February 25, 2011

our story

first comes love, then comes marriage...
The past four (almost)  years of marriage have truly been the best years of my life. James and I have been through a lot and have had to make some very grown-up decisions at very young ages. It hasn't been an "easy" marriage. Don't get me wrong James is definitely an "easy" person to be married to. I could count on one hand how many times he has raised his voice to me, he is a phenomenal dad, he is caring, loving, passionate, hard-working, God seeking, flipping smart, funny. He has always supported me in every endeavor and always strives to be a better husband. I truly feel like the hardships we have had to get through (some of which was direct consequences of poor decision making) not only brought us closer together but closer to the Almighty. Early on in our marriage we were told to never look at marriage as something that will make us "happy" but as something that will make us "holy". Every big decision we have had to make brings us to a place of examining our views of God. Really seeking His will in our lives.

Then comes baby in a baby carriage...
The day I found out I was pregnant with Eli I was in utter shock. I was in my last semester of Nursing school. We had barely been married a year. We were in a one bedroom apartment. We were so not ready to have a baby, and were taking every precaution to keep it that way. yet, here I was staring at two pink lines. In that moment my life changed forever. My body was no longer my own. My heart was bursting. A baby? Really? I was in awe. The only thing I have ever wanted to accomplish in my life was motherhood. Was it in my timing, No. But it was more than I could ever ask for. Nine months later our beautiful baby boy was born, faux hawk and all. This little boy has given me such a clear picture of God's love for us, His children. These two years with my son have fulfilled me in a way I would have never expected. 

So naturally when Eli was 10 months old and we decided it would be a good time to start trying for baby #2. Since I obviously hadn't learned the whole "my timing doesn't matter" lesson the first time and I was obviously fertile mertile, it was pretty much guranteed that all James was going to have to do was look at me and my uterus would explode (in my mind anyway). So Cycle #1 passed, I was a little disappointed but definitely not concerned. Cycle #6 we started to become concerned. We went to the OB. He said because I was young, already had a baby, and was working nights it was most likely a timing issue and told us to come back when we had been trying for a year. I was encouraged because the likely hood of us having something truly "wrong" was pretty small. So we just went back at it (pun intended) (bow chicky bow wow) still each month getting a negative with each pregnancy test. I dont think I have ever felt such a roller coaster of emotions before. Here is an example.

Period starts- super bummed but resolved that this wont be the month. Promise myself that I wont touch another diet coke, I'll take my prenatals religiously, workout everyday, have sex ten times a day, all in hopes of increasing my chances for the next month

Days 4-10- Dont think about it too much. Daydream about the day when I do see "positive". Drink diet coke. feel guilty. 

Days 11-14 (pre-ovulation)- Get myself ready. take prenatals. stop drink my liquid cancer (aka diet coke). take ovulation tests. get my mixed tapes ready for when I get the :-) on my ovulation test (just kidding, obviously i use my itunes playlist).

Day 15ish (ovulation)- Stoked. James is stoked as well.

Day 16-22 (post-ovulation)- Bliss, pure bliss. Every twinge in my belly feels like a baby implanting in my womb. ooh my boobs hurt! I MUST be pregnant. ooh im moody! I MUST be pregnant. Then I inevitably do something dumb that I think will ruin every chance I have of having another baby. i.e.: fight with james, bribe eli with chocolate to get him to take a nap, continue to drink diet coke (can i get an amen). Because obviously I dont deserve to have another baby. Insert guilt, doubt, and worry here.

Day 22.5-should i test? is it too early? Take a test. NEGATIVE. examine test for thirty minutes. throw test away. cry. convince myself it was too early. get test out of trash and see if a line has appeared. Nope.

Day 23-24- try to think about anything else. ANYTHING ELSE. continue to interpret every symptom I feel at that time. inevitably somebody I know or am close to announces they are pregnant. cry. get over myself and be happy for them. claim any and all future baby names to said friends. make it known there will be bloodshed in the event they decide to use it. 

Day 25- Test again. Negative. Cry. Eat lots of crap. Convince myself its still too early.

