The Owens Family

The Owens Family

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I'm Ready to Tell You

If you were here with me face to face, and you took a good look at me you might notice something different.  If Paige was around, she would talk and talk and suddenly burst out saying, "Mommy has a baby in her tummy.  We are going to have a baby at our house."  I am sure you would wonder if you heard her right. Then I would probably look shy and tell you that it is true.  Because it is! Yes it is!  I wouldn't say anything more, but to tell you that Jake and I are overjoyed. I am sure you would be happy for us, because we have the best family and friends in the world.
But because you are reading about our WONDERFUL news, I need to write out my thoughts and feelings. It's something I feel I need to do as part of my personal healing.  I have still chosen carefully how to say what I feel.

We haven't made it a secret that Jake and I would love to add to our family.  It has been our priority and desire of our hearts, but at times we wondered if it was part of the plan for us.  After adopting Brielle, we had feelings that maybe there was still someone that should be here with us. We love Brielle and can't imagine life without her. She was always meant to be with us. But we didn't feel like adoption would be in our near future.  We love adoption. We would do it again if it would lead us to our child.  But this time Jake and I both felt like maybe it would be medical treatments that would hopefully lead to another pregnancy. We didn't know all the reasons why we should choose this way, but we were gonna go with it because we were both on the same page.
So we began saving. And worrying too.  IVF is scary and this time I would go into it with the full knowledge of the range of difficult possibilities. In the meantime, we treated Brielle like she was our last child and loved Paigey to pieces.  I tried not to put any deadlines on it and say, "It has to happen by this birthday, or by the time Brielle is this old."  I wanted the right time to open up.  But as we continued, it just never seemed right.

Jake and I tried to accept that 2 children might be our complete family.  I knew that we would be fine in the end. If that was the plan, then I could still "fill the measure of my creation." Do what I was meant to do. But when you suffer a loss, a part of you is missing and always will be.  I accepted that a long time ago. Then there came a point I felt so confused and down.  I felt no answers.  Nothing seemed right. I felt that maybe there was another child that would come to us but at the same time, Jake and I both didn't feel like we should attempt anything in the future. I didn't know how to move forward.  At one point I felt like I got a one word answer.  That word was, "Wait."

 We kept on saving and hoping that if the answer was no, maybe it would be yes somewhere in the future.  We even participated in an IVF 5K last year.  This 5K was a Footsteps for Fertility fundraiser for one couple to receive a free treatment from my Reproductive Specialist.  The lucky couple was not us.  We were sad for us, but happy for them.  I remember smiling through my tears when I saw Jake clap harder than anyone else for this couple that would have the chance to have a family.  But what about us?What now?

We were smack in the middle of all of this stress (including a few other small life changes) when it happened.....  I found out that I was pregnant.  After 10 years of marriage, 2 years of trying to find a diagnosis, 2 years of failed treatments, 1 IVF pregnancy, 2 failed IVF's and 1 adoption later. We found out I was pregnant.  This will make you wonder if we did do In Vitro.  I have jokingly wondered if I did do it myself, but it would have had to be in my sleep because I have no recollection of it.  I feel no bruises from shot marks.  I don't hesitate to tell you that we did not go to any doctors.  I think I would rather have you know. This was the most unexpected event that has ever happened in my entire life.  When I went to the Dr. to confirm my pregnancy, he laughed at me.  I was so stunned I could answer no questions. My hands were literally shaking. He told me to go home and let it sink in and then come back in a day if I needed to.

We are so happy to share our story. I could stop right here, and we could all just celebrate!! But a part of the reason why I wanted to write out my feelings, is so I can shape how I would like to react to comments I have already heard when I share my news. I have heard something like:
"You were blessed with a pregnancy because you decided to adopt.  I know of so many couples that adopt and BAM, and they  finally get pregnant. It happens all the time."

A)  This suggests that adoption is just another road to pregnancy. Adoption isn't the magic way to achieve a pregnancy.We are so happy we have experienced pregnancy.  But we can't imagine not having our adoption either. It makes sense to try to come up with reason why things like this happen, but in our case I just don't know the reasons. I probably don't need to know. : ) For every couple that has been able to conceive after adoption, I bet I know of 3 couples that have not had the same outcome.

