sitting!!  :-)  We kept reminding ourselves to not get our hopes up--it was just another interview--nothing to get too nervous about.

When we arrived at the office, we were escorted back to a small room with 4 chairs.  About 5 minutes later, our adoption counselor walks in with the birthmother.  I will never forget the flood of emotions I felt as I watched this 8 month pregnant mother walk in.  It was one of the most humbling moments of my life.  It was evident that she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, yet she was trying her best to be strong and positive about the decision she had ahead of her.  We learned more about her at this meeting and her past.  I remember feeling so very impressed with how strong a woman she was and even more impressed with how serious she was taking this decision.

And then about 10 minutes into our discussion, the moment came that neither one of us were prepared for...not even our adoption counselor.  She said just out of the blue..."I want you to have this baby."  "I called this meeting knowing already that you were the right couple, but I wanted to tell you in person so I could see your faces when you received the news."

I remember I just grabbed Jody's knee and squeezed it so tight.  I wasn't sure if I had heard her correctly at first and then I looked at my husband and saw his lip quivering. Tears began to flow freely...we were all in tears at that point.  We immediately stood (all three us) and embraced for what felt like forever.

I remember feeling at that moment as if I had known this woman long before this day. I also remember feeling in my heart that this is what Heavenly Father had been saving for me all along... in essence a special gift---a mortal experience that had been carefully crafted for me and my journey to becoming a mother.  All the waiting and the heartbreak my husband and I experienced leading up to this as we tried so desperately to get pregnant-- every ounce of those painful moments now made sense.  They were each preparatory and leading us to this moment.

It was as if God washed all the pain away for me in that embrace and I could see more clearly why we had to experience the sadness, loss and heartache of infertility--He had a much more special and beautiful plan for us all along.  Adoption.

From this point on until our son was born, we talked almost every night on the phone with Noah's birthmother.  She was tremendously gracious during these few weeks--she shared  many thoughts and feelings she had about her pregnancy and her future.  She also shared the hopes and dreams she had for her baby.  I will forever be humbled by her loving heart and for making the very difficult choice to put the needs of her child above her own.  I hope she always knows that God is watching out for her and knows her by name.  She is a very special woman and daughter of God.

Our hearts were forever changed in August of 2006 with the birth of our beautiful son, Noah.  He was an answer to many, many years of heartfelt prayers.

[UPDATE...March 19, 2014]...Since writing this page about our journey and adopting Noah...we were blessed to adopt our beautiful daughter Taylor Elizabeth (born November 8, 2012) and are now in the process of adopting our foster son, Gavin Rey.  

Despite our inability to bear children of our own, Heavenly Father had a different plan for getting our children to us.  He has blessed us so amazingly as a family and I am thankful I get to spend my days with my dear husband and these three amazing kids of ours. While adoption and being foster parents can be a challenging and sometimes scary and uncertain path to parenthood--we are so glad we took the leap of faith and did it.  We'll forever be grateful for the gift of adoption.