Monday, December 3, 2012

And So The Story Goes.....

Boy Meets Girl.
This is where it all began....we locked eyes across the living room of a friend while attending a "Disciple Now" weekend in middle school. He had the sweetest eyes, and my crush began that day.
Ten Years Married Now
And that it remained, just a crush, for the next 8 or so years. Sure, we went to dances together, but strictly as friends.
Homecoming friends only
 Did I search for him at youth group events? Heck yes. But my future husband was too interested in basketball to have time for any girl...until college, that is. He met and began dating Stayton's bio mom, and this tiny precious came along soon after!
Stayton as a baby
Even after crushing on him for so long with no returned feelings...(And yes, moving on to date other guys. I'm not THAT pathetic.)...I can still tell you where I was, what I was doing and wearing the moment I learned that Anthony was going to be a father and get married. My mom and I were driving my red Toyota Celica to a body shop to repair some hood damage not caused by me. I was wearing a white tee shirt under short denim overalls. Very 1996 of me. I just remember it being the moment I realized that I would never get a chance with him now. I didn't pine over him or anything, just remember it being a turning point where I gave up and moved on.

Fast forward a few 1999. (What happened during that time, you ask?) Oh, just me going away to college, getting wrapped up in a terrible relationship, and Anthony going through a divorce....
Anyway, 1999.
I'm walking into the church that we both attended most of our lives, and he is walking out of it. "Kara Watson...what are you up to?" "Oh, you know, college, starting senior year, just broke up with my jerk of a boyfriend. You?" "I guess you heard that I'm divorced now?" Yeah...I'm sorry about that." etc etc. Me: "Well, I've gotta run. Headed back to SFA today. Callie (his sister) has my email address if you ever want to write." bye!

Two weeks later: an email in my inbox. WHAT?!?!?

And it has been fun ever since.

 Actually it really has. Anthony is literally my other half. He is grounded where I am a dreamer. He is sarcastic where I am more, well, kind. He is edifying to me, helpful, and like-minded about big topics.
It has all been wonderful!

Well, except that one part......
The part where we were giddy with excitement to tell our parents we were throwing our birth control pills to the wind!
The part where 6 months later all my friends were announcing pregnancies, and I wasn't.
The part where 2 years later and every diagnostic test under the sun run...still no answers. I'm sorry, but "Unexplained Infertility" is not an answer. It's the medical equivalent of saying that nothing is wrong. Which isn't true.
The part where painful, embarrassing, invasive tests and exploratory surgeries happened...all with perfect results.
The part where my friends were announcing their second pregnancies, and I wasn't.
The part where we moved away, and felt a fresh start begin, only for me to nosedive into the deepest depression of my life to that point.
The part where I questioned my worth and value and purpose.
The part where I gave up and shifted my focus to career.
The part where my husband prayed for a change of heart and one last try.
The part where we began the diagnostics all over again in a new city...with the same answers.
The part where we decided for one last try...and conceived and lost.
The part where two months later, we conceived and lost yet again.
planting a tree in memory of our losses
The part where I had depression, bitterness and anger so deep that only God could pursue and win.
The part where counseling helped to heal some wounds, both big and small.
The part where my Bible Study girls prayed for our path to be made clear.
The part where Anthony and I had to answer the question:
"Do you want to be pregnant together? Or do you want to parent together?"

This question became another turning point in my life. For two weeks, Anthony and I prayed separately whether God had adoption in his plan for our marriage. I can still remember where I was what I was doing and wearing the moment we shared how God was answering our seeking. We were headed to my grandparents' wedding anniversary celebration across the metroplex, and I was wearing my zebra dress.
My type A self had made an index card with all the ways I felt God was leading us to adopt. Anthony made me share first. So with shaking hands, a nervous stomach and tears in my eyes I listed out my reasons. I looked at his face, and he asked me if I was sure. Because that was the same answer he had gotten through his prayer times too. We looked at each other and smiled, and I remember weeping and thinking "I haven't felt this much joy or relief in so long." I could feel the pieces of my heart that had been shredded, broken and torn, slowly shifting back together.

Then began the research process. Foster? International? Domestic? Where do we go from here? Praying helped, but so did communicating with each other. What is your comfort zone? What do you envision our family to look like? Are we ready to have every. single. layer. of our lives out on display?

We decided domestic adoption was right for us. We wanted our agency to be local and affordable, but most of all, grounded in God. We searched our DFW agencies, and the closest, most affordable one just happened to be hosting an orientation 2 weeks later. We signed up! (Do you know how big of a deal this is? You can't begin the paperwork without attending orientation at any agency. Most only do these twice a year or so, and have waiting lists just to attend. We miraculously got in that easily.)

If you are in the north Texas area...THIS is the best agency around.

They counsel their birth mothers, counsel adoptive families, and are so detail oriented. They make a difference every single day.

