Friday, May 6, 2016

A Walk Down Memory Lane - Part 5

Chapter 1 - Dating
Chapter 2 - Engagement
Chapter 3 - Wedding
Chapter 4 - Year 1

After a very fun 2nd anniversary away, we found ourselves finishing out the summer at our respective jobs.  Peter finished up his summer internship as he waited for his start date in I believe late August at his new "real" job.  It was an exciting and still busy time in our lives as we adjusted to this new normal.  Peter often worked very long hours and I continued to work long hours at my job too.  Soon after Peter started his new job he took off for a week of training in Chicago.

As we settled into fall and then winter, it was finally time for my dream to come true.  Peter agreed that we could start our family! I was on top of the world and just knew that I would be pregnant in no time! We also decided that a family of 3 wouldn't be ideal in our tiny little 900 sq ft condo, so we put it on the market to test it out and see if it would sell.  Before long, we had an offer and were moving on to a bigger house for our hopefully soon growing family! 

Goodbye to our first little home 

Hello new house! 

And now looking back, I am not entirely sure why, but we decided to add another pup to our family in my dear little baby Indy. I don't know what we were thinking looking back because we had just bought a new house and were trying to have a baby, but I never said we ALWAYS think logically!  And I sure love that pup!

As the year came to a close, we were settling into our new home together and while I was a little surprised to not be pregnant yet, I was still confident that it wouldn't be much longer!  Then came spring, and the day before my birthday our perfect little world came crashing down.  Peter graduated during a time when the economy was tanking big time, and tough decisions had to be made in the work force.  This left Peter being laid off only 7 months into his career.  18 months prior we had options to choose from and tried to make the best possible decision for his future.  We had put all of our faith in this company and we learned quickly that corporate America was brutal.  It felt like a huge betrayal, and the worst of it was that at this point job prospects were few and far between.  We didn't know what we were going to do and we didn't know how long it was going to be before another opportunity came along.  It really sucked!  Between the job news and having to put growing our family temporarily on hold, I became a little depressed.  I was very angry, not with Peter, but the world because I knew that my husband didn't deserve to be treated that way.  I also don't handle change from the dream we had when he first took that job.  This was the first time in our marriage that we were dealing with these huge emotions and it was really hard. This was the first stormy time in our marriage. Life was completely out of control but we still had each other and we drew closer together during the hard days. 

Peter worked ridiculously hard to secure another job as quickly as possible. I was so proud of him! He spent all day everyday searching, even looking all over the country for any good opportunity because it was a VERY tough market for a newly graduated person to be searching in. But God was ever faithful to us, even in the hard times.  In less than 6 weeks Peter had secured himself a new job at a fortune 500 company and it was nearby so no need to discuss moving!

Before the new position started, we were able to go away for a quick weekend to kind of regroup. How symbolic that on this trip to Eagle Crest we got lost on what we thought was going to be a quick little walk.  We ended up somewhere completely different from where we thought we were going.  Because we thought we were taking a quick little walk, we had no sunscreen and no water with us.  By the time we found our way and got back to our room, we were very thirsty and very sunburned. But it seemed quite fitting for where we were during this time, feeling lost in a completely different direction then we thought we were headed and feeling a bit burned along the way! 

The final blow came in June, when my grandma who I was very close with unexpectedly and very quickly passed. Between everything else going on in our lives, this was the last thing I could emotionally handle. Things were starting to feel very very hard.  

 Fortunately through the good times and the bad, we've always drawn closer together.  This was our first real test of the strength of our marriage and I am happy to say we were coming through it all together!   Peter was back on a good career track, I was struggling but dealing with my grandmother's death and now it was time to figure out why we weren't getting pregnant.

  I will never forget when I had to make the call to my doctor because we'd been trying so long with no luck. The blood tests, fertility charting, fertility tests, progesterone pills - ugh. I'll never forget the first time she used the word "infertile" to describe us.  It felt like a bad dream and something I NEVER thought we would experience.  I had to do a lot of soul searching because there was nothing I wanted more in this world than to be a mother, and I just could not understand why it wasn't working for us. Now that I am 7 years out from this moment, I can see parts of the picture that I couldn't see back then, but in that moment things were really tough!

 As the weeks wore on, we knew we were facing the point where decisions needed to be made.  Our doctor suggested 6 months of medication to see if that would work, and if we still weren't pregnant it would be time to see a fertility specialist.  I still just couldn't believe the news and was overwhelmed with the decisions to make.  As we discussed the options, we decided we would move forward with the medication but if it came time to see a fertility specialist, we would proceed with adoption as that was a path that we intended to take down the road with our family anyway.

We thought we had a plan, but there was still no peace about it.  I researched fertility drugs and I researched adoption.  I'm not sure there is a woman on this earth who wanted to experience pregnancy more than I did, but in the end, all that was important to me was that I got to be a mother.  And as I saw more and move videos of people meeting their adopted children for the first time, my heart was becoming more and more open to that path.  Unfortunately it wasn't looking like most agencies would work with us because of our young age.  I was just so tired.  I'd spent so much time going to the doctor and getting tests ran and going to the acupuncturist and taking herbs to try and see if anything would work.  We'd both kind of lost our joy and were weary. We weren't sure how to proceed but were seeking God to tell us the next step. I still had hopes that I would see a positive pregnancy test, but every month was still ending in disappointment. I was broken as it was almost time to start the fertility drugs. And then God met us right there.  I remember sitting in church on July 12th 2009.  I felt complete peace and knew that God was directing us to adoption.  The path was very clear in front of me.  But I didn't know how Peter would react, because I knew he was very nervous about the financial aspect of adoption.  It was hard enough to convince him we could afford to have a baby,  much less to convince him we could afford to adopt AND take care of a baby. As soon as I got in the car, I was so nervous, but Peter interrupted it all by saying God had spoken to him and told him that we needed to proceed with whatever God had laid on my heart to do.  We never looked back from that moment!

I also knew exactly where our child was! My heart was already in Ethiopia. But we had one problem. As I had researched in the past, I could not find a single agency that would work with us under the age of 25.  We were only just turning 23.  But that very day, God paved the way and led me straight to an agency that I had never seen before, that was willing to work with us at the age of 23. And fortunately for us, Peter was turning 23 that next week!  In a matter of days, my heart was finally filled with something I had lost over the course of the last several months - hope!  We quickly met with this agency and started filling out paperwork.  Our application was officially approved on Peter's 23rd Birthday!

The road was NOT easy in that year of marriage, but as we entered year #3, we finally had hope and excitement about what was to come!  We still had emotions we were working through together but we were so hopeful that we would become parents in that next year and were just as thrilled about proceeding with adoption as we would have been if I had seen a positive pregnancy test.  There was a reason God put adoption in my heart when I was 14 years old, and that dream was about to come true!