John and I married in November of 2003. After a little over a year of marriage, we began trying to having a baby. Seven months went by with no pregnancy. Then John joined the military which led to a 14 month geographic separation since I was also in the military and unable to be stationed near him. We hadn't been able to try for the full year, so finding out whether there was a problem had to wait until we could be reunited. Once we were back together we began trying again, but still no baby came. After going through all the infertility testing, the doctor told us our only chance of getting pregnant was IVF with ICSI (you can read more here). I wanted to pursue adoption right away, but John wanted to try treatment first, so we decided to do two rounds of treatment and then move on if it was unsuccessful. Our first cycle resulted in pregnancy, but ended in miscarriage at 10 weeks. Our second cycle was negative. Nothing about that cycle went well. God had given us a clear no.
We took some time to mourn this loss and let go of the dream of having a biological child together as God prepared us for the next step. What many people don't realize is that there are losses associated with infertility that adoption doesn't solve: creating a child together; announcing your pregnancy to your husband, friends, and family; the experience of pregnancy and childbirth; breastfeeding (I know adoptive breastfeeding is possible with hormones); and parenting a child from birth (possible only with domestic infant adoption). These are very real losses that must be dealt with and accepted before you can move forward with adoption with an open heart. What I realized is that for me the pain of seeing a pregnant women was less about the experience of pregnancy and more about the child that would come. I wanted to be a parent more than I want to be pregnant. What I wanted most was to be a mom. I see adoption as an alternate path to parenthood, but one that is equally as good as parenting a biological child. It is not second best. I wrote about our journey to deciding to adopt here.
Initially, we thought we would pursue domestic infant adoption, but the Lord directed a change in course and led us to adopt from South Korea through a little girl that needed a family. You can see from our picture that the little girl did not become part of our family (praise God she was able to stay with her mom!), but we were now on the path that led us to both of our sons. We brought our first son Joshua JoonSeo home on September 3rd, 2011, almost seven years from when we first started trying to have children. It was a long and difficult wait, but Joshua was so worth it. I seriously can't believe I get to be mom to such an amazing little boy. He is so full of life and joy.
We had moved to Arizona three months before bringing Joshua home. Because AZ requires home studies to be certified by the court, we had to completely re-do ours. It was a little frustrating at the time since we were so close to having Joshua home. But it turned out to be a huge blessing because just four months after Joshua came home, we received a phone call from our new adoption agency asking us if we were interested in adopting another little boy. She had a referral for a little boy, but no family that was paperwork ready except us. He was born right when I was doing all the paperwork for our home study! Our second son Jonah RiYoon came home just over a month ago on October 1st, 2013.
Psalm 130:5 says, "I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope." His word says the Lord "settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children" (Psalm 113:9). There was a time when I doubted whether I would ever become a mom, but ultimately I decided to believe God is who He says he is and does what He says He will do and He did.
Through adoption, the Lord has made me a joyful mother of children.