Saturday, April 17, 2021

We're Adopting! The backstory

Psalm 77:11-12 says this, "I will remember the deeds of the Lordyes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
I want to remember every thought, every prayer, every tiny thing that has brought us here. I want to remember that the Lord is still a miracle working God and moving in our hearts in 2021. 

Our adoption journey is not one that is linear. It is not one that is smooth or even incredibly logical, yet it has the hand of God all over it. 

Years ago (I looked back; it was 2013), I sent an email to a friend who was adopting and just asked hundreds of questions. She answered. I archived the email and really didn't tell a single person that I had done it. Honestly, I am not sure whether that was seeds of adoption, general curiosity, or what--but it was there and the thought was obviously in my head. I envisioned this sweet little Latin American baby/toddler. It lingered in the back of my head and popped up every once in awhile, on an adoption Sunday, when friends of mine would announce they were adopting, but I always brushed it aside and assumed it was not our story. 

In 2014, we had a miscarriage and relized that adding to the Saville family may or may not be as simple as it is for some other families and would take intentional medical support. In 2016, after fertility treatments and a monitored pregnancy, we welcomed Eva Kate into our family and our joy was complete. 

2017 was a difficult year for me personally, but God remained faithful and we grew as a family of 3. We began working with doctors again to add to our family. By the end of 2018, we realized that this may be more of a process than we had initially thought. We prayed. We cried. Dr Walvoord, who had been with us through all of the things since 2014 said, "It's time to refer you to a specialist." Truly, we didn't really know what that meant. We knew that our insurance did not have infertility coverage, we knew that we weren't feeling extreme desires in our hearts to adopt, and we knew that we desperately wanted to add to our family. 

The next two years are sort of a blur. Tests, more tests, IUIs, more IUIs, shots (I mean more shots than I can count), ultrasounds, conversations, pills, hormones, and all of the things. Infertility treatments alone are refining. You learn to do things you never in a million years thought you could do. As a tiny piece of humor, there was one night at a track meet, I ran to the car and gave myself a shot (that was stored in a cooler bag with an ice pack) in my stomach because these things have to be done at exact times. Dr. Green was absolutely phenomenal. She was just the best sounding board. A year into these treatments, a global pandemic hit. For months, we were treated virtually and unable to do many of the more intense treatments that are available. We racked up credit card debt and my emotions and hormones were ALL OVER THE PLACE. Poor Moose. When I look back now, I had gotten a little crazy, a little obsessed, and a little cynical. When you are checking for a pregnancy every 28 days for over 2 years, it does some things to you. 

Here's the part that gets tricky to explain, and I want to be thorough, so try to follow me :)
In the summer of 2020, someone said to me, "Why don't you just adopt?" I sort of wanted to smack them. First, as though it's easy to "just adopt". Like, oh, why didn't we think of that. Remember, my hormones were all over the place, I was extremely emotional, and our eyes were set on the prize of a pregnancy. In the long run, we thought it would be faster and easier if we could just get pregnant (ha). I truly believe we were following what the Lord had for us. We were being sanctified in the process. Actively and patiently waiting is a discipline. It is not just a state of idleness. We've been learning to patiently and actively wait on the Lord. Additionally, admitting that I was spent, exhausted, mad, and needed my people to pick me up, pray for me, and just walk this road with me was sanctifying. I couldn't do this thing alone. Moose and I couldn't do this thing alone. We needed people. We begged for prayer. Eva Kate would ask over and over "When exactly is God going to send that God baby?" and it would send me into a tailspin. My actual answer to the adoption question was this, however. "We really just don't feel a pull to adopt." grin. If you know me, you know my philosophy has been that we will continue upon a path until God says no. Had God said no to adoption....well, no. I was waiting for Him to flash a sign in the sky or make my heart feel all mushy when someone said the word. Basically, I changed my philosophy on God's will to suit my wants. Anyone else ever done that? No? :) I now see that God was planting little seeds in my heart even through that difficult time. Moose was experiencing his own feelings, and as a more logical thinker, was beginning to add up the dollars we had spent on infertility treatment. He began to think that our money might be better spent on a "sure thing" rather than "months and months of a chance." 

