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Happy Mother’s Day

Ever since Arle was born, Mother’s Day is a bit emotional for me.

Not just because I’m now a mother myself, but because it always makes me think of  Arle’s birth-mother and what this day must be like for her.

I have seen how much she loves the daughter we share.

I have seen the incredible sacrifice she made in the hospital the day she held our baby in her arms and referred to Travis and me as Daddy and Mommy.

Over the last three years, I’ve seen the incredible strength she has when she visits us and is able to continue loving Arle as her own, even though she has to get in the car and leave her again.

I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult this entire process has been for her, but I’m so incredibly grateful for the selflessness, sacrifice, grace, and strength she continually pours out on our family.

She is an amazing birth-mother to Arle, and Arle loves her dearly. So do we.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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Adoption Story: Part I

Lately, I’ve felt led to share the story of how our sweet baby girl came into our lives.  It’s my number one favorite story of all time and I would absolutely love it if, by telling it, I was able to encourage just one (or maybe more) of you readers out there.

So, here goes…

Travis and I had been married for two and a half years when I came down with a serious case of the baby bug.  It took a couple of weeks to convince Trav that we were ready to enter such a serious stage of life, but soon he warmed up to the idea.

I was the kind of girl that went into it just knowing I would get pregnant the very first month of “trying.”  I was so convinced that I actually put pregnancy tests in Trav’s Christmas stocking that year.  I know, I know…I have a weird sense of humor.

A few weeks after Christmas, I went to Dallas for a girls getaway.  The time for me to find out that I was preggers would have been while I was on the trip, so I made sure I had my pregnancy tests in tow.  Needless to say, I was stunned when I began to feel my cramps creepin’ in the day before I should have taken the test.  I was completely annoyed when I “started” the next day and it was obvious that I was not in fact pregnant.

I thought, “Oh well, I’m sure it will happen next month.”

Little did I know that this was the beginning of many, many, many months of frustration.

Patience has never been one of my virtues, and it was definitely in short supply during this time in my life.

After a few months, I started buying fertility predictor kits, books, herbs, a basal thermometer, and all sorts of other crazy stuff that was supposed to “fix” the problem we were facing. We charted, we researched, we tried this, we tried that.

I read Taking Charge Of Your Fertility front to back and, by-golly, I was ready to “take charge.”

Still, nothing.

Each month, I would get my hopes up, but each month would end in tears.

It’s such a roller coaster.  You have one week of “trying,” two weeks of waiting to find out, then one week of absolute devastation.  Then you start the whole cycle over again.  Then again. Then again. Then again.

Some months were worse than others.  It was the first time in my life I felt completely out of control.  It was also the first time I had experienced depression.  I began having anxiety attacks and seriously felt like I was becoming a crazy lady.  I had always been so happy and care-free in life, but suddenly I was a mess.  I desperately wanted to trust the Lord with the entire situation, but just couldn’t understand the how or why or what of everything.

Two years went by and we were still on the vicious roller coaster.

We finally decided to see a doctor.  We did more research and found Dr. Lyles.  He’s one of the best fertility doctors in the nation and just happens to be right here in KC.  We filled out loads of paperwork and went in for our consultation.  Dr. Lyles was very hopeful with our situation.  We were both healthy and young, which make fertility treatment success much higher.

He decided it would be worth a shot to try IUI (intra-uterine insemination) at least once before trying anything more invasive and costly.

It sounded like a great plan to us.  Once again, I was absolutely convinced IUI would work.  We went through all the steps and then into the waiting stage.

I was on the phone with my best friend, Virginia, when I realized it hadn’t worked.  That day was definitely my all-time low.  I immediately fell to pieces and cried, and cried, and then cried some more.  Travis came home and found me just laying here sobbing and he instantly knew.  Seeing him only made it hurt that much worse.  He was absolutely amazing through it all and just held me and loved me.

I dragged myself to work the next day only to sit and listen to my pregnant office-mate bitch and moan about how awful being pregnant was.  It took every ounce of will power within me to not leap across my desk and punch her in the face.  Told you I was going crazy.  I had listened to her for months at this point and just didn’t think I could take it anymore.

I would have given anything to have morning sickness, fat ankles, and an aching back because all of that would have meant that I was pregnant.

After a couple of weeks, we went back to see Dr. Lyles and re-discuss our game plan.  He suggested we go ahead and attempt in-vitro fertilization.  We decided to go for it.

I began the meds and was a week away from taking my first injection when I received the phone call that changed our lives forever.

To be continued…

Click here to read Adoption Story: Part II

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