This post is the second in a three-part series. For part one, click here. And, for those of you who were thinking you were going to have to wait till next Tuesday to hear more--- Surprise!
Our little U-Haul carried us all the way to the Valley of the Sun during the very pit of summer. We settled in with my parents while the husband began the search for employment.
We were excited to be venturing out into the real world and real life. I had the privilege of working for my dad at his cabinet shop. And I loved spending my lunch hour with him and reconnecting. And I was reminded of the giant of a man that he was. Giant in humor. Giant in love. Giant in happiness. Giant in kindness. Giant in Spirituality. I found that my dad reminded me a lot of the husband. And I knew I couldn't have been blessed with a greater husband- because I knew that, much like my dad, he would be a Giant for our children.
The husband found employment and we were thrilled with the prospects of his $28,000 salary. Big bucks compared to our student income and it meant that we could buy a home. And we did- on a quiet little cul de sac- with a tiny little back yard and a perfect spot on the south for a garden.
We designated one of the little rooms as a nursery. And waited for a little bundle to fill it.
My sister gave me the name of a fertility specialist and I made an appointment to see him right away. He ordered blood tests and ultrasounds to determine the cause of my infertility and explained that because I had already taken a few rounds of fertility medication, I ran the risk of being unable to conceive at all since the original problem was not properly diagnosed.
All along the way I felt peace. I never worried or stressed when others got pregnant or when we realized at the end of the month that we were not. I knew that Heavenly Father was in control and He would somehow make it up to us- whether now or later, I didn't know. But I knew for sure there was something I needed to learn before I had children.
Ultimately I underwent laproscopic surgery to deal with ovarian cysts, endometriosis, a collapsed fallopian tube and a couple other problems. The doctor explained that if I wasn't pregnant within six months of the surgery, it would need to be repeated- and even then there was no guarantee.
Six months passed and the husband and I invited our families to join us in a fast that the Lord would work His miracles for us and help us know how to proceed. It was powerful for the husband and me as we drew upon our families' strength and trusted that we would be blessed.
We met with a couple in our ward who were unable to have children, but had adopted three boys. We talked to them about adoption and the long process it is. They graciously answered our questions and addressed our concerns and listened as we cried and poured our hearts out to them.
The husband had a hard time embracing the idea of adoption, but after the fast, we determined that we would begin the adoption process.
The first day we met with our case worker at LDS Family Services, I was overcome by the spirit of the work done within those walls. I knew that there was a greater power involved in placing these little infants into loving families than what our case worker possessed, and I knew Heavenly Father helped these young women find the right parents for their babies.
We told our case worker a little about ourselves and he gave us a big packet of information, and told us that he thought we would probably be pregnant within six months, but go ahead and get all the paperwork taken care of. Obviously, he wasn't paying very close attention to our story.
And so we dove in. We solicited letters of recommendation from friends. We wrote letters to birth mothers. We filled out personal histories. We made scrapbook pages for the birth mothers to look at. We started background checks. We prayed for that little girl who was pregnant, in the midst of her darkest days, and about to turn her baby over to a family she didn't know yet. We prayed that she would have courage, that she would feel our appreciation, that she would feel the Savior's love and heal through His Atonement. We made the initial payment.
And then it came down to getting our fingerprints- the final document in the stack. For some reason I was dragging my feet on this last checklist item. I had been on a roll with every other step in the game, but just couldn't get going on the fingerprints. And really, the fingerprints were the key in getting the whole ball rolling. Once the fingerprinting was complete, final payment was due and within 60 days, (if my memory serves me) our paperwork and scrapbook pages and letter could be released for birth mothers to view.
We were at my parents' home one Sunday and I was telling my mom about the paperwork and where we were in the game, and in the next breath told her that I had not been feeling well and that some of the symptoms I had been experiencing before surgery, 10 months earlier, seemed to be returning. I explained that I had been feeling nauseous and I was experiencing strange cramping in my stomach.
She didn't need to hear anymore. She told me I was pregnant. I was a bit surprised. I denied it, because I knew pregnancy was not possible and the thought had not even entered my head. That was all that was said.
For some reason I had the day off Monday and couldn't get my mom's hypothesis out of my head. Naturally I went to the drug store and purchased a pregnancy test and came home and promptly performed the test. (do you perform a pregnancy test? what is the proper term for that one?) And in three minutes, there were two distinct pink lines in the 'positive result' window.
I just knew I had not performed the test correctly. Either that or the test was surely defective. There was no possible way I could be pregnant, right? I was 10 months post-surgery. We were in the middle of adopting a baby. I spent the next half hour reading and re-reading the test instructions. And by all indications, it seemed I had followed the steps correctly and it could be possible the result was correct.
When the husband arrived home from work that evening, I took him straight to the bathroom and presented him with the little white wand with the two pink lines.
It seemed that we were going to have a baby.