I have also heard,
"I know of many couples just like you, that just stopped trying and stopped worrying and they were able to get pregnant."

B)We are living proof that just wasn't true for us! I can honestly say that we did not stop coping at any point in our infertility.  Because it is a real loss.  Just like I would grieve and move forward after losing a loved one, I have grieved over losing a part of me. The only thing I can control is my reaction to my loss. I hoped every day for healing and had faith that it would be complete someday.  Even if it wasn't in this life. The stress never stopped for one dayWe never stopped trying in our hearts. I would even go so far as to say that most couples with infertility will consider it to be a life trial.

This may sound as though I am being overly-sensitive. Please don't mis-understand. I just hope so much that I can help other infertile couples by sharing what I feel is sensitive supporting. I don't want to ever stop serving those in similar situations. I have made promises to myself and to God, and I hope to keep my promises by honoring what perspective I have been given.

One quick tip.  Sharing stories about other infertile couples doesn't help nearly as much as a hug and saying, "I love you guys so much." That has been a lifesaver for me.

The past months have been months of absolute gratitude.  It is a time I have held close and pondered in my heart.  I asked Jake when he feels like we will know for sure when we have adequately expressed our thanks to our Heavenly Father.  He said "I don't know.  We prayed for this to happen for 9 years.  Maybe we should thank him in prayer for 9 more." We have cried happy tears with our family and friends. We are anxiously hoping for the rest of the pregnancy to go smooth and safe for our baby.
I don't know why we have struggled with infertility and loss.
I don't know why we were blessed with healing from the infertilty.
I don't know if this is a temporary healing, or permanent healing.
I don't know why there are other deserving couples that cannot conceive children.

But this is what I know.

I know I am grateful and need to share my joy.

I know God is there and is very real. I know this not just because of the happy times, the miracles and the overwhelming joy that I have experienced.  I know it because of my personal pain, my doubts, my questions, and my quest for the truth.

I know that our loss deepens our life experiences and can give us each a rich and compassionate life.

I know that we ALL experience loss.  There isn't any use comparing the burdens of it.  We all go through it.  We all make mistakes in trying to love each other through the pain.  But love is more powerful than mistakes.

I know that my future has seemed unclear, and I may not know  at times what decisions to make for my best life. God asks me to take a step forward.  Just one little step at a time. I think he might even make allowance for us to stop and rest for awhile so we can continue later. That is what faith means to me.

And most of all, I know God made this happen for Jake and I.

I will forever praise Him for making me a woman, a daughter, a friend, a wife and a mother

Now for the fun part.

I am due in December.
We are having a boy.
I am in heaven and loving my maternity clothes, ice cream, cheese and crackers, and oddly enough-salads.
Yes, I am feeling good.  Just a bit sick in the beginning and the normal pregnancy feelings. I try not to complain.

And these are some pregnancy pictures.
The day I found out.  I am crying in this picture.

Enjoying my craving!




Monday, July 18, 2011

Telling Our Story

I've finally done it. Brielle is now 2 months old and I've finally caught up enough to spit this story out. If you look on the sidebar of my blog under pages- it is listed as Brielle's Story- Our Adoption Adventure.

I have 2 reasons for keeping our adoption pretty quiet before it happened. I was hoping everyone would forgive me later. For the most part we were bursting at the seams and wanted to shout it from the mountaintops. But after some serious thought we decided-

#1-We wanted to respect D's privacy before the adoption was a done deal. In the Hispanic culture, it is not the typical or usually even the acceptable choice to place the baby for adoption. Both of Brielle's birth parents are from El Salvador but moved to the U.S. 4 years ago. If Brielle would have been born in El Salvador, it would have taken over 7 years to adopt her because the laws are not accommodating. It breaks our hearts, but many people have been more than unkind to D. Because of the treatment she received, she did not tell many people about the adoption. She still hasn't. She gave us full permission to use her name and even pictures with our friends and family but because we feel so protective of her, we have chosen not to. Though we would love for you all to meet her one day. She is such a beautiful woman, inside and out.

#2- I have to admit, we were scared. What if we told everyone all the details and came back from Virginia without this little girl? We had faith that it would all work out, we certainly knew it was right, but that didn't mean it would happen.

I aoplogize that my story is so long. In my family, I have a reputation for being a talker. I tried to condense and edit, but I always seemed to end up with the same story. I didn't even come close to sharing every detail, although you will read that I am very open about our journey.

