Shortly after we finished the classes, the Lord prompted us to pursue one more path prior to completing our home study. I was so confused as to why the Lord would throw us this curve ball, but I knew for sure the Holy Spirit was guiding us to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Two completely different sources game me the same doctor's information on two different occasions. I researched the doctor, and this guy is "The Top Doc" in his field. But wait, I had given up, threw in the towel, never wanted in a million years to ever consider doing more infertility treatments especially- IVF (Invitro Fertilization). I have no idea what grounds I had made my decision on, other than I had heard how horrible IVF could be on your body and your emotions. I was tapped out, and didn't want to even consider this as an option. However, when the Holy Spirit guides you, you buck up and listen. So we visited this doctor, I was sure I would despise him and his bad bedside manor. WRONG, I loved the guy. I had never had a doctor give me so much time, answer so many questions, and even map out different treatment plans giving me "options."
After he reviewed my novel of a medical file, literally its at least 6 inches thick. The secretary actually wanted me to go to kinkos to make a copy of it all, because she didn't think she had enough ink or paper to do it herself. OUCH! We took this doctor's advice seriously and discovered the means we were using to get pregnant before, weren't really going to be options for us again going moving forward. Not what we were wanting to hear. Based on my past history, and our discussion, we slowly removed all of our options, leaving full blown IVF with genetic testing as the only answer for us. Umm, SO not what I was expecting or wanting to hear. But again, we felt the Holy Spirit guiding us to move forward with it. So, as good stewards, we did. Not once, but twice we tried IVF. Well, as you can tell I have not experienced a pregnancy within the past year, therefore neither of these IVF cycles worked. We did learn some valuable information from the genetic testing, but that is about it. If we had ever felt more lost, or stranded in the desert, it would have been the day the RE called to let us know that everything was perfect with our cycle he just had absolutely no idea why it wasn't working. GRR! It's one thing that it didn't work, but a whole other thing when you can't explain why or give me something new to try next time. The only explanation we could come up with- God had a different plan, yet again. He quietly shut the IVF door, and swung open the adoption door.
SO... we diligently completed our paperwork, turned in our humungous file and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. We turned in our folder to CFCA in November, but they didn't start our home study until February. It was the first time in years that we literally couldn't be 'doing' anything towards starting a family. I couldn't take any pills, I couldn't get ultrasounds, take my temperature, take classes, fill out paperwork, NOTHING. It was the first time, I felt, that it was 100% completely out of my hands and it was HARD but freeing at the same time.
I tried to start living my life. Trying to focus on other things, but continuing to think about my baby! Wondering about my baby or babies (we were open to twins), wondering if he/she was already conceived, when he/she would be born, what he/she would look like, who his/her birth family would be, and the list goes on. I decided to just start praying whenever the thoughts crossed my mind. Praying for the baby and praying for the birth family, and praying for us to be prepared for whatever baby God had for us.
Out of the blue, I received a phone call from a pastor at my church. He asked if we were still planning on growing our family through adoption. I explained that the agency still hadn't quite "finished" our home study (in reality they had barely started it, haha) but that YES we were waiting to adopt! He said a girl contacted the church looking for a family to place her unborn child with. He gave me a little more information, and said he would get back to me after he contacted her. After some emailing back and forth, we set up a time to meet her! We met Laurisa and her husband, at a Starbucks. I can still remember the look on the woman's face that was sitting next to us at starbucks. She was attempting to do her taxes, but she remained staring at the same fast food receipt for our entire conversation with Laurisa, she was totally eavesdropping, the nerve! I'm sure it's not the typical Starbucks conversation so I'll let it slide ;)
Our meeting went smoothly, and we left that meeting MATCHED! We were shocked, floored, and thrilled! We were so incredibly excited to put faces to the birthparents, know the due date, and begin planning for our family to grow! Laurisa invited me to her ultrasounds and we were beyond excited when we found out we would be expecting a baby girl in August! All seemed to be going as perfect as it could. When the doctor suggested Laurisa go see a specialist for an ultrasound because it appeared the baby may have had some fluid around her brain. I remember crying all night about the unknown, and just wondering how could this be? What does God think He is doing?!?
With further testing and ultrasounds we learned that the precious baby girl, Laurisa was carrying, had Spina Bifida. We were told there was a break at the end of her spine where spinal fluid was leaking out, which in turn was causing the fluid build up near her brain. I remember Laurisa and I just staring at the doctor, staring at each other, and sharing a lot of tears. We left that specialist's office completely stunned, and googling the diagnosis.
Over the next few days, through a lot of prayers and conversations, we came to the conclusion that we wouldn't be the best home for this baby girl. This still is the HARDEST decision I have ever made! I have waited so long for a baby, and yet I had to be honest with Laurisa and let her know that we thought there was a better home out there for this baby. We would stand by her side and help her find the best home; and if God wanted us to raise this precious baby girl, we KNEW He would bring her back to us and show us we were the best home for her.
Well, I am SO SO SO happy to report that with the help of CFCA, Laurisa found THE PERFECT home for her baby girl. Baby Izabella Hope was born in early August, and has an amazing adoptive family by her side. She has undergone surgery to close the opening in her spine, but may also need brain surgery. Please keep Izabella and her family in your prayers! Laurisa is starting a blog to share her story and Spina Bifida awareness. When it is up and running I will link it here.
Stick around, it looks like there will have to be a PART THREE :)