It's funny how you sometimes open this app on your phone, and out of nowhere can have your heart touched. In this week's Folks of Letterfolk, we get to know Jamie and her family's brave journey. We saw her post about getting pregnant while adopting and had to get the full story.
To start off, tell us a little about how you ended up getting pregnant and adopting.
Absolutely! Jake and I, both, had always wanted a family. So as I think about the one thing that got us to where we are today, both pregnant and adopting, I realize that it has been rather a season of doors opening and closing rather than a unified decision we made over a Thursday night dinner. I was so naïve to the world we live in, one where infertility, miscarriage, and infant loss can happen. The silent, isolating, and private pains that, unfortunately, some of us deal with as women. We got pregnant with our firstborn and we were overjoyed! We heard her heartbeat, she was measuring on track, and then tragically and unexpectedly her heartbeat just stopped. We battled secondary infertility, and just when I thought that the medication and the shots were useless, God gifted us a son. We carried him 35 weeks and 2 days. His appointments were always short and sweet, as nothing was out of place and he was measuring right on track. But little did we know that two months after a long, and hard fought NICU journey, that we would place him into the arms of Jesus due to an “unexplainable” neurological condition. He never even opened his eyes.
This left us heartbroken, questioning, and ultimately unsure of where to go from there. No one was telling us we couldn’t have a baby, but then again no one was telling us we could either. I remember walking the halls of our NICU seeing these children battling for their lives often alone in an empty room. This whole experience changed me.
When we got home, this desire for a family, and this pain that I saw in the rooms surrounding my son, well I just had to do something about it. So I prayed, and little by little God began to write this story of adoption on our hearts. We thought, why not us? Why not give a child the family that it needs? And sometimes that’s the only thing you need – a willing heart. And so we took steps towards adoption. Pregnancy after this type of trauma, not to mention the battle with secondary infertility, was so far from my mind; I didn’t even think it was possible. But shortly days after we started the adoption process, I wound up with a positive pregnancy test and a whole lot of tears. When we went to calculate the due date of our biological baby, the “probable date of conception” was the exact same day we had decided to adopt. Okay, God!
How did you decide to announce the news of two new babies to your close friends and family?
Well first off, how do you not scream that type of news from the rooftops!!! That we would get to be parents for the third and fourth time in two years! Right? Unheard of. Well, our close friends and family have walked these past two years with us, in the trenches, encouraging us to press on when we thought we had nothing left in us. Not to mention, they live in all these different states, so we did our best to call and FaceTime, but ultimately, like I said, this type of news had to be shouted from the rooftops! So we used our beloved Letterfolk board to tell everyone we could the good news.
With the two babies on the way, how close are their due dates?
Well that’s the beauty of adoption; it could be twelve days or twelve months from now. It just depends on when a birth mom chooses us. At that point we will have a clearer picture on when to expect bringing that little one home. As for the babe in my belly, we hope to expect that one as close to August 29th as we can get.
How do you manage the usual preparations of not only pregnancy, but also adoption all at the same time?
You have to set realistic goals, manage your days, and know your body. Adoption is a lot of paperwork and some of it is filling out mindless information: your name, age, occupation, etc. For someone like me, who wants to finish something and move on, well, you can’t necessarily do that with adoption. You have to depend on others to help you: your social worker, the people running your background checks, and your agency. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself sitting for long periods of time and running around town trying to get pieces of paperwork filled out. This can make you very tired and stressed, which is not good for a baby in utero. Not to mention the first trimester can often make you feel like you are in survival mode. So there are days that I have to listen to my body. If I’m not feeling well and having trouble keeping food down, I have to put down the pen and leave the paperwork alone. Different babies, different needs. Some days I feel like I moved mountains in the paperwork process, and I feel like I am one step closer to holding our child through adoption. And other days, I receive God’s grace in that my job for the day was that I grew a human, and I’m one step closer to holding that child in my arms, too. So the preparations are different, but hopefully the end goals are the same – bringing those baby Dorrs home!
We've been touched by your unimaginable experience of losing two children and wanted to ask how that has impacted this experience of adopting and having another baby?
Ultimately, losing two children impacts everything about what you do and how you do it. You have to learn a “new normal.” And oftentimes, your days feel like this cheap version of what should have been. But when it comes to growing our family again, through both adoption and pregnancy, we know that our babies would want this for us. They wouldn’t want us to stop living. I think that if they were here, they would be overjoyed to have more siblings. And so as a couple, we have pressed on, asked God for grace, and with hands wide open we willingly accept whatever He gives us. And surprisingly enough, I have learned that grief and joy and praise can all coexist together inside of me. That these new babies will never replace the two we lost. We will never not miss them, or think what life would have been with them in it. But whatever happens to us, good or bad, it is well with our souls and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.
What are you looking forward to most once both babies are born?
There are so many things I am excited about once both babies are born. I mean you name it, everything from the tiny clothes to the baby sounds. Give me all of it! However, the thing I am looking forward to most in the world is to see their eyes open and gaze up at me. My son Barron, in his two months of life, never opened his eyes or breathed on his own. I dreamed about the day that I would get to look into those beautiful eyes and say to him, “Hey Buddy, it’s me. I’m your mama.” But unfortunately that won’t ever happen this side of Heaven, so as insignificant as it may seem, it’s the moment I’m looking forward to the most. To look at my babies in the eye and tell them how much they are loved and cherished and how I will be there for them, as their mama, for the rest of their days.
Lastly, we always like to ask: what is currently up on your letter board?
Well, as of this past week we are officially in the second trimester and we are officially finished with every piece of paperwork for our adoption! Can I get a hallelujah? So you know how they say that the second trimester is the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy? As our board states, “Give me all the second trimester paper pregnant feels.” We are one step closer and we are soaking it all in.
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