Friday, March 27, 2009


Tony and I met in 1995. I was attending Caldwell College and desperately needed a job. I walked into Blockbuster Video and applied for a job. I was contacted by Tony and called in for an interview. A couple of days later I got the job. It was a fun job and I did not mind working the late hours. There was always a spark between Tony and I but we did not let each other know our feelings. He was my boss after all. After a year of working there and constant flirting he got enough courage to ask me a question..."how do you feel about dating your boss?" My answer, "it depends on how strong the feelings are." He asked me out that evening to see a movie which was Toy Story. I remember those early dating days as if it were yesterday and I miss the care free days sitting in his Mustang talking for hours.

Fast forward to August 8, 1998. It was a beautiful day and I awoke to birds chirping and the sun shining. It was a warm day but there was still a breeze in the air. I still remember walking down the aisle holding onto my dad's arms and seeing Tony, our eyes locked. He whispered to me..."You look awesome!" And I felt beautiful. Our ceremony was beautiful and our reception was a lot of fun. I remember feeling as though we could accomplish anything together. I remember thinking this is the beginning of something spectacular.

Tony and I decided to live with my parents for a litt
le while so that we can save for a house. Instead of renting and wasting money we would live with my parents and save. I don't suggest this to anyone by the way. You know it was rough. Tony and my dad didn't always see eye to eye. We didn't have any privacy. But looking back at it now, I was able to spend those 2 1/2 years with my mother. It was precious time that I didn't know than would be way too limited.

November 2000 we bought our old charming home. It's a small home but has so much charm and enough room to start a family. A family that I thought would be very easy to create. So day 1 in our new home began our journey to start our family. I remember being so excited, dreaming of becoming a mother, dreaming of carrying our baby for nine months and rai
sing him or her in our home that we picked out together. Month one, no luck. I remember thinking, that's month will be the month. Month two, month. Month three...will it be? Month four...are you kidding me? Month 5...what the hell is going on? Month there something wrong. Month 7...there has to be something wrong. Month 8...let's try ovulation tests. Month 9...excited that we pinpointed the exact time. Month 10...not working. Month 11...anger begins. Month 12...depression begins. I can't even express the feeling of thinking, hoping, praying that you have become pregnant and taking pregnancy test after pregnancy test and to only see one damn line.

One year after trying to conceive we consult
ed with doctors. We were advised to try infertility treatments. Our chances of conceiving naturally are very slim. Although we believed in higher powers we still felt compelled to try invitro. We both went through so much testing, such extensive testing. I will spare all of the details. But basically our course of action was to stimulate my ovaries to produce many eggs. The more eggs I produce the better our chances are. So I went on a regimen of drugs. I had to inject myself with 3 or 4 different medications every day for 2 or 3 weeks per cycle. I started injecting my thighs for I felt that would be less pain. But once I started getting sore I moved to the stomach and backside of the arms. Tony had to inject the ones in my butt as I couldn't reach and he had to hit muscle. But I didn't care...if it meant we would become pregnant I could deal with the pain. The first cycle I produced 8 eggs, 4 were fertilized, and 2 inserted in my uterus. We were given a picture of the fertilized eggs. Tony and I looked at that picture and we thought for sure, we prayed that one of those eggs, maybe both would attach and become our child. It failed and we were left with a painful reminder, that photograph that life was created by us, but it was not meant to be. Were we doing the right thing? Are we playing with nature? Would God approve? We needed a break before going into another was too physically and mentally we played the count the calendar days game and pray.

In 2003 my mother was diagnosed with a stage 4 brain tumor. My world crashed. My mother was my best friend. She is supposed to be with me forever. My quest to become pregnant grew even stronger. You see, my mother always talked about becoming a grandmother. She couldn't wait, she had such dreams. Tony and I went through a second cycle. I produced more eggs, we fertilized more eggs, we created life again, only for it to fail. Cycle 3 began...very promising, more eggs, well you get the point. FAILED CYCLE! We created life many times, but failed.

