When I was praying about how to announce our adoption news, I felt like it was time for me to be open in a way I never have been. I felt like it was finally time for me to open my heart and be vulnerable on a level that, honestly, makes me incredibly nervous. So here I go. I’m going to share a bit of our story. I pray that it encourages you, wherever you are on this journey called life.
Our story begins with a dream–a dream that I’ve carried since I was a little girl. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. As a child, I’d spend hours playing with dolls, dreaming about the day when I’d have my own baby. I couldn’t wait to be a mother! Even as I grew into an adult and studied music in college, my career goal was always to be a mom. When Rich and I got married in May 2001, we were so excited about one day starting our family. We both talked about how we’d love to adopt a child someday.
After being married a few years, Rich and I moved to Jacksonville, FL and began trying to start our family in 2005.
In 2008, we tried to foster-adopt a beautiful 3 year-old girl, named Lily. She was in the foster-care system, so we got our foster parenting certification. Just as our home was approved for her to come live with us, she was reunited with her biological mother. We were heartbroken, but trusted that God had a different plan.
Shortly thereafter, we went to a fertility specialist to investigate why I wasn’t getting pregnant. I’ll spare you of all the details of our experience, but it was a very long and arduous series of tests and experiments. It was such a rollercoaster ride of hoping something would work. Finally, we learned that I had endometriosis that damaged my fallopian tubes. The doctor said I most likely wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally. He said that IVF (in vitro fertilization) would be our only option. Initially, I was so overwhelmed with the news that I was ‘damaged’, that I couldn’t even think about trying IVF. About a year later, in February 2011, we decided to give IVF a try. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Aside from all the shots, hormones, and appointments, the hardest part was being vulnerable enough to hope more than we’d ever hoped. You can imagine our devastation when we learned that it was unsuccessful. My heart was smashed into a THOUSAND pieces.
A few months later, we moved across the country to Los Angeles. It was such a busy season that I never allowed myself time to fully process my emotions post-IVF. In January 2013, I began a long grieving process. At first, I didn’t know I was grieving. I felt depressed. I would have days that I couldn’t stop crying, sometimes weeping. I couldn’t do things I loved. I felt emotionally handicapped. But I soon learned that I was grieving the loss of a dream—my childhood dream of carrying a baby. During that time, I had many angry conversations with God. I had a lot of questions. I experienced anger, pain, confusion, and sadness. I was a total wreck, but God was right by my side through it all. This type of grieving is unique and can be isolating because it is so personal –many people didn’t know about my story. It was a difficult, messy process but completely necessary. With it, came a tremendous amount of healing that my heart deeply needed.
As my heart was healing, Rich and I began praying about our family and what God had in store for us.
Back when we lived in Jacksonville, FL, I worked as a nanny with a family for several years. In August 2010, one of the kids I cared for became sick with a rare illness and suddenly passed away. It was a shock and such a tragedy. McKenzie was this beautiful, vivacious 15 year-old girl who had her whole life ahead of her. One of the amazing things that came out of this tragedy is that McKenzie’s family started a foundation in her honor called The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to see young people reach their full potential.They do things locally in Jacksonville and globally with an orphanage in Uganda.
For some time, we have felt a strong calling to adopt a child from the orphanage in Uganda. Our adoption process is now underway and we are hoping to travel to Africa to pick-up our child later this year. We CANNOT wait!!
If you’d like to participate in our adoption process, please visit this page.
Thanks for your love and support.
Mindy & Rich