That is all I remember feeling when we found out we were not going to be able to have children. I experienced so many emotions. In my mind, I had failed as a wife and partner. I felt broken; like “damaged goods,” so to speak.
I know that was not how my husband saw me. He was, and is, my rock. We leaned on each other and, of course, on God. As a matter of fact, when we got the discouraging news of our infertility, I heard this distinctive voice in the back of my mind. I never doubted that it was God speaking to me. He said, “You and Paul will have a child and the family you long for.”
He didn’t tell me how or when, just that it was going to happen. We held onto those words dearly. I spoke them over and over to myself every day.
A long road to parenthood
We’re Paul and Marci, and this is our story. We met when I was in my late 20s and dated long distance for two years before we were married. I moved here from Tennessee after our wedding. We decided to start our family about two years later.
When we first started trying to conceive a child, we tried everything. For seven years, we went through treatment after treatment. Each time I would tell myself, “This is it. This is our moment,” only to be let down again and again. Without our faith, the hope in answered prayer and our trust in God’s promise to us, there is no way we would have survived it all.
Everyone thought we were crazy to keep trying, but we knew what God had promised us and we were not giving up. I also wanted to be able to tell and show everyone that God does answer prayers.
When Paul and I decided to adopt, it was a huge decision for us. We had been so focused for so long on having our own biological child.
This dream was hard to let go, but eventually we realized adoption was our answer. We now know that God was leading us every step of the way to Catholic Charities. We just took the “scenic route” to get there.
Ecstatic, but too soon
We probably had been waiting with Catholic Charities about a year when we received a call about a potential adoption situation. There was a mother planning adoption who wanted to meet with us. Needless to say, we were ecstatic!
We met with her twice before she went into labor and gave birth to a baby boy. We went to the hospital on Good Friday to visit her and the baby. We were on “Cloud Nine” the rest of the day.
We did not know that that would be the last time we would see them.
The birth mother changed her mind and decided to parent her son. We were shattered. For the next few days, we kept praying, asking God to change her mind, but that never happened. He had a different plan for us. For awhile, we were angry and bitter, but we still had faith.
We continued to trust
I can remember someone asking me, “Do you think maybe having children isn’t God’s plan for you and Paul?” I knew then and there that I had not given up. I was more determined than ever. I continued to trust in God’s promise and knew we were going to have our family.
We will never forget May 30, 2012. We were both at work and received a phone call from Catholic Charities asking if Paul and I could stop by the office the next morning. I said, “Sure; what do you need from us?”
Danna Cousins, program director for Adoption Services for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, proceeded to tell me that Paul was on the line with us as well. I thought that was odd, but just kept waiting to hear what she had to say. She asked if we could to pick up our son!
We were shocked to say the least. I think we both said at the same time, “What? Are you kidding?” It was so surreal. Our baby boy was two weeks old and ready to come home with us.
‘This is it!’
I can remember grabbing my co-worker by the arm, pointing to the phone, telling her, “This is it! This is the call we have been waiting for!”
Words cannot describe our happiness. It was a feeling I had never experienced before. It just didn’t seem real!
Oh, but it was! We had less than 24 hours to get everything ready for our son “Cooper.” We were both running around the house trying to decide what to do first. We didn’t get any sleep that night! We were totally caught off guard. But if we had to do it all over again, we wouldn’t change a thing. We didn’t have time to think about anything and that was perfect for us.
The next morning, May 31, 2012, we pulled up to Catholic Charities’ office and saw a lady going in the door, holding a baby carrier. Paul looked at me and said, “Look. That’s our son!” We were both overcome with emotion – sheer delight!
We decided to pray together before going in. We asked God for guidance and wisdom and thanked him for the awesome blessing we were about to receive.
What stands out the most in my mind about that day was the look on Paul’s face when we saw Cooper for the first time. He was overjoyed. In the moment we first held him, we forgot about all the pain, heartaches, disappointments and letdowns we had experienced on our journey to become parents. We both now realize that we had to go through everything we went through to be united with the child that was meant to be our son, Cooper.
God’s timing is always perfect. He knew exactly what we needed and what Cooper needed. It was and is amazing. We continue to thank God for Cooper every day.
If we could give anyone advice going through the process of adoption, it would be to never give up. Always have and faith and hope. When things seem the absolute worst, remember, God loves you and he is faithful to his children and will give you the desires of your heart.
For more information on adoption, call 885-1141 or go to www.adoptnola.com.