I remember the dark days like they were yesterday. The days where I could not get out of bed. The days where I would bury my sorrow in pizza and chocolate and the same movies on a continuous loop. Leaving the house was unthinkable and painful. Everywhere I went there were babies, families, children. The one thing that I was failing at.
Eventually with time, I learned how to manage the hard times. The negative ovulation or pregnancy tests still made me emotional and sometimes, angry. But I learned to embrace it instead of trying to push it down. I threw baby showers, which for the record were beautiful, fun, and excruciatingly difficult to get through.
We went on trips that we couldn’t have managed easily with children. I went to late night movies, dinners out, spent money on ridiculous things that I wanted but didn’t need. And yet, not much changed. Eventually, we decided to pursue adoption. We kept up the same lifestyle. We worked hard, paid off bills, long and short-term. And we filled out mountains and mountains of paperwork.
During the adoption process, the counselors talked a lot about moving on from infertility. I was healing, and though the adoption agency wanted to hear that we had healed and moved on, I doubted that was possible. I no longer mourned so deeply that my body ached. But with every late cycle, every delayed period, every missed pill, I prayed for a miracle.
Soon, we were licensed, and the match calls started to come in. With every call, there was a possibility of a baby. We didn’t know whether to prepare or not, but we kept picking up small items: pacifiers, burp cloths, etc. in hopes that soon THE call would come. While I was 100% committed to adoption, I just wanted a baby, and in that long, long wait, sometimes conceiving seemed “easier.” Despite the 16-year dry spell.
There was a moment when all the hurt, the sorrow, the pain drained away. The moment they laid my infant son in my arms, it all left. It was all worth it. He made me the best version of myself.
I still have moments that I get frustrated with how I wanted life to be. I’ve found for me it wasn’t about having a biological child but having some control over building our family. The truth is this: we are never in control. It’s not up to us. God’s plan for our life was much better than I could have imagined.
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Karla King is a passionate open adoption advocate, adoptive mom, foster mom, wife, reader, avid creator of food, stay-at-home mom, and Christian. She loves taking care of her family, supporting others on the adoption journey, and watching the world through her children’s eyes.