Monday, February 2, 2015

The day I found out I was pregnant

Let me preface this post by stating that I am not a strong believer in coincidences.  I believe in divine appointments and divine intervention.  

I will clarify, though, that I see coincidences in minor things, like coordinating colors with my co-anchors on the same day - or going to a restaurant for a specific item and seeing that it is the daily special.

Sure...that's coincidental. 

Then there are life events that are undoubtedly orchestrated by God that reaffirm our faith and our purpose.

When Matt and I decided that we were "ready" (whatever that means!) to have a child in the fall of 2013, I truly thought that it would not take more than a couple of months to find out I was pregnant.  Heck, we were both healthy, active, young-ish, and had no reason to think otherwise.

Add in my Type A personality, and you best believe that I had ovulation kits, thermometers, apps, and a plan.  It was going to

Then it didn't.  While it did not take years, it took several months - long, disappointing months.

I was neurotic about taking pregnancy tests days before I would have even been able to see two pink lines.  After the first two months, I had already depleted whatever budget we might have envisioned for pregnancy tests.  That led to bulk purchases of what I called "science experiments" (much more complicated than peeing on a stick) from the Dollar Tree to satisfy my testing fervor, $1 at a time.  

Winter passed, spring came, and 25+ science experiments only continued to confirm that I was still not pregnant.

Every evening, Matt and I would pray together about a pregnancy.  I would say words and want to mean them, like, "If it's your will, God," and "In your timing," mixed with, "I surrender this to you..." 

But no matter how much I wanted those words to reflect the feelings in my heart, they were empty as I was focused on myself and what I thought the best plan would be.

Still, we prayed.  

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."  Romans 8:26

It was in March 2014 that Matt and I started talking much more seriously about adoption.  We were both still confident that we would have biological children one day, but started wondering if this delay was meant for us to pursue adoption first.  I have always felt an equal desire to carry a child biologically and to adopt.

Maybe that was the answer.

We got the wheels in motion by completing the orientation with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), enrolling in the next round of MAPP classes (part of the certification process) and talking about this option with family and friends.

Then something happened inside of me.  No, not a baby growing:)  Instead it was an idea and conversation about children in need that turned into a conviction.  I knew that if I did not pursue this path, that we were being blatantly disobedient in God's call to care for orphans/parentless children.

The conviction for these kiddos is not something that I could turn off in my professional life.  I met with my news director about launching a new adoption segment and found a new energy and joy with my career that I had never experienced.  Work was not work, it was a mission.  

Here's an excerpt from a March e-mail to the DCFS office about the idea for the segment:

"I can’t think of anything that would be more fulfilling using this media platform than to connect a child with a mom, dad or family. I definitely understand that there are limitations in the information that we can share and assure you it will be treated with extra sensitivity and the sole purpose of using TV as a service.

Who do I need to speak to in order to get moving in the right direction?

I really appreciate your help and hope that we can further a partnership that makes a positive impact on this community."

Since then, we have formed a fabulous partnership and I am thrilled that several of the children we featured since the segment debuted last May are now in adoptive placements or in the final stages to be placed with a family.

So what does this have to do with pregnancy?  I'm getting there:)

By the time May rolled around, I felt different.  I could pray and say the word, "surrender," and actually mean it.  I could see other people around me and not be so focused on what had caused me to live life with blinders for several months.

On May 29, I had a work day to look forward to - I was set to have a girly day at Club Tabby with a foster child hoping to be adopted.  Her name was Danielle and we snapped this picture before parting ways that day. 

I rushed back to the office after spending twice as long on the interview as I had anticipated and then hopped in my car, stomach growling and pulled into the Wendy's on Lake Street - ordering a salad I never got to eat.

It was on this day that I am so grateful my eyes were open to someone other than myself, because I saw a family in desperate need across the street at a bus stop and felt God's presence, telling me to do something.

The next morning, I wrote about the events that unfolded with this mother and her three children in a post entitled, "Turn around and do something."  I had been deeply moved by the community stepping in so fast to meet the needs of strangers who had been homeless the day before.

May 30 was the date and I can remember feeling absolutely overcome with emotions as people shared the blog, then offered food, beds, couches, and money to help this family.  

When I got home from checking in on my new friends that afternoon, it dawned on me that May 30 was the day I could start up another round of pregnancy tests.

On this day and for the first time ever, it was positive.    

Maybe some won't see any sort of connection between the struggle, the stress, the adoption heart change, the family in need, and the pregnancy.

For me, though, I can see God's hand in every detail - working on my heart and the unveiling of my eyes to so much more.  

I learned first-hand that when we are obedient, it is impossible to not see God's faithfulness.

We are now days away from having our first child, officially certified to adopt our next child, and still in touch with the sweet family I met at a bus stop on a hot afternoon in May.

As Matt and I embark on our biggest adventure yet - welcoming a baby girl this week - I hold onto God's promises that always ring true.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  Galatians 6:9