We have been floored by your response to my little blog series. All I know is God asked me to be transparent about what has been going in our lives (as I’ve done in the past), so I obeyed. I’m so glad I did! 😀 THANK YOU for all your support and encouragement this far.
It means more than you’ll ever, ever know. 🙂
The story isn’t over yet.
Let us review: Why did we halt our adoption?
The simplest answer is because we cannot afford to pursue adoption and surrogacy at once.
*For more on why we before 3 weeks ago we never dreamed surrogacy would be an option, and how we were both finally at peace with moving forward with our adoption plans, please see Part 1.
*For more on the Facebook message I received 3 weeks ago from practically a perfect stranger that would rock anyone’s world, please see Part 2.
*For more on our surprisingly spirited 1st reaction to that message, please see Part 3.
*For more on the questions we both had, and the emotional struggle I went through, once the surrogacy option was presented to us, please see Part 4.
*For more on the initial, God-filled meeting I had with the woman who strongly felt God may very well be calling her to be our surrogate, please see Part 5.
Coming out of work last Monday evening, I was on a high.
I have never been more excited to drive home.
No, I take that back – to drive anywhere.
I couldn’t wait to tell John everything that had transpired earlier that morning with the God-sent woman who came into our lives out of the blue, about the one who was so at peace with helping make us a family of three. It was becoming more and more clear that she was going to help make John’s (and therefore my) dream of having children of our own flesh and blood come true. I was confident that only a few hours earlier I had met not just another human being but an angel sent to us by our Heavenly Father to accomplish His miraculous plan. I was on cloud nine.
John and I spent the whole evening talking about my meeting with this woman we had both grown to love.
We, especially John, cried many tears of joy.
We thanked the Lord profusely for how He was seemingly working in our lives for His glory.
We cried again.
We spent a lot of time thinking about our children’s names. Hannah Grace will undoubtedly be our first-born daughter; that has been decided since before we got married. A boy’s name, however, has always been hard for us to solidify. As of now, 2 names are still in the running and no decisions have been made. I am praying the Lord clearly tells John the name I like is his God-given name, not just one his mother likes, soon. 😉 This conversation wasn’t one we hadn’t had before; in fact, we’d had it hundreds of times. What we never had done before, however, is try to come up with 2 names for both genders we could both agree upon, like we did that night.
John was clearly dreaming BIG. He was believing the Lord could not just give us one child through surrogacy but TWO (or more) and wasn’t afraid to pray specifically for it. My usually skeptical, very realistic husband was once again showing that he had extreme faith that God was working on our behalf. He was operating with a faith I had never seen in him before, a childlike faith I had prayed so many hundreds of times before for him to have. My prayers had been answered, even if not in the way in which I was imagining. After all, we hadn’t planned on surrogacy ever being an option for us; we were adopting, and that was that. I was planning on my prayers being answered by him being completely at peace with that decision and showing this much enthusiasm and joy about the prospect of being a family through the beautiful gift of adoption. Though I wasn’t sure how it was all going to work out now that the Lord had hijacked our plans, I was absolutely in love with my husband in that moment. I could have easily stayed in that moment with him forever.
We went to bed that night full of joy and peace, anxiously anticipating how the Lord was going to work next.
And then Tuesday came.
Unlike most days, I had to be at work that day at 9:00am instead of my usual 1:00pm. I was happily going through my work day, answering phone calls and gathering people’s information for them to be quoted auto insurance, while trying not to daydream too much about what our biological child would look like, when I got a Gmail chat message from John on my phone.
“I have some bad news,” the message said.
He went on to tell me that after talking with our insurance that morning, as well as two – not just one – fertility clinics, he was informed that, as the prospective parents, we would be responsible for the entire fertility bill for all parties involved (3), that the surrogate’s insurance wouldn’t kick in until pregnancy was achieved. We had naively assumed, though, that the implantation of our embryo (what we thought they meant by IVF) into the surrogate would be covered under her insurance (if at all) because she’d be the one being “serviced.” We had already been talking through, and planning, on the very real possibility of her insurance not covering it and therefore us needing to pick up the entire tab for it, so that wasn’t a deal breaker.
It wasn’t ideal, but we could work through it.
There was another problem, though.
Things were about to get worse – a lot worse.
John went on to tell me we don’t have the fertility coverage on our insurance plan we thought we had. In our minds, all the other fertility treatments, besides In Vitro Fertilization (as we defined it), were covered by our insurance, so it was just a matter of how much implantation was going to cost.
Like I said, it was our understanding that the embryo implantation was essentially defined as “IVF”. Sadly are understanding of our coverage couldn’t be further from what was really going to be covered. Quickly he had learned that “IVF” is what they call the entire process, meaning my egg retrieval, his sperm retrieval and analysis and implantation. Yes, the whole process, not just a third of it.
