The following guest post is a preview of my upcoming 30-day series! In honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month, Portrait of an Adoption is hosting the fifth annual acclaimed series, 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days. Designed to give a voice to the many different perspectives of adoption, this series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying experiences.
The Chosen Path: This Is What We Were Meant To Do
By Michelle Morgan
There have been few times in my life when I really knew what God wanted me to do. Sometimes I've been pretty sure of his direction for my life, but on May 27, 2005, it was like God called me on the phone and said this is the path I've chosen for you. And, WOW, what a wonderful path it was!
The four years leading up to this phone call were filled with many prayers, many losses, many doctors, much pain, many tears and no certain diagnosis. We were told that our last option was IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and even if that worked, the odds of sustaining a pregnancy were slim to none.
The emotions became too much to bear at that time. My husband and I decided we needed a break. It was during that time that the signs began to appear. Billboards, television commercials, newspaper articles, web site banners and magazine ads. All displaying beautiful babies, saying adoption could be right for you. But I wasn't convinced it was right for us. I was convinced that if God really wanted us to adopt, then he would have presented a diagnosis that showed us that was the way.
I prayed for a clear indication of the direction we should take. As the months went on, the signs began to appear more frequently and a little part of me began to wonder what if this is our calling, what if we could be that family in the adoption article, what if there will never be a diagnosis, what if there is a sweet baby that has no one to adopt him or her?
The wondering grew. We went to an information meeting with an agency whose focus was on expectant mothers and babies in need. They were upfront and said that their job was to find families & support for babies, not to find babies for families. That stung a little because what I was interested in at the time was someone to give us a baby. It wasn't about anyone else; it was about me and what I wanted. I was still young and had no idea at the time that living a life centered around everything I wanted was not the life I should have been striving for.
We decided to proceed with a home study in the domestic adoption program with that agency. In August of 2004, we were approved as a prospective adoptive family and began waiting in hopes that an expectant family might choose us to adopt their baby.
At first, the months flew by as I painted and shopped for the nursery. I just knew it would happen any day, and I wanted everything to be ready and to be perfect. But then the days started to creep by. As the days slowly passed, the fear began to creep in -- what if this isn't our calling, what if no one ever chooses us, what if no one thinks we will be good parents, what if we were supposed to do the IVF?
The cost to adopt an infant domestically at this time was approximately the same as the cost of IVF. We had paid for our home study and the remaining funds would be due at the time an infant was placed with us. We did not have all the money necessary to complete the adoption or IVF at the time.
So we decided we would wait to make any further decisions until we had the remaining amount needed. Several months later, we had saved all the necessary funds to either complete an adoption or have one round of IVF. We had been waiting in the adoption program for seven months with no promising leads. Despite our prayers that God would show us what direction we should go, we received no clear answer. We decided to go ahead with the IVF.
It took two months of various doctor visits, hormones, shots and blood work to prepare for the IVF. We were told that everything was ready. They would continue to monitor my blood work every other day for seven days and the nurse would call me on Friday to let me know when to come in for the egg retrieval procedure.
Friday, May 27, 2005 was a big day for me at work. I was in charge of an event to be held that evening in our park downtown, so I was busy all day. I had my cell phone in my pocket, though, because I didn't want to miss the nurse calling me. Sometime in the afternoon, my phone rang. I hurriedly got the phone out of my pocket expecting to see the doctor's number on the screen.
My heart sank as I saw it was our social worker instead. I figured she was calling to sign us up for another training or to tell us we needed to have another home visit or fill out more paperwork. I was wrong.
My heart began to race as she said that a baby girl had been born the night before in a nearby town and the family liked our profile and wanted to meet us that evening! It was like God was calling, saying this is the path I have chosen for you. My co-worker was the only person I told about this wonderful possibility as I left that day. She graciously handled everything for the event I was in charge of, so that I could go talk with my husband, and we could make some decisions.
When I got home, he and I decided we wanted to meet with the family to see if this might be a good fit for everyone involved. After meeting with two social workers to discuss the situation and the risks involved, we met with the baby's mother and some of her family. We all seemed to get along well and we learned that the baby's mother did want to proceed with placing her for adoption and wanted us to be her parents!
We were told that she would be discharged from the hospital the next morning and we could pick her up then. During all the commotion that evening, the nurse left me a message telling me that I was to have the egg retrieval for IVF two days later. I called her back and told her that we were cancelling the IVF, because we now knew that God's path for us was adoption and a little girl would be placed with us the next day.
After our daughter came into our lives, it didn't take me long to realize that all the things I thought I wanted in life no longer mattered.
I grew up a lot in those first few months and began to see that despite the selfish reasons for which I pursued adoption, God had a plan to change me for the better. He showed me that my life should not be centered around what I think I want and need, but around others and what I can do for them.
After our daughter's placement with us, I no longer see a stranger's face when I see adoption ads. I see my daughter’s face and her birth mother's face. I see love. I feel love.
We adopted another infant domestically in February of 2007. Just one short month after our home study was approved, our social worker called. It was February 12th, and she told us of a baby boy who had been born two days before - February 10, my birthday!!! We knew that only God could have orchestrated such a wonderful birthday gift. We met our son and got to bring him home the very next day.
Our family still has more love to give, and we are now waiting a third time to adopt. We feel adoption is our calling and can't wait to open our hearts to another child. You can read more about us here and here.
Michelle Morgan is the mother of 2 children through adoption. She and her family live on a family farm in Southwest Iowa. She likes to travel & especially enjoys helping her children explore the world.
Portrait of an Adoption is hosted by author Carrie Goldman. Are you looking for an awesome children's adoption book? Check out our new release Jazzy's Quest: Adopted and Amazing!
To continue receiving posts from the fabulous blog Portrait of an Adoption, simply type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button.
Check out Carrie's award-winning book Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear (Harper Collins, 2012).