And so the story goes.........
Paperwork and medical appointments and home safety standards and floor plans and TB tests and references and interviews and labwork and financial information and desires on paper.
There is a reason for shirts like this one:
Paper cuts and emotional breakdowns are the adoptive mom's version of birth. You don't know how hard it is until you have been through it.
From October through December we worked on our paperwork process, aiming for acceptance. January 4, 2012 we had our home study completed. By the end of January we were approved by the board and became a waiting family.

Little did we know that the same week we began waiting, our son's birth mom called the agency and began counseling. Little did we know that our son was being fearfully and wonderfully made. Little did we know that God was slowly changing our hearts and opening them to love in a way we never had before.

During our wait, we attended the monthly meetings for expectant parents and met other couples like us. Couples who were in our boat. You know how nice that was? To finally find solace and peace in knowing we were not alone? It was wonderful. We also pressed forward with our lives. Stayton's school and sports, Kara signing yet another teaching contract. Anthony finishing up his MBA.

The afternoon before the last day of school, CCAS called me. Anthony wasn't home from work yet, and I thought it was another routine "How you guys doing?" type of phone call. But it wasn't. Our social worker shifted the small talk, and asked if Anthony was home yet. I said no, and we agreed she would call later. But miraculously, he pulled in the garage right as I was about to hang up with her. A whole hour early for no reason. I excitedly hollered, "Hurry in! We have been picked!" His jaw dropped and his eyes went big. "What?!"

We set up our match meeting for two days later, a Saturday lunch.

I was so nervous. What do I wear? What are we going to talk about?
I was so nervous I couldn't eat or sleep.

During the match meeting I couldn't help but memorize her every feature, hang on her every word, cry when I saw the sonogram pics. I fell in love with her that day. Her bravery, her strength, her standards. Her personality, her humor, her love for her unborn son. She chose us that day. I still can't believe it. She chose us.

And never in my life have I had such clarity and confirmation from God about any other decision.

Those next 6 weeks flew by. Nursery decorating, turning in my teaching resignation, sewing a new set of stockings, and getting to know sweet Haley.

July 20, 2012 our whole entire family shifted. We headed to the hospital and hugged Haley's neck, and got to hold our newborn son. Actually, Stayton was the first one to hold him. Brothers forever...
And on July 23, 2012, my 34th birthday, I got the greatest gift from God. We brought our newborn son home.
And our family has never felt better. Our hearts have never been fuller. We have never been more sure of anything before.

The week after our match meeting, I shared with a cousin of mine that I still don't know why "Me"? Why did we have to go through all of that heartache?

She looked at me, and with a single tear streaming down her cheek said, "You know exactly why. Because you were meant to be Jake's mommy." And that is when it clicked. It was time to let go of my self-pity, my doubts and questions, and just rest in God's plan.

Did adoption fix my broken heart from infertility? No. Not completely, if I were to be honest. Do pregnancy announcements still sting? Yes. Why? Because pregnancy is something I will never get to experience. Parenting, yes. Pregnancy and birthing, No. It is a process to let go of that dream. Did adoption bring joy to my once jaded heart? Absolutely. Adoption made me a mommy to my baby. And that is more than I could ever ask for. I love my boys more than anything in this world. Mothering Stayton and Jake is such a blessing!
And there is nothing better in this world than going through all of this with your soul mate. :)


  1. Thank you for sharing your story and being so open with your life. I have loved reconnecting with you, dear friend and have great respect for how authentic you are in your walk with God through this life and its valleys and mountains.

  2. You have such an incredible and beautiful heart. Your story is one that is meant to be shared and I adore seeing the pictures of Jake grow and blossom.

  3. Such an amazing story! You have such a beautiful family!!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story! I don't even remember how I found your blog a while back (Pinterest maybe?) but it is such an encouragement to me! My husband and I have been waiting since July to get the call for a match. It's so wonderful to read your story, how God's timing was so perfect for you and your little one!

    1. Charity~
      The waiting can be so hard...just know that God is weaving your tapestry as we speak. Your view in the underside, jumbled and ugly. His view is the most exquisite tapestry ever. Trust.

    2. Thank you!! As the saying goes, "When you can't see His hand, trust His heart." We are trusting God for our little miracle! :)

  5. Wonderful to read!
    Parenting is definitely one of my most favorite things. I was the other side to your story---of giving pregnancy announcements cautiously to friends who struggled with fertility---but I didn't want them to hear from someone else.
    Good job for hanging in there so you could be Jake's mommy!

  6. thank you for sharing!!! Your story really touched me. thanks! it is really great hearing someone else's story. thankfully, we do know a lot of what is wrong and the why behind it all. I am just waiting for my husband. I feel very strongly God has been speaking to me about adoption for YEARS. even before I found out I would most likely not have kids myself. im just waiting to see if God speaks to my husband as strongly as he has me. :-) thanks for sharing!