My mother's life came to end and her horrible battle with cancer ended in early 2004. My world collapsed. 2004 - 2007 we tried and tried and tried to create a family. There was no fun left in trying to create life. It became a chore. It became daunting, scary that our future holds no children.

In 2007 we decided to pursue adoption. As a little girl, I always wanted to adopt. Aunt Ellie who just passed away adopted 4. They were my family and adoption was part of it. My mom always knew I wanted 2 biological children and 1 adopted child, that was my dream growing up
. I don't know why it took us so long to start the process when it was a dream of mine. I think in a way, I needed a sign from God. And the signs were given in more ways than one. So began our journey to Halainah Grace which if you have been following our blog has had many ups and downs. Many mountains that got in our way, many mountains moved by God. Many prayers were said on our behalf and the dream of becoming parents became a reality. How were we going to afford an adoption that cost $32,000.00? No problem, family and friends gathered and dug deep in their hearts and pockets, strangers gave the last of the money they had in their accounts. We fundraised, we sold on e-bay, we saved, we moved money into cd's to gain interest, family thought of clever ideas to help save money. And through God's grace we made it. Paperwork got scrambled, I lost my job, new rules messed us up, more money was needed, our home equity line was frozen. Every time we were one step closer to Halainah the devil stepped in and threw us a curve ball. It's truly amazing to look back and see God's hand in all of this. It was all made possible by God. We prayed and prayed and our prayers were answered. We became parents.

January 4, 2009 is the day that Halainah was handed to us in an ordinary hotel room in Nanchang, China. How do I even describe that day? That was our delivery. We knew the face of our angel as
she was carried through the door. We had been staring at her face in a photograph for 5 months. But here she was in person...finally. She looked confused...not sad. She was beautiful. I took her out of her caregivers arms and held her close. I brushed the hair out of her eyes and told her over and over..."I love you baby girl. I'm your mama and this is your dada." It felt perfect. And somehow she knew we were her parents. We loved her the moment we saw her picture and finally having her in our's indescribable.

It is so hard to express how much Halainah means to us. The years we spent trying to create a family the way we thought it should be made were excruciating. I honestly thought that I was n
ever going to be a mommy. And now my angel sent from God calls me "Mama." I'm a Mama, what an awesome feeling. Halainah melts my heart, I am so in love with her. Her kisses, her hugs, her giggles, her smiles, I love everything about her. 10 years we waited to become parents. 10 years of waiting, of wondering, of praying, of crying, of anger is over. Others who are in the same boat as us always say it was well worth the wait. And YES Halainah was well worth the wait. But I don't wish those 10 excruciating years on anyone. Tony and I are forever grateful to the People's Republic of China for granting one of their daughter's to us. And we are forever grateful to Halainah's birth parents for leaving her at the front gate of the Social Welfare Institute of Xinzhou District of Shangrao City in Jiangxi Province because they chose life for their daughter, our daughter. And we thank god for this indescribable gift.

-I Samuel 1:27

I would be lying if I said I no longer feel the maternal desire to conceive a child. I long to be able to create a life, to watch it grow, to feel it grow inside of me, to nurse a baby. I would be lyi
ng if I said that I do not long to give birth to a son or daughter that Tony and I created. I would be lying if I said that every month I think...maybe just maybe I may be pregnant. I would be lying if I said it doesn't sadden me that I may never mother a child in that way. I suppose that is just something that I may always live with because that is what is written for me.

Halainah is my angel, my gift from God. She's my lost treasure that we traveled all the way to the other side of the world to find. She's the best thing that has ever happened to us. I walked
down memory lane today with all of you because I somehow want the world to know that Halainah is not another successful adoption story. Halainah is not the lucky one here, we are...her parents. For without her, our hearts would always be empty. For without her, I would never hear the sweet word "Mama." For without her, my life would not be complete.


Amy said...

O.K. Made me cry. So glad you were able to share your story. Funny (well not really) We had our home equity frozen a month after Naomi's referral. It was paying the remainder of our adoption. Horrible feeling. But like you said all the pain was worth the beauty of our China dolls.