Day 26- Test again. Negative. Cry. Eat lots of crap. Convince myself its still too early.

Day 27- Test again. Negative. Cry. Eat lots of crap. Convince myself im one in a million that gets a negative pregnancy test but is definitely pregnant. Read every "mommy message board" in some hopes they will tell me to hold out hope.

Day 28- Period starts. Start process all over again. Drink lots and lots of diet coke. 

I have officially gone through that insanity for 15 cycles. Crap. 

It has been one of the most emotionally draining things I have ever gone through. I have put off blogging about this for so long for several reasons. Obviously it is very personal and brings with it very personal emotions for me. Feeling of uncertainty, failure, doubt, self-hatred. Also, I realize how lucky I am to have Eli. I would be lost without my frizzy haired chublet and in no way feel like he is not enough for us. I would honestly be so OK if he was an only child. One of the reasons I decided to share this is because I so believe God is using this to build my testimony. The reliance I have had to have on Him through all of this is deeper than anytime in my life. I also believe in the support of friends- to talk, to pray, to love, to share. There is such healing in writing as well. 

{I know this is such a long post. bear with me. I promise I have a big reason I am writing all of this}   

Over these months I have felt the Lord shaping my heart and changing my desires. James and I have always thrown around the idea of adoption since before we were married. Always very casually, never with any real plans. We have been to several countries around the world where we have seen first hand the devastation this world has. Specifically we had the absolute privilege of working with children in an orphanage in Swaziland, Africa. These beautiful children with so much love in them with no one to share it with. No one to love them back. 

{side note: one story James reminded me of was when we were leaving our two week trip. I had connected very much with several of the orphans but in particular this one little girl, Layla. When she was a baby her grandmother poured brake fluid on her which burned her severely. She had horrible facial burn scars and was unable to grow hair. which, as you can imagine can be devastating for a little girl. When we were leaving I gave her a big kiss and told her she was beautiful. She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Ms. Kristen are coming back?' "Hopefully, but I don't know when" "Then I will see you in heaven!" I lost it. This beautiful little girl had such a deep understanding of God. I turned and left. A couple weeks later I got word that she had died from a heart defect. I was so sad but was so thankful that one day I WILL see her in heaven}

In the midst of trying to get pregnant and wondering when it will happen and why it hasn't, I have started to think that maybe it is because we, as a family are being called to expand in a different, unexpected way. 

WOW! I said it. there. WE ARE CONSIDERING INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION. I have felt like I was going to explode from holding that in the last few months and has actually been one of the major reasons I haven't been blogging lately. 

I think for me personally, it has been hard to get in the groove of posting pictures and updating things about our life when we are wrestling with such huge life/family changes.

I would say that one of the major reasons I chose to write about the idea of adoption at all is because the blogging community can be a huge source of support. If you, or anyone you know has adopted I urge you to PLEASE contact me. There is so much that we are still so unsure of and any and all advice is welcomed at this point.

Here are a few things we DONT know:

1.) If we choose to adopt, we have not decided which agency we will be going through. We have narrowed it down to two so far. 

2.) What country we will adopt from. Our hearts are definitely being lead towards Africa, specifically Ethiopia. There are cultural considerations we would need to take into account and research before we decide for sure. 

3.) if we will have more children of our own. This is such a hard one. I can tell you what I would want in a perfect world: to get pregnant at least once more and adopt. But unfortunately what I want and what is  feasible are definitely two different things. Most likely we will adopt a child and be a happy, complete family of four. if years in the future we decide our family should expand we will reopen the idea. As of now we have stopped "trying" for children in the "natural" sense which is one of the hardest decisions i have made in a long time. We do not want to have the emotional highs and lows that come with each "negative" month while we pray about adopting.

4.) How we will afford it. yes that is right folks. Contrary to popular belief pastors are not rich ;-) (hardy har har) We absolutely have some ideas up our sleeve (grants, fundraising night) but mostly it will be hard work, extra shifts, and a lot of faith. (and possibly less trips to forever 21) (holla) On average an international adoption costs just shy of $20,000. WOWZA... The application fee alone is $200-300. The biggest thing we have learned this past year is THE LORD PROVIDES. We have no doubt He will be faithful to complete this which He has called us to.

