Choosing Adoption After Infertility

When I was in elementary and junior high school, whenever someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer, “a teacher,” “an orthodontist” {a really weird, short-lived phase that ended when I actually job-shadowed a dentist}, “an astronaut,” or whatever the flavor of the month profession was – then followed by, “but I really want to be a wife and mom.” I have phenomenal parents, and my mom has served as a role model for what it looks like to parent and do marriage well, and I have always wanted to emulate that in my own life.

My husband Clayton and I were college sweethearts — we met at Texas A&M University and dated for three years before we married in 2008 and moved to the Houston area. We both shared the desire to have children one day, but weren’t in a rush to do so at all. In addition to establishing our careers and learning how to be married folk, we joined the launch team of our current church, which was a beautiful, time-consuming blessing. Most of the families in our church were young, with young kids in tow, and we got to see firsthand the joys and struggles of parenthood. After several years of being the only childless couple at church, we decided to casually start trying for a baby of our own.

Choosing Adoption After Infertility | Houston Moms Blog

At first, it didn’t really concern us that we didn’t get pregnant immediately. To be honest, it was almost a slight relief, because even though Clayton and I really did want children, we still shared fear and anxiety about whether or not we were truly ready. {And as I’m finding out, you are NEVER truly ready for kids!} And sure, I had friends who were able to meticulously time conception and due dates with almost eerie precision, but I also knew those who spent a lot of time trying. I figured we were one of those couples that would just need some extra time for everything to work out and then would be blessed with a pregnancy later on.

Except we weren’t. Three, four years passed, and nada – nothing.  

About a year ago, Clayton and I started to feel more desperate and impatient and sought fertility testing. And friends, there is nothing more intimidating and fear-inducing than having to lay out the intimate information about your and your husband’s bodies to total strangers. We ultimately found out that Clayton has a low sperm count and the possibility of us conceiving children on our own is slim-to-none. This was devastating news to us. So often, when women discuss infertility, it is in terms of our own inabilities to conceive or maintain a pregnancy. There aren’t many women {or men, for that matter} who are willing to talk about male infertility – that could be a post all of its own.

We were told our only option for biological children was through IVF. The idea of pursuing IVF was so foreign to us – we had always taken for granted that we would be able to get pregnant the good old-fashioned way. We visited a reproductive specialist and gathered as much information as we could about the IVF process, but we just couldn’t find peace about going that route. Thankfully, we had several sweet friends along the way who had been through IVF and counseled us and gave advice. One of the best pieces of wisdom we were told was to not rush into it — to take time to grieve and process the loss of this dream, to pray, and to consider ALL options. So, for about six months, we prayed. Hard. We were sad, we were angry, we were confused, and we just wanted a clear direction, which is a very hard place for a Type-A planner like me.

Finally around November, both of us started to receive some clarity, in the form of an option we hadn’t given much thought – adoption. Now, adoption had never not been an option; we had just had so much tunnel vision about wanting a biological child that we hadn’t really stopped to think about what we was more important to us — to have biological children, or to Just. Have. Children.

We realized that that really was our heart’s desire; it didn’t matter to us if someone else carried our child. It didn’t matter if our baby had a different skin color than us. It didn’t matter if I never got to feel a baby kick in the womb or breastfeed in the middle of the night. It didn’t matter if he or she came to us in a process that is much more invasive and vulnerable than IVF ever could be. 

We wanted to be parents.

And we came to the realization that God has a very special gift for us, one who will come to us through circumstances of great loss and great beauty. So, here we are—in the middle of the adoption process.

Since coming to this decision, we have both read many books about open adoption {which we are pursuing to the greatest form of openness we can}, childhood trauma, and relationships with birth parents. We decided to pursue a domestic, infant adoption, hopefully within the state of Texas. Right now, we have the bulk of our paperwork completed, and have a few more tasks {physicals, writing autobiographies} to complete before we are approved and granted home study dates. After our home study is approved, our information will be available for birthmothers to view, and hopefully, select us. After that, we wait. And wait. We could potentially have much more that a 40-week “gestational” period to prepare for our baby — or he or she could show up much sooner than that!

Even though our experience with infertility has {and still is} very painful, the joy and excitement we feel for the adoption process is unlike any other emotion we have ever felt. We are diving into this process knowing the very real possibility of a placement that falls through, of having to wait and wonder and hope without a clear timeline, but we know without a doubt that we WILL be parents and get to love an incredible little person, all because of this process.  

I know that everyone dealing with infertility has his or her own story. Not all people feel called to adopt. Not all people feel called to pursue fertility treatments. Some stories have beautiful surprise endings, others, not so much. Adopting a child won’t ensure that we will get pregnant soon after. {Adoption isn’t a good luck charm, people, and we don’t want it to be!} Some people process grief in a deep, visceral way; others can mask it with productivity and routine. I guess I’m writing this to say that if you or someone you know and love is dealing with this sensitive, painful, and sometimes secret issue, it’s important to know and support her story, if she allows.  

Adoption is so amazing, friends. We can’t wait to bring home our baby and share with him or her the incredible way he or she came to be a part of our family. If you have questions or comments about the adoption process, feel free to contact me via our adoption blog Waiting for Wakefield.


Choosing Adoption After Infertility | Houston Moms BlogAbout Leslie W.

Leslie is a self-proclaimed nerd who teaches high school English in Katy, TX. She is married to Clayton, and leads worship with him at their home church. Though she is waiting to become a mom to a human child, in the meantime she proudly dotes on and spoils her fur baby, a corgi named Lucy, who runs the household. In her free time, she enjoys reading, Netflixing, Aggie football {some years}, cooking, taking Pure Barre classes, and serving her community. You can keep up with the Wakefield adoption process at www.waitingforwakefield.wordpress.com .

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2 Responses to Choosing Adoption After Infertility

  1. Tanya Erickson April 24, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    This is beautiful, Leslie. I am so happy for you and Clayton, and I prayed for y’all to one day become parents because I know how great you both are going to be at it. It’s so nice that you are sharing your story and journey with others who may be experiencing the same thing.

  2. Ash May 7, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    Thank you for sharing! We also chose adoption after infertility and it’s the best choice I’ve ever made. We are now proud mom and dad to a fun loving 2 year old. The best thing I did before going into the adoption process was mourn my idea of giving birth to May child so I could fully embrace adopting. Thinking of you!

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