It has now been about 10 months since I decided to take a step back from posting here and, more importantly, from social media. A lot was going on for Braden and I that I wasn't ready to share. I needed that time away to focus on us and not get caught up in the comparison game. Fast forward to now, and I finally feel like I have a chance to breathe. There is space in my life where there hasn't been for quite some time and with this space, I feel I can finally begin to share the confusing, overwhelming, and still unsolved path God has taken us down. So let's get into it...
Over a year ago, my selfless cousin approached Braden and I about becoming our surrogate. For those of you unfamiliar with our journey up until now, I am currently on a gene therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. This treatment prevents me from being able to carry my own child. Early on when I was diagnosed we were informed of this and made the decision to freeze my eggs. Being newly married we weren't ready to have children, but knew one day we would be faced with the issue of what to do and wanted to be prepared. Two years passed and the idea of children started to cross our minds, but we weren't sure where to begin. Financially we had our reservations about surrogacy, but once my cousin came to us with such a generous offer that would cut the expense in half we knew we couldn't pass up the opportunity. The journey of surrogacy was a long, emotional, and tiring road. One that I feel is meant to be shared in-depth in a separate post. For the purpose of moving this little journey of ours along, I will cut to the end. Out of 19 eggs, we successfully turned those into 1 healthy embryo. That in itself was a shock! We tried to maintain hope that God had one specific child he wanted for us. Yet, he had something completely different in mind because after fertilization the egg did not take. After almost 4 months, it all came to an abrupt end. Surrogacy was no longer an option for us. Now longing for a child more so than before we quickly, and frankly too quickly, began looking into other options. We learned that the traditional adoption route was not viable given the fact I have cancer. Unfortunately, most agencies in Colorado won't accept someone with cancer. Again, a post for another day, but after telling agencies what I think about that policy we pivoted to foster care. Foster Care with the intent to adopt allowed us to get into adoption without all the red flags. The thought of helping children along our journey to adoption was an added bonus. However, before we could even start our certification God decided to throw another wrench into our plan.
One evening I received a phone call from a close friend informing me she knew a mother that was going to have her child removed from their home (or lack thereof) by Child Protective Services and he needed a place to go. There were many complexities to the situation which I am not able to fully disclose, but ultimately the child would not be fully entering foster care. This would allow Braden and I to get a taste of what foster care would be like without the commitment. After several months of a 3 almost 4-year-old in and out of our home, we began to pursue our license to improve our chances of adopting this little boy. Yet again, God had another plan because quickly after entering that path the complexities of the case increased to a point where we were faced with deciding whether to stay in the situation that had no end in sight or move on. I can say that decision was one of the hardest I've had to make and still question. Together we came to the conclusion that as much as it hurt we needed to step away. Braden and I had to do what was not only best for us, but also consider what we felt would ultimately be best for the child. Once that decision was made we next had to decide on whether or not to continue with our foster care license. After getting a taste of the system, we felt at this time we are not the right fit to be foster parents. There is so much broken within the system and while everyone is aware of it no one takes action to make the necessary changes. For that, and the fact that we were bordering on NXIVM cult-style learning (watch the documentary) in our agency's training, we stepped away.
It has been close to 3 months now since I said goodbye to that sweet little soul that had become a member of the family. My heart aches for what his future might look like and can only pray that he may have a life filled with love and security. This past year I feel like I have been beaten up more than I have been in a long time and that is saying a lot. I've taken these past few months to do a lot of healing before Braden and I pursue any other options. I needed the space to breathe. To release emotions that have been built up. I know God's plan is far greater than I can conceive. For the time being, all I can do is hang on to hope that one day I will be looking back and see how the puzzle pieces fell into place perfectly. When you get those moments in life it's like standing on a mountain top admiring God's work. For me, there is usually a big sigh as I take in God's beauty and release the weight of all the pressures I put upon myself. Because when you are taking in what God is capable of it reminds you that we have a Creator far greater than I often give Him credit for. So today I will stand on that mountain, let go of that weight and let God do His thing!