I could say that our adoption happened because Jake and I and our family and friends and even D had many special realizations and things come together at the right time for us. But that is only part of it. Yes, things happened because we all put forth our best efforts, but the amazing part of the story is that it also happened in spite of us.  We are not perfect and heaven knows that Jake and I aren't! The true miracle is that God orcehstrated it all, and I hope when you read our story, you will see that He has a hand in all of our lives.  He can turn something sad and broken into something beautiful.  That is how it happened for us.

I came to the realization lately that our story is something that has not only changed my life, but other people's lives too. I have been amazed by this time and time again. I only share it with people who are willing to listen and love us. (In other words, you) I have been surprised that lately I have had more opportunities than ever to share a little bit about our IVF story. Because Brielle is adopted, some people have asked us, "So, is Paige yours?" Meaning is Paige ours biologically. I laugh and say that both girls are mine, but they came to us in different ways.

And I share the story.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Angel Baby Daughter

 Before I attempt to begin to tell this story, I have to first aknowledge that God's hand was in it to begin with and He was the one that answered our prayers with such precision and exactness that we are overwhelmed and marvel that He knows us so well and loves us.  We DEARLY love the birthmother to this sweet baby girl.  She loves this little girl so much, and it because of that love that she had the strength to place her into our arms.  We are mindful that this was an almost impossible thing to do, and yet she did it.  We know that she would love to see your comments and read what she our daughter means to you and what this sacrifice means to you.  We love you so much D!  We love your family and friends!
 This is Brielle Beatriz Owens!  She was born May 12th, at 9:01 a.m. weighing 4 pounds, 15 ounces and 18 1/2 inches long.  She was born in Virginia, which is where we are right now as I write.  I want to share with you the significance of her name to us.  I met the birthmother of this little girl about 3 months ago and we felt a very special connection to her.  We knew that we both wanted to share an open adoption.  We wanted to decide on a name that we both would love and so we talked for a few weeks about it.  At first, Jake and I had completly different names chosen, but they did not fit our daughter's beautiful culture.  She is hispanic, and her roots and ancetsry are from El Salvador.  One day I blurted out the name "Brielle."  (prounounced Bree-elle)  I had never heard the name before, but I liked it.  Immediately, D (the birthmother) said she liked the name.  She said it was a bright, happy name.  I looked up the meaning of her name.  Her name means God is my strength.  We knew that this fit perfectly.  Her name reminds me every day that I can do hard things through Christ.  It reminds me of the Christlike sacrifice her birthmother made. 
Beatriz (prounouced Bay-uh-treece) is a name with Latin roots.  It is D's middle name, and D's mothers' middle name.  This name means one who brings happiness to others.  Beatriz will bring so much happiness into this world.   Brielle has been surrounded by so many people that love her.  We want to honor them and their love for her.

D called me to say she was in labor about a week before her due date so Jake, Paige and I got on an overnight plane to try to make it forthe birth. D wanted us there.  Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Virginia only 5 minutes behind her birth. I felt like Brielle waited for me to get there, and that she was able to share a special moment with her birthmother alone. It was as it should be. Her birthmother was so calm and I marveled at her strength. 
Brielle was placed into our arms Monday, May 16th. 

If you read this shirt that I put on Paige today, I am sure that it will bring a smile to your face.  We just can't believe that Paige has a sibling.  Paige's life has forever changed. Adoption has brought this gift into her life and I know that she will LOVE being a big sister.
There is so much more to the story, but I will save that for later.  Right now, Jake and I are too busy staring at Brielle to do much of anything else.

We love you all!  You helped pray this baby into our arms.  Jake and I know that we have been surrounded by your support.  Once again, WE LOVE YOU!

Monday, January 10, 2011

First of all...

To us, there is nothing more important we can say to you than Thank You!  If you don't know us, we are so excited that we have the chance for you to see a glimpse of our family.  If you are considering adoption, we hope you know that we cannot help but feel amazement and love for you.  We know that all we can do is pray for you, so we do that often. No matter your circumstances, please know that we hope the very best for you.  If you are family and friends checking the progress on our adoption, please come and visit, and come back often.  We can't wait for the day we get to share our adoption story with all of you.