Here are a few things we DO know:

1.) God has a heart for the fatherless

 {Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and
 faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their
 distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world}
James 1:27  

2.) We will need your love, prayer, and support. The biggest thing I could ask is to please be in prayer for the Doezie family whatever we decide. If we decide not to adopt there are very important decisions that need to be made about fertility testing (which our insurance does not currently cover and may involve me going back to work full/part time). Specific prayer requests would include absolute clarity in this decision, to TRULY hear the voice of God with authority & Also for the understanding of family and friends.  I mentioned it before but if you know anyone who has adopted PLEASE send them our way. No matter their experience, good or bad, we want to hear it. We want to be informed and balanced when making this decision. 

3.) it is going to be a very long process. On average an Ethiopian adoption takes 18 months from start to finish. We have made a goal not to even apply until our credit card debt is completely paid off, which will take a couple of months. This enables us to not make a hasty decision, choose an agency wisely, and look better to them on paper. There will be times of extreme happiness and absolute discouragement. We are praying for strength and patience for this process now.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It has taken me two days to finish it. We are overwhelmed and blessed that God has set this journey before us. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. We will keep you updated on our decisions along the way. 

God bless.
xoxoThe Doezies


  1. hi. its me. your post was amazing and i cried and laughed in pretty much all the same parts. love your writing :) ty and i will be praying for you. i know unsettling it is to see that negative and i'm sure you've heard all the comfort lines so i won't give you another. just that we're praying for you. i'm praying for you. let me know if there's anything else you need to know about that one thing ;)

    love you girl. miss you.

  2. what amazing courage you have, ms. kristen :) being so candid & transparent encourages me! and what an amazing adventure you're about to begin! i'm stoked for you. & i'll be praying. for direction & wisdom. that God would bring His perfect peace. & of course, lead you to your child! and who knows, maybe because you've stopped "trying," POP. it'll happen on it's own! i've heard so many stories like that ;) xoxo

  3. I stumbled across your story, and after rereading it a few times, I wonder if your desire to adopt may be a selfish one. It seems that you are quite impatient for another child, and this direction will satisfy that desire of yours. You may be masking this personal want of yours with the Lord's calling.
    And, what would happen if, during this long process, you do conceive? What happens then? Would you be able to continue the process AND provide for another child?
    Also, how do you think this Ethiopian child would feel being raised in a white household? He will clearly be the "odd one out." And think of how he will feel being the "adopted child" while your current son is a "real child" that you conceived.

    Just some things to think about...

  4. Ummm... who is THAT?


    You and James love the Lord your God with all your hearts, souls, and minds. He loves you both even more than that. He cares for your broken heart and He works all things for your good. He can be trusted.

    All that being said, listen to Him and you will be satisfied. Whether that is adoption or not, He knows the plans He has for you. I am excited for you guys, your whole life has yet to unfold! Great things are ahead for you! I will be praying and thinking of you both.

    Thanks for trusting us with your heart. :)

  5. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. It really means a lot to know you are thinking about and praying for us. If it is the road we choose to go down I realize that it will be a long, sometimes painful one. But absolutely worth it in the end.

    Heather- You are too funny!!

    Anonymous- I have a pretty darn good suspicion as to who you are. Those are things we are thinking about and considering. Thanks for your concern ;-)

  6. Jess Von BluecherMarch 1, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    You're such a wonderful writer and I'm so touched by your story! I'm surprised to see an anonymous writer that stumbled across your blog is so opinionated. In my personal opinion an Ethiopian child would be much better off in your loving home with 'white' parents and siblings than wasting away in an African orphanage. My prayers are with you in whatever choices you make.

  7. adoption is such a magical thing. i hope hubs and i can adopt a kid someday (and have our own, too).

  8. Hi! I just found your blog through twitter and I LOVE it. Love your honesty, the way you share your faith and your Love for God. looking forward to reading more =)