I’ve had a heart to adopt longer than I’ve had had a menstrual cycle. Obviously, I didn’t think deeply about it at that young age, it was just something I knew I would be a part of one day. On June 19th, 2005 Matt and I were the first couple to get married amongst our large group of friends. I was a bridesmaid 9 times over the following few years. 8 of those brides are now mothers and most of them are on round two of motherhood. The second babe here, pregnant again, or actively trying. My husband Matt and I have been married for over 8 years now and dated for 7 years before that. I have been with him for more than half my life and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him. No kids yet. I’ve never been one to follow the trends. It wasn’t our time. Not that I didn’t have maternal urges, but God had filled my life with three younger siblings, a staff of 45 employees and my two puppies to “mother” and for so long that was enough.
If I’m completely honest with myself, I know that it hasn’t really been enough for quite some time. Years really. But why expose that? Why announce that I want something I can’t have? I’m a planner, an analyzer, a perfectionist and I like all my ducks in a row. A very straight, uniformed and evenly spaced row. Probably color coordinated and alphabetized if possible. I’ve ignored my motherly urges for a long time, partially because I was worried my life wasn’t perfect enough, but mainly because I have been told over and over that my body wasn’t healthy enough. Thinking about all that was overwhelming. So I kept trying to convince myself both privately and publicly that what I had was enough.
Becoming “auntie” has silenced these rationalizations and forced me to listen to the quiet truth burried deep inside. I’ve always liked being around kids, and they usually seem to enjoy being around me too, but I had never before experienced what it is like to be loved by a child. To feel that individual bond was something new to me. Something I wasn’t expecting. Today I’m an auntie to four beautiful little humans, but Caspian was the first to come into my life 3 years ago and it was before the other three were born that he first taught me what it felt like to be loved. One photo or video text from my sister lit up my whole day. One afternoon with him gave me the joy I needed to get through a whole week. Hunting for worms under rocks, “find you” (also known as “hide and seek”) and reading books on the potty chair brought me more happiness and entertainment than any plans I might make with adult people. Teaching him that mixing yellow paint and blue paint together makes green brought me a higher sense of accomplishment than any degree, promotion or award can even compete with. It was him that first made me realize that there is no way on earth that anything else in my life could ever be enough. I deeply need to be a mother.
Since then, I’ve become “auntie” to three more little angels. I have been blessed with two nieces from Matt’s sister and one more nephew from my sister. The more and more Matt and I spent time with our neices and nephews, the more and more our conversations about our own family began to flow. The more and more I continued to get healthier, the more and more expanding our own family seemed possible. I’m at a changing point where I can feel this past chapter of my life closing and a new and brighter season beginning. I have received amazing news that my disease is in remission! We are 5 years settled into our own home now. Matt is on his way to a new career, and I can feel myself transitioning my priorities out of what the world sees as success and on to what means most to me in life: family.
We are technically fertile as far as we know. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 16 and it was a violent and vicious battle for many years. My first, second, and third opinion doctors have all shared the same concerns about pregnancy and my body. There are risks with any woman with Crohn’s. The difference with me is that my body went 12 years straight with zero remission periods. Although I am well now, those years have caused permanent effects on my body. My surgeries have removed large portions of my intestines that are crucial for absorption. My body has grown strong again, but reality is that the amount of nutrients my body has proven to be capable of absorbing are just enough for my health or for the health of a fetus, not enough for both. The doctors predict a very high risk of multiple miscarriages and other complications. Additionally, the one and only medication that has ever worked for me over the past 13 years is also the one and only medication that is fatal to a fetus and even used in medically assisted abortion for complications such as ectopic pregnancies. Most women married as long as I have would be devastated to hear this news, but I wasn’t. For me this was confirmation that God was leading us towards adoption - what I’ve always felt destined to anyway.
We’ve discussed medically assisted “high-risk” pregnancy, surrogacy, and adoption. Purposely conceiving, knowing that the fetus will be brought into a high-risk environment, is not something I feel called to. Gestational surrogacy contains similar risk factors with harvesting eggs and the medications that I’m on. Adoption is the path we have chosen together and we know it is God’s plan for bringing us into parenthood.
There is never going to be a “perfect” time to start a family. We are not perfect. However, God’s tug on our hearts to be ready “here and now” is so strong lately that we have open arms to make huge changes in our routines in order to be prepared for whatever He has in store. We are just a real, average couple in love, surrounded by a large and supportive family and church body with a huge heart to become parents through adoption. My heart to be a mother tears me up every time I allow my walls to drop down long enough to allow myself to feel it. Matt and I have names picked out, a spare bedroom that we’d much rather call a “nursery” and hearts open and ready for whenever God’s timing may be. The babe isn’t in my tummy and it might not be in anyone else’s tummy yet either, but somehow I can feel it kicking. Matt and I are actively waiting for the opportunity to become parents. We’re in full gear on this journey and we’re anticipating more. We’re expecting a little Mini-Moore to come join our family whenever he or she is ready. We’re “expecting moore”.
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