Phoenix Newborn Photographer
Patiently Waiting for Baby Scott
In the Fall of 2017, I was contacted by an amazing couple about photographing their adoption story. I instantly called the number in the email because I had to touch base with these folks. I spent a good 45 minutes on the phone with mom Leah, hearing about their amazing story. I asked her to guest blog for us, as there isn’t really anyone else who can share her story like she can. So without further adieu, mom Leah:
Like pretty much everyone else out there, we assumed that having children (as in, actually creating them) wouldn’t be too difficult…after all, it seems to work just fine for everyone else. This statement, we would soon come to find out, isn’t actually very true.
After almost three years of marriage, we decided to start trying to have a family. We kept our spirits up month after month, making baby name lists, pinning cute outfits and nursery colors on Pinterest, planning what kind of cutesy Facebook announcement we would make…the usually stuff. But, after an unsuccessful year, we decided maybe it wasn't going to be as easy for us as it seemed to be for so many others.
I went to my OB, who was afraid I had PCOS, and decided that I would be better served by a specialist. After researching and scouting what feel like every reproductive endocrinologist in Kansas City, we found one that seemed to be a good fit for us. As it turns out, I did not have PCOS, which was great, but that just meant we didn't know what the issue really was.
After what was supposed to be (but I assure you, was NOT) a "mildly uncomfortable" exploratory procedure, we found that my fallopian tubes were unexplainably blocked, and could not be opened. For the moment, our best option was IVF.
In July of 2015, we retrieved 10 eggs, only 3 of which survived long enough to be viable. We were advised to do what's known as a FET, or Frozen Embryo Transfer; basically, we would put our embryos on ice, and wait until a later date to implant our little frosty(ies). This would give us a little more time to prepare, and also was statistically a more successful process than an immediate transfer.
Two weeks after our fifth anniversary, we implanted two of our three frosties, expecting only one to succeed, but hoping for twins. We got the twins.
We were excited and scared and completely in awe that it actually worked. In just 9 months, we would be welcoming two new, little lives into the world.
There were some ups and downs along the way. As part of the IVF treatment, I had to be given multiple injections daily, which was SUPER AWESOME *insert major side-eye here.* More planning, more pinning, more name ideas. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we were devastated when we thought we had miscarried, but we thanked God when the ultrasound technician found first one heartbeat, and then the other. More excitement, more celebrations, more encouragement.
On February 29 of 2016, exactly four months after I started carrying our children, I started bleeding at work and ultimately went into labor. I was rushed to the hospital where the doctors did everything they could to keep our children on the inside. However, God had other plans. Three days later, at 20 weeks and 5 days, our children, Jonah Matthew and Emory Grace, were delivered a few hours apart, and without ever knowing how much we already loved them. We wonder what they would've been like; which one would've had my monkey feet or Bobby's ginger visage. We rejoiced knowing that they never knew pain, or sorrow, that they woke to the face of Jesus, but wished we could've spent at least a little time with them.
After losing my children, I didn't know which way was up. I couldn't believe that this was my life and I raged against God…and God let me rage. After a while, I was able to get out of bed and make it through the day. I was desperate to be a mother, and I knew that I had one frosty left, but I didn't think that I ever wanted to be pregnant again. At this same time, God was pressing adoption into my heart. I have always been open to it, but when we began this journey, Bobby wasn't sure that it was for him. I approached the subject again, and we went to a local support group for people going through the adoption process. It was after that meeting, that Bobby turned to look at me in the car and said, "I think that this is what we're supposed to do." And I was floored. I figured we'd have to talk and talk and talk some more, but he was resolute--this was where we should go.
In July of 2016, we signed with American Adoptions and set about getting our profile together--video, print, home studies, federal and state clearances. It was intense! We also went on a massive fundraising campaign. I was completely unprepared for the cost of the adoption process, so we did everything we could to not go have to take out a second mortgage…especially when we were still paying off part of our IVF expenses. We started a GoFundMe, applied for (and received!) adoption grants, created t-shirts, sold coffee, had Pampered Chef and Lula Roe fundraiser parties, and sang at coffee shops and wineries for tips. We squirreled away every spare penny and threw it toward our adoption fund. Finally, in February of 2017, we had enough funding to go active with our agency, and the wait began. We waited and waited and waited. We waited for six months, when one night in August, after watching the episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler get their adoption "match" call, I lost my mind. What was so wrong with us? Why had no one picked us yet? I know that in adoption terms, six months of waiting is not a lot of time, but we had been waiting 4 years for a child. Was God ever going to answer our prayers?
The next afternoon I got a call at work from our agency. The night before, as I was weeping about not being picked, a woman in New Mexico had chosen us to be parents for her unborn baby! I was floored. And scared. And completely in awe! WE WERE GOING TO BE PARENTS!!
The next 4 months FLEW by. We had a few hiccups in the process--our birth mom moved states, so we had to sign new paperwork. This also bumped up our fees, which we were NOT financially prepared for, but ended up having an amazing family member step in and cover the considerable cost. God was with us.
Then, two days before Thanksgiving, something completely unexpected happened. I found out that I was pregnant. YOU KNOW, THAT THING THAT A BUNCH OF DOCTORS TOLD ME WOULD NEVER HAPPEN WITHOUT SERIOUS MEDICAL INTERVENTION!? Yeah, it happened! Bobby and I were beside ourselves. We were six weeks away from our baby's due date! We wondered aloud for about 10 seconds, if we should continue with our adoption before I told Bobby that I thought that we should go through with it. After all, our birth mom had chosen US. And we WANTED this baby. If God was going to bless us with two babies, which was our original plan, then we wanted them, however they were coming to us!
On January 7th, we got THE call that our child was coming into this world! I was in the middle of Target and lost my mind. I'm sure other shoppers thought that I was having a breakdown or religious experience, but I didn't care. I WAS ABOUT TO MEET MY CHILD. 8 hours after getting that call, we were at a hospital in Arizona, holding our son for the first time.
Our sweet Caden came into the world at a whopping 6lbs 14oz. He's such a little nugget and we love him so much. He is the sweetest little boy, who loves smiling, has just figured out that we have a dog, and is currently practicing his favorite "word"…"arrrouuuuuu." It's seriously cute! And I know that he's going to be an amazing big brother to this other baby, coming at the end of July.
Bobby and I never would have dreamed that this would have been God's path for us. There have been so many ups and downs, tears and prayers, faith faltered and then found. But through it all, GOD HAS BEEN WITH US. Throughout this process, this scripture was placed on my heart over and over again--it has brought comfort to me, and hopefully, if you are in a dark place, it will bring comfort to you.
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." - Exodus 14:14
Let God fight for you. Allow God's glory to be magnified through your life--the ugly as well as the good. Look and see what great things He has done!
Well said Leah. I remember when I first met Caden, he did so well for his close up. I did not know that Leah was expecting before this day. I remember how I was blessed with this information, I was swaying with Caden in my arms: settling him down, and we were talking about how I would totally fly out to Kansas to take his 6 month photos. This is when Leah casually mentioned taking newborn portraits for their next baby. I replayed what she had just told me in my head and immediately started to weep tears of joy while holding their new baby. Which then caused a chain reaction of tears of joy around the room. After we composed ourselves, it was then decided that we needed to create the most epic pregnancy announcement known to man.
To this day this is one of my favorite sessions.
God is so incredibly faithful and good. What an awesome God we serve.