I realize that I still need to explain my third hard thought – What if Ian and I will never get to see what our biological children will look like?
But that has to wait, because this weekend something exciting happened. We both timidly, cautiously, and hopefully decided(ish) that we’ll proceed with foster care as a means to making our family.
To back up just a bit, we had our IVF class at Nashville Fertility Center on Wednesday and left feeling discouraged because they weren’t prepared with a plan for us (partially our fault, because they wanted to double-check my AMH, but frustrating nonetheless). We spent Wednesday evening talking about IVF and embryo adoption and decided we’d probably move forward with embryo adoption. Then Thursday came, and we decided IVF, and somehow that turned into a fight. Mean words were said without consideration, tears were shed, and it’s the first time I think it really hit me that I can understand how infertility tears a couple apart.
After our fight, I went out to grab dinner with one of my dearest friends, Jessie, and, kindly, she listened, counseled, and encouraged. In the embarrassment of some of the words I spoke, she made me feel better. Everyone needs a friend like that. Someone who can straighten you out when shit hits the fan with your significant other (or any valuable person in your life).
I went home renewed and with a fresh perspective. I hugged Ian and apologized for being so awful, and we were good. But still, neither of us were sold on embryo adoption or IVF. I don’t know if it’s the money, the gamble, the physical toll, the continued heartache…but something about it never feels totally right with either of us.
Then a series of little things happened. For starters, one of my best friends, Theresa, is beginning her foster mom journey as a single mom to two teenage girls and they should be moving in with her this week – and it has been such a joyful experience to contribute in small ways and watch her pursue this. Then, I found the trailer for My Life as a Zucchini.
Inspired by this trailer, I looked up #fostertoadopt on Instagram and stumbled upon Foster the Family. For anyone considering foster care, this blog is a must read. I sent it to Ian. And by Saturday morning, we were leaning toward foster care. That’s why I say decided(ish). We bebop around from idea to idea and have a bit of decision paralysis. But we both feel most hopeful about foster care. Not hopeful that this is a route to adoption (although, we would love for that to be the outcome someday), but hopeful that this is our chance to make a family and love on children we can call our own, even if only for a few weeks or months.
This decision feels like it has a finality to it. And I felt even better about it when at one point on Saturday as we were talking about foster care, Ian said to me, “Do you think we’ll end up doing this (foster care) and our lives will be so rich and full that we’ll look back on this (our infertility) and realize it was a blessing?”
My spirit rejoiced. Those have been the most God-breathed words either of us have spoken through this whole journey.
And now, as we begin to move away from assisted reproductive technology and into foster care, would you please pray for us? We start our foster care classes tomorrow night. We are anxious, we are ill-equipped, but we are hopeful.