My husband mike and I decided to start a family at the beginning of last year and so I went off contraception and we started trying. We assumed it would be quick and easy, because we have only heard stories of people falling pregnant quickly – even in the first or second month, and with no complications. And so the first month or two we weren’t worried, we enjoyed the excitement of getting ready to become a family and waiting to see whether or not my period would come. But after six months I started to feel down. I was seeing pregnant women and babies EVERYWHERE, friends who weren’t even sure if they wanted babies yet were falling pregnant, and we were waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I felt more pressure to get it right, more pressure to succeed, but I didn’t know how to do it any better. And so we would try and inevitably fail month after month. I couldn’t understand how God could allow me to struggle with this when he knew how much I wanted to be a mother and how Mike and I longed for a family. I had to do a lot of soul searching (why do I want to be a mother so bad? If I never fall pregnant will I still love God? Do I trust God with the plans for my life?), and often I would spend worship time at church crying, willing myself to believe the words people sang with abandon. God is faithful, He is true, He fulfills his promises, He gives and takes away. For the first time in my life I had to ask myself if I REALLY believed that.
Before this time Mike and I had always talked about adopting, and after a year of trying for a baby the niggles in my brain (what about adoption?) became more persistent. We went to the gynaecologist to see that everything was all right and found out I have polycystic ovaries which means that we are not sure of when my egg is released and it is therefore harder to conceive because we do not know when I’m ovulating. This does not mean I can’t fall pregnant, but it does mean that it can take longer than normal. My gynae then gave us the option; keep trying naturally or go on medication to assist us. What a blow to my self-esteem! You keep thinking “what if I’m the reason we are not falling pregnant?” And then you find out – it is you, there is something wrong with your body. I felt so guilty, felt to blame in some part for the reason why we had ‘wasted’ a year trying for a baby. I had to come to terms with the fact that I could not control a hormonal imbalance in my body, and that it wasn’t my fault. That God loved me through this all, and that this was a blessing in disguise because by knowing what was wrong we could go ahead.
It was at this point that Mike reminded me again of our wish to adopt at some stage in life. We could keep trying and use medication to help, but if we were serious about adoption, why not go ahead with it now? We could try to conceive a sibling at a later stage because we now knew the obstacles we faced. And so, in March this year, we spent a weekend away talking, praying, crying (ok, that was mostly me) and setting aside all our doubts. We asked the questions that had been casting shadows in our minds: What if we don’t love them as much as a biological child? What if nature is stronger than nurture? What if our family or friends don’t support us? What if, what if, what if? But with every fear said in the open, peace descended and we realized that although a little bit of fear is good, we serve a God who can overcome every obstacle and redeem every situation. And so, petrified and excited, we made the decision to adopt.
And since that moment a lightness has fallen over me. I feel that the year of trying that we went through was a journey I had to take to grow in the knowledge of God and in trusting His ultimate plan for me. I believe that if we had adopted last year we would not have been given the baby God has in store for us, for they were not born yet! I believe that the pain I felt has been redeemed with hope, and I understand with a peace that transcends understanding that this is my journey. I am a mother, and my child is on its way. It’s just in someone else’s stomach. And I cannot wait to be a Mom. I absolutely love and adore my child. I don’t know what they look like or where they come from, but I cannot wait to find out who they are and to shower them with kisses and cuddles. And so, after finishing our screening through our adoption agency, we wait. And we get ready to start the next chapter in our lives together – Mom and Dad!
[Jane and Mike Hampton]