The only “good” news that came out of his dialogue with our insurance company was that he was informed we did have coverage through our prescription plan for the hormonal shots/prescriptions that both I, and the surrogate, would need to achieve successful implantation. In their words, that would shed a “couple thousand” off the bill.
So, instead of our estimate of probably getting through the fertility part of the process for $5,000 (or less), he was told by the fertility clinic that, without IVF coverage, we were looking at bill of $20-25,000 for just the fertility. This total didn’t include the legal fees, pregnancy or our payment to the surrogate. In a matter of minutes, our dream of having a child through surrogacy went from a miracle within our reach to seemingly an impossible financial hill to climb. Impregnating the woman who was feeling “called” to carry our baby now came with a perceived cost almost as huge as if we would have gone through a surrogacy agency, something we’ve already established we could never afford, even if we found the “right” person to carry our baby.
In a matter of seconds, my heart shattered into a million pieces.
Unlike John, I didn’t have a door to shut to hide my tears. I hid behind my computer screen and prayed for the breath to return to my lungs. I wanted to go hide in the bathroom, but I knew the sobs that would inevitably come behind a closed door would scare my co-workers and any customers who happened to walk in. I had no escape for several hours. I wasn’t about to tell my boss, even if he was a close friend, I was too emotionally unstable to finish out my day. We were already short two people, which is why I came in early, so I knew he desperately needed my help. I wasn’t going to put him in a tough spot just because I received some bad (OK, horrible) news. No, I had no choice but to pull myself together and continue to welcome people into our State Farm office with open arms. None of our policy holders were going to want to hear my sob story. They just wanted to pay their bill and get on their merry way. They just wanted to hear a friendly voice on the other end of the line when they had a policy question, one who was giving them their undivided attention. As one who prides myself in doing my job with excellence, I knew I had no choice but to bury the raw emotions I was feeling until closing time. So I did.
Once I got into my car a little past 5:00pm, however, I lost it.
I sobbed the whole way home.
I begged the Lord to make the emotional roller coast we’d been on for weeks (more like years) to end.
I asked Him “why” a hundred times.
I told Him, “I can’t do this anymore” more than once.
Then I got home and did what I always do when I’m upset.
Don’t get me wrong. We don’t live in a pigsty, hardly so. Since I live with one who loves a tidy home, I clean all the time. The kind of cleaning I engaged in that night is the mindless, I-just-need-to-take-my-mind-off-my-current-reality-so-get-out-of-my-way type of cleaning. I stood at the sink and begin washing a huge pile of dishes, some which I took out of the cupboard, even though they were clean, to give me more to do. I didn’t want to be sobbing when John got home, so the only other option left was to focus on scrubbing the tar out of my Corelle Ware.
John came home, changed out of his suit into something comfortable, and joined me in the kitchen. Instead of conversing after work like we usually do, we didn’t speak. There was nothing left to say at that point. He joined me by the sink, picked up a dish towel, went to begin drying the dishes I had piled a mile-high into the drying rack, and proceeded to do what I knew was coming.
He stood in the middle of the kitchen and began to cry.
We held each other, as we felt our world crashing down on us.
Throughout the course of the evening, hardly anything was said. We just held each other on the couch in our family room for dear life. Most of that Tuesday evening was spent mostly in silence, with us staring at a TV screen and wishing the past 8 hours were all a bad dream.
“I don’t see how we’re going to be able to afford this now; it’s over, Babe,” was muttered by John more than once.
“This seems like a cruel joke,” was also said by both of us at least a few times that night.
Eventually, we got off the couch – the same couch on which just 24 hours before we had cried tears of complete joy – and headed to bed. Instead of having sex, and therefore being completely relaxed before we drifted off to sleep, we were bent-out-of-shape, emotionally bankrupt and had no choice but to cry out to the Lord for answers. We held each other in bed and prayed for a long time.
“What are you doing?”
“What was the past 3 weeks for, anyway?”
“Why did You give us so much peace about this for nothing?”
“Are we really supposed to borrow all this money? Is that Your will? Help us, Lord! We need Your help.”
“Help us to move forward with adoption and put this behind us.”
“Help us, Father, to get up tomorrow, to face the day.”
As John eventually drifted off to sleep, and I was left in the darkness alone, I remember once again saying to the Lord,
“Not our will, Lord, but YOURS be done. I just don’t really know what that is right now, at all. Please help.”
Answers, however, weren’t going to come easily. Part 7 to come!
*Note: These blog posts have not been pre-written. I’ve been writing each only 12-24 hours before posting. Therefore, due to John asking me to spend this evening with him (instead of blogging) watching the OSU game (go Bucks!), and then us going out of town together this weekend for some much-needed alone time, I will NOT be posting Part 7 until next week. In the meantime, we would appreciate your continued prayers. You all have been SO incredibly encouraging to us; it means more than you’ll ever know! We’re humbled by the fact God has allowed us to walk this journey for His glory and are doing our best not to “waste” this difficult time.
Thanks in advance for your prayers and patience. I’ll be back next week. 🙂