From the moment, we returned from our honeymoon, we began trying to conceive. I felt time wasn’t on our side as I was 37 and he was 43. In anticipation of trying to conceive, I stopped taking birth control six months before our wedding. By December 2010, we hadn’t conceived, so I went to a fertility specialist. After a battery of tests, I was diagnosed with fibroid and cysts. I underwent surgery to remove them in January 2011. He said I was healthy and should have no problem conceiving. We were elated.
With every month and menstrual cycle that passed, I grew more and more anxious. We had so many false positives or late cycles. It was torture. I would get depressed every month with my cycle. I returned to the specialist who ran tests and said we were still able to conceive. A year had passed since the surgery, we still hadn’t conceived. I went through a range of emotions. It slightest mention of a baby or something on TV would send me into a depressive mood. To top it off, it seemed as if more and more of our friends were conceiving. While I was happy for them, I would become sad for us. I really began to question God. I felt as if I was only woman going through it. I felt as if no person could relate. The person closest to understanding was Anthony. My husband was so patient and understanding. He was a rock.
Anthony encouraged me to consider adoption. He said we could love a baby and didn’t matter if we conceived it. I took me a while to warm up to the idea. In fact, during a counseling session with my pastor, he told me God had revealed to him that we would adopt. After extensive research and contacting agencies, I learned adoption is very expensive and more than we could afford. At the same time, Anthony was laid off from his job after almost 20 years of service. I grew more depressed.
During a hospital visit with my maternal grandmother, Mary, I sat with her and shared my fears about infertility and marriage. She told me that I have to ask God what kind of wife and mother He was calling me to be. I didn’t understand. She said that I couldn’t continue to be married to my work and my husband. She cautioned me about my priorities. She said I was asking God to bless me with something I wasn’t ready to receive or handle. She said I couldn’t be the type of mother God had for me if I wasn’t ready to make sacrifices. She encouraged me to continue to pursue adoption. I did as she instructed and prayed for God’s voice and will. Shortly after, that visit, my grandmother’s health took a turn for worst.
In the fall of 2011, my college roommate and sorority sister, called to tell me she was pregnant. She said, while it was unexpected and unplanned, she was happy. We hadn’t spoken in years, but we reconnected. She shared her fears for her unborn child and her relationship woes. I shared my fears about not being able to conceive. We were a sounding board for each other. It was what I needed. As months passed, I helped to plan her baby shower and was there in the hospital the day she delivered. She welcomed a healthy baby boy in the spring of 2012.
Just as my grandmother shared, God began revealing His will for my life. He showed me I had put work before Him, my family and Anthony. I felt a sense of urgency to make things right. Unfortunately, my grandmother’s health continued to decline. The day after my grandmother’s death, I had my first phone interview with a new company. Several weeks later, I accepted a new position that afforded me more of a work-life-balance. I finally able to be the wife I always wanted to be. We were able to have dinners and date nights without interruptions. Things were finally put in proper order; God, my husband, family and then work. Just as we are were feeling hopeful, we handed another setback as Anthony suffered a knee injury and had to undergo surgery requiring months of recuperation.
I resigned myself that motherhood may not happen for me, at least not in the near future. I joined The Junior League of Memphis to fill the void and to possibly help other people; especially children. October 12, 2012 – I received the call of a lifetime. My sorority sister, who I had reconnected with, called to say she knew a couple who were looking for a couple to adopt their day-old baby. I couldn’t believe what she was saying. We called my husband on three-way. He was understandably skeptical. My friend said she would investigate more. She called within minutes to say she spoke with the birth father and birth mother and was confident it was legit. I dropped everything and rushed home to meet Anthony. While reluctant, he drove me to the hospital. The moment we walked in the room and I saw the baby, I knew she was mine.