Many people have asked me during the past 8 months about how Ryan and I made the decisions we did about medical treatment and how we decided to adopt.
First of all, I want to acknowledge that we hadn't pursued an adoption agency when we go the call about Samuel so our situation is unique. We were both open to adoption and wanted to adopt, we just hadn't moved toward that yet. After talking to a friend I actually printed out the papers for two local agencies at the beginning of August last year. We were entering the 3 year mark and I was beginning to look at adoption as a serious option. Then I found out I was pregnant, so I tucked the papers away to look at in the future.
Secondly, I am going to be quite candid in this post about how I feel about medical treatment and adoption. Be prepared. It's a long post. Here goes....
Erwin McManis says in his book Chasing Daylight, go until you get a "no." His viewpoint is that as Christians, we often wait and see what God wants us to do. If something is in line with God's will (and Scripture commands us to take care of widows and orphans so you know adoption is God's will), Erwin says to start pursuing it and God will shut the door if that is not what he wants you to do right now.
Here's the thing: God already has your future child(ren) picked out for you. He already knows if it will be your due date, or someone else's due date. He already knows if you will conceive, when you will conceive and if that baby will be born healthy. He already knows if you will add to your existing family by adopting additional children. He already knows. He just wants you to trust him and walk in faith.
I believe God doesn't want you to obsess about all the options and be consumed by them. If one route isn't working, try something else. If you don't have the money for one option consider another (foster to adopt?). If you don't have peace about something, DON'T do it! That is my only caveat. Ryan and I did not do IVF because we never felt at peace about pursuing that option. And, insurance didn't cover it so it was a no-brainer for us. It just wasn't on the list of options. With the money we would have spent on IVF with no guaranteed outcome, adoption was a much better option for us with the outcome almost guaranteeing a child (and it was actually less expensive with domestic adoption). I have no problem or issue whatsoever with IVF, it just wasn't right for us.
DISCLAIMER: If you feel called to wait on the Lord and not pursue medical treatment and not pursue adoption, then by all means, wait. For two years I felt no peace about Clomid or IUI or other treatments/medications. Once I had a procedure done that showed my tubes were open and I knew I was ovulating, then I realized it was all in God's hands. Clearly he was not allowing me to conceive. We had unexplained infertility. There was nothing wrong with me or Ryan that the doctors could tell. We felt God specifically calling us to wait on Him.
And now we know why.
But that doesn't mean He is necessarily calling us all to wait. If you have some major medical issues, you can definitely seek medical treatment. You can absolutely pray for God to heal your body and open your womb. But if He chooses not to heal you naturally or through medical treatment, maybe it's because he is giving you the green light that there is a baby who needs you to be his or her parent.
I was reading this blog earlier in the week about a gal who has adopted two children. Three years into their infertility journey, her husband had asked her "Which do you want more: to be pregnant or to be a parent?" That question ultimately opened her mind to adoption and she now has two beautiful children. You can read the entire posting on her blog.
When I read her post, I immediately thought every person desiring to grow their family should heavily consider that question. And I wondered how I would have answered that question if posed to me last summer.
I think it takes time to grieve the dream of pregnancy if it is not happening for you. It takes time to give up the dreams of conceiving naturally with no medical treatment. It takes time to grieve the life you once knew before infertility became an all-too-familiar word in your home. It takes time to grieve the loss of motherhood as you dreamed it would begin, and to move forward into whatever direction the Lord has for you.
It takes time, courage, boldness, faith and trust.
If I could go back to Stacy in the summer of 2008 (a rough summer for me where I struggled a lot with waiting and unsure of what to do next) I would tell her to go to God and say, "Here's the deal Lord. I desire to be a parent to a child. Of course, I want to give birth to my own biological child. But that may not be your plan. You already know the child you have in store for me. But I don't, so I'm going to start pursuing different routes unless you clearly tell me no. I'm going to start with __________. Guide my decisions, open doors, give my husband and I peace and help us to be unified in our decision making. If you want us to wait on you, I will wait...as hard as it is. But I desire to be a mom and I am going to try every route possible unless you tell me no. James 1:5 says that when we ask for wisdom you will give it to us and give it generously. So I pray according to your Word for wisdom to know what the next step is: medical treatment, foster care, adoption, or waiting on you. I come before you boldly in this time of need and ask you to direct my steps. I believe that you will do more than I can ask or imagine and I'm clinging to that truth today."