Once upon a time, there was a couple who wanted a baby more than anything else in the world. And they tried, and tried, and tried to make that happen with a pregnancy.
Once, they were successful--a normal pregnancy with normal HCG beta numbers and a genuinely happy call. And it looked like this:
They celebrated their good fortune with a walk in a nature park that was chock full of butterflies. They had joy and hope in their hearts.
Sadly, it was not to be. A short week later things ended, with a gush of lost hope and a strung-along bed rest that did not lead to a successful pregnancy. And that was the last time that there was a good news call.
They tried, and tried, and tried to make that moment come back again. Each time it failed. Then it seemed to fail more miserably, and new problems cropped up where there were none before. Injections became harder, bad news became the norm, and a dark, dark cloud settled over their hope.
But the couple made a decision. Was pregnancy the end-all be-all? Could they have a baby and add to their family of two without that experience? Were they chasing a pregnancy at the cost of parenthood? They decided enough was ENOUGH. Two canceled cycles in a row clinched it.
After days of crying (and years of mourning in advance), a deep peace settled over the couple. They decided that they were okay with letting go of the belly and the ultrasounds and the birth. They decided that what they couldn't let go of was becoming parents. Being a mom. Being a dad. Having a home filled with the joyful noise and chaos of children.
And so they completed the 22-page application for the adoption agency they had chosen over a year ago but kept tucked away, back-of-mind, until now. They spent the better part of a snow day plowing through the questions and the information gathering and the short answer philosophical questions that they felt super prepared for due to reading a number of excellent books on adoption and open adoption and exploring this option through blogs and friends who had gone before.
This week, they went from being people striving for a pregnancy and failing miserably to people who are officially registered with an adoption agency and have the first of many meetings regarding home study paperwork next week. (Ironically, in Buffalo.) They became expectant parents. They became people who no longer live in the fog of infertility treatments that did not work, but people who are turning to face the sun and embrace new possibilities. It may be a year, it may be longer... but at the end of this new journey, they will be parents.
And it looked like this:
Their smiles are just as big, if not bigger, than in the time of the butterflies. There is more hope in their hearts. There is more joy overflowing and spilling over onto friends and family (who, by the way, seem utterly thrilled at this turn in the road). They could not be happier than to be done with a process that did not work, and stop fighting against bodies that did not cooperate. Because now, now there is true promise. These are the smiles of parents-to-be who truly believe that their hope will end in lasting joy, finally.
And so I will not say The End, because it is really The Beginning. And times could not be more exciting.