Our Family is Growing!

I cannot believe I’m getting to type this – we’re going to become parents!

Like to a baby human, that’s a mix of our DNA. It’s crazy! I’ve got a whirlwind story of how we found out (which involved lots of screaming “NO WAY!” and several trips to CVS at 3 am to get more tests because I just had to be sure.) But that’s not the story for today – today is about the journey here. This is long and involves infertility and adoption. It’s all necessary to explain because it’s all intertwined. It’s not sunshine and rainbows because life is far from perfect and even the jagged edges of it deserve to be told.

As a child, I remember bringing friends home and asking my parents if we could keep them, (much to their displeasure, I’m sure). As I grew older, the concept of adopting was something I believed to be a certainty, something I knew that was in my path. I never imagined a life without adoption. It was a literal requirement of the person I would marry one day, and thankfully Dustin was on board with no hesitation.

We decided to try for biological children as well but after years of infertility, several miscarriages and the deepest heartache – we knew the harsh reality that biological children weren’t “easy to have.” Our adoption path became less of the dream we’d had and the reality of what we would need, and I hated that. Adoption isn’t a consolation prize and yet, so many well-meaning people threw it out there to us like it was the easier alternative. It was always the plan, not the backup. No amount of frustration from me could erase the fact that we were going to need to adopt and I hated that.

But we soldiered on and focused on adoption, we worked hard at saving money to afford that sweet match with a newborn, but it’s close to $35,000 in many cases. We began to feel that this wasn’t our path either, and we felt strongly that we needed to adopt from the foster system which in and of itself is a beast. I was sad that we would more than likely miss out on the newborn stage, although we knew it was the right decision.

We opened every aspect of our lives to the State of Texas for review. Our home, our dogs, our medical histories, our psyches, our childhoods, our parent’s divorces, our siblings, our financials and any criminal backgrounds, we laid bare for examination. I’m not a private person by any means but there’s something entirely different about having your ability to parent judged and decided upon by the government.

When we became home study ready, I suddenly found myself not ready to take a placement, I was traveling all of the time for work and we needed to make some decisions about where we’re going to be in the long run – Texas or New York? So we put our house on hold for accepting children. And I felt guilty for it because there are kids waiting for us, but it’s worse for us to take them and for one parent to not be available at all times. It would have been cruel. We have wasted years at this point and I started to not care about the timeline anymore. It’ll happen when it happens right? Isn’t that what we’re always told?

That brings us to early 2017 when I told Dustin that in next year, I wanted to open our home to placements and that we would spend the next two or three years in Texas, while he got teaching experience and we worked with the foster care system. We’d full-time move to New York after that, with or without an adoption completed. I was sick of waiting, I wanted to live and not be bogged down by our situation anymore. I’d give it this time a final go and if it worked, great. If it didn’t, then we’d deal.

And then I got pregnant.

I was excited of course, but I’ve been pregnant before. This generally isn’t a story that ends well for us, at least from my past experiences but so far, this one has stuck around. For months, I’ve agonized, trying not to be too excited because surely, I’d lose this child. I thought about my infertile friends and how much I didn’t want to tell them because they’re gonna be excited but they’re gonna die a little inside and I didn’t want to make that worse for them.

I’ve loathed telling people because it reminded me that this is usually easy. And to be completely honest, if hear one person say “See?! You just had to do XYZ and it would happen!” I am pretty sure I would go to jail for assault. I cannot stand the thought of being someone misguided statistic to “comfort” their infertile friend, if you say something to the effect of “a friend of mine tried for YEARS, they even looked into adoption and boom, they got pregnant!” Please know, you’re not helping, you’re missing the whole point.

So don’t use our story for that, this isn’t a story of hope overcoming circumstances – it’s a story of how reality doesn’t care about your circumstances. If you want to use our story for anything, let it be to say that things can and will go wrong but when it goes right, you’re allowed to be happy. Hope doesn’t have to be blind to reality.

I’d hoped to simply open with “WE’RE PREGNANT Y’ALL!!!” but I couldn’t do just that. There’s so much that I’ve shared during this roller coaster that we never wanted to ride, (although never in this much detail, but I need to explain everything), and we decided we didn’t want to hide for almost ten months. We want to celebrate with our friends and welcome our child without this giant cloud over their head. We’re happy, terrified and all the feelings in between but I’m glad to get this out in the open and not keep it a secret anymore. We’re actually planning for the arrival of a baby we were told would probably never exist.

So here we are folks, if you’ve stuck with it this long – we’re hopefully gonna welcome a human into our home in early 2018. And yes, we’re still adopting, because that’s the dream – one I’m happy to keep moving toward.

Thanks to our good friend – Katie of Katie Sanders Photography for grabbing these photos for us!

To answer a few questions:

When are you due? Sometime in the first few months of 2018, the date isn’t super important since it’s unlikely that the baby will arrive on their due date.

Do you know what you are having? We do! We haven’t decided if we’re going to announce it on social media and same also goes with the name, we have it ready (and a backup in case that name doesn’t work out) but we’re holding that until after it arrives.

How was the first trimester? Other than exhaustion and strong food aversions, I was really lucky – the second trimester though, it’s the worst! Morning sickness has plagued me this trimester and I’m hoping it goes away soon.

Are you going to photograph elopements next year? Yep! I LOVE my job and will continue to serve elopement and intimate wedding clients in Northern Texas, New York City, the Tri-State area and internationally – my child is going to be an experienced traveler. 😉 I will take a maternity leave when they arrive but I cannot wait to work with my 2018 clients.

Also, please let me apologize for the initial death of this blog – there’s no excuse other than I’ve just not been into blogging (a severe understatement, I’m aware) but I’ve spent some time getting all of the wonderful elopements, births, and sessions I’ve done over the last two years together to bring the blog back up to speed so that should begin any day now!

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