In August of 2020, our doctor's office opened back up for in-person treatments again. I begged Moose to let us try 1 more month. (please note I had begged for just one more month approximately 8 times before this...keeping this little blog space real here) By October, none of that stuff had worked. Moose was done spending money, I was discouraged/over it/cynical, and Dr. Green told us that the next step was IVF and our odds with that were really not excellent. We left that doctor's appointment sort of done. It took us a couple more months to realize that we were done, but in hindsight, I think we both knew we would not pursue that. We decided to take a break until the end of the year and just pray. In that time period, I talked with a couple friends, mentors, and intentionally selected women in my life. By January of 2021, I was convinced that God was not done building our family, but a bit confused. I had not had a magical "the best way to do orphan care is through adoption" moment. I had not had a dream, a vision, or a fleece on the ground moment. But God. God gave us a desire to parent children (plural). God gave us a means of sanctification, learning to wait, learning to lean on our people. And then God closed the door to more fertility treatment. The idea of adoption came back into my head and I began to pray. 

I came to the following realization: just like pregnancy isn't necessarily everyone's favorite thing, the difficult process of paperwork and waiting isn't going to be thrilling for any adoptive parent, but it is a means to an end--the end which is a precious child redeemed from a truly sad situation joined together with a family who has been desperately praying for him/her since 2016. How could this be wrong? It may not be how I envisioned having my babies way back in 2014 when we started talking about a family, but it's how God has woven the story together...since 2013, he had been planting seeds of international adoption in my heart. Now, they're ready to bloom. 

I prayed specifically from October to March the following, "Lord, if it is not your will for us to have more children, please remove the desire from our hearts. If it is, then please give us clarity about how to add to our family." Moose told me he wanted us to pray January-March, do some research, and reevaluate in March about what God would have for us. Full disclosure, this is not how I like to do business. My American, Control Freak, Type A, Enneagram 3 self wants to succeed, wants to do the thing quickly, and wants to move forward. This period of 12 weeks was yet again sanctifying. It truly allowed me to heal from a lot of cynicism and anger that had taken seed in my heart. It allowed me to process foster care, domestic adoption, international adoption, what each of those things means to the child involved, the parents involved, the siblings involved. It forced me, yet again, to wait. James 5:7 says, "Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains." I learned that waiting is not necessarily just sitting. Rather, there is tilling of the land, watering, fertilizing, etc occurring. These three months were huge in terms of research. I knew we were going to add to our family, but we needed definite clarity on how. 

By the end of March the little Latin American baby that kept popping up in my dreams, thoughts, and fleeting ideas (remember that? from 2013) was a little more prominent in my thoughts. I was certain International Adoption made the most sense for our family. Moose and I talked and he agreed on that and said, "Well, it doesn't really matter to me what country they come from; they'll be in our family afterward no matter what." (such a man! Or truly, such a gift for me to be able to choose that). I reached out and scheduled meetings with 5 different agencies; I made an excel sheet...all the things. I knew that Colombia was the place for us. 

AND. Here we are. We are in the home study phase at the moment. This will be a long process. This will be a pricy process. This will, yet again, be a sanctifying process. This will, yet again, be a process where we need to lean on our people. 

So, I'm going to revive this little space to keep you involved. I'll post a timeline for you sometime soon so that you can understand what the whole thing looks like a little better. But for now, we covet your prayers. Pray for us as we gather paperwork, raise funds, open our home and hearts, and seek a match. Pray for Eva Kate to understand the waiting process. Pray that she would see a beautiful picture of the gospel through this adoption process and come to know the Lord as her adopted Father and personal Savior. Pray for our child. They may be out there already; they may not even be born. God knows. Please pray. We beg you, our family, friends, and church to walk alongside us as we continue this long journey. 
Let's go! 

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