Kristi (USA): Adventure awaits
All I've ever wanted was to be a mom. I have loved babies and kids for as long as I can remember. As soon as I was able, I began babysitting (and still do). :) I graduated college with a degree in Elementary Education and have taught for eight years. I teach Sunday School at my church. Being around kids is as natural for me as breathing. So I wanted nothing more than to be a mom when I "grew up". When I was younger, I never dreamed that I would have trouble getting to do just that.
I got married to my best friend and love of my life 11 years ago and began the first of many new life adventures. As young and naive newlyweds, we said "I DO", then almost immediately moved to Japan for 3 years. We lived there while my husband was stationed in the Navy. Knowing he would be gone nine months each year, we decided against starting a family because he was away for so much of the time. We decided to get out of the Navy and return back to the US so he could complete his college education. So we waited a little longer to start a family. After completing college, he then took a job in the Bahamas and we spent a year soaking up the sun and began trying to conceive.
That was seven years ago. We have been to doctors, I have had surgery for endometriosis, we have both had several tests done, but we are walking the long and painful road of infertility. We are diagnosed as "unexplained infertility", which honestly most of the time feels like the worst kind. If there was an answer, we could try to fix it. And I admit that's what I did for a long time at the beginning. If I could try to fix it - by taking an herb or supplement or standing on my head :) - I would do it. I held so tightly to the idea that I was just broken and if I could just figure out some little thing to make my body work, then it would happen.
During that season, God was working to show me how tightly I was holding on to becoming a mother and trying to figure it out on my own. We look back and know that He lovingly was working to show His desire for me, and to loosen my grip on these things I wanted so desperately, and to LET GO and to TRUST HIM. After all, He really has been in control of our situation this whole time (and continues to be in control). Shortly after this particular season of learning and hurting and growing and opening my hand from that tight grip, my husband and I went on a missions trip to Uganda. God used this trip to completely confirm in our hearts that we were supposed to pursue adoption. Many ups and downs and tears later, we are now sitting on the edge of the greatest adventure we have experienced so far (and we have had a lot!). After education classes, LOTS of paperwork, home study visits and fundraising - we are a waiting family, ready to welcome the sweet babe into our family that God has picked out for us. And man, is it one of the hardest, most beautiful and painful things we have walked through.
Even though we are pursuing adoption and so excited about the sweet babe we will be bringing home (hopefully soon!), I would still love to get pregnant one day. I would love the experience of carrying a baby in my own belly as I've watched almost all of my friends do (most of them many times.) While it has been an absolute joy to watch our friends grow their families and get to love on all their cute kiddos, it still feels as though I am on the outside looking in, wondering when it will be my turn. The negative tests and monthly reminders certainly sting, even now, reminding us "Not Yet". I have to remind myself each day that God's plan for us is far better than anything I could imagine for myself. My encouragement and a lesson I've been learning anew this last year is to not give up hope! God uses each piece of our journey to teach us. He is near to the broken-hearted and catches our tears and draws us near to Himself during each season of hills and valleys.
Something else I've learned through this journey of life and adventures and infertility is that it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to cry, and it's okay to hurt. The quote "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle" is one that has stuck with me for quite awhile. Everyone is fighting battles of their own, so we need to continue to be sensitive, encouraging and supportive of those around us. The Instagram community for infertility and adoption has been such a huge blessing to me, reminding me often that we are not alone! God created us for community and we have seen this in such a mighty way over the last year as we have found our "village" through our pursuit of adoption. And it's a beautiful thing that we would not have found had we not decided to speak up about our journey and invite others in to walk alongside us.
I so appreciate opportunities (like this one!) we have had to share our journey along the way. I also love talking about adoption anytime and sharing what we have learned in our experience with anyone considering adoption or who has questions! So feel free to find us over on IG - @babygravesadventure :)