Searle Adoption Fund
Most of those who visit this page probably already know a lot about Mike and I; but for those who don't - I'm going to tell you the story of us.
Mike and I have been married for almost sixteen years. He is working as a client relations specialist for a financial company where he's been employed for about ten years and I'm a stay at home mother. We have a huge, loving and supportive family with a dozen nieces and nephews, a large group of loving friends and our amazing church family.
Mike is a very talented artist. He even makes a little money at his passion now and then! I am a writer and together we're quite the creative duo. Most people also seem to think we're pretty funny... but it could just be that they don't know the difference between funny and weird.
Mike and I met at a church youth night when we were just fifteen years old. Our eyes met over the electronic hum of an air hockey table and the rest as they say... is history! Yes, somehow in spite of him being a complete weirdo, I fell completely. Mike was my first love, my only love and I was his.
While we were dating Mike worked at Kauffman Stadium making and selling lemonade and I would 'hide' sitting curled up under his stand and chatting while he worked. I was sitting there curled up one day drawing a face on a lemon with a black sharpie when Mike told me that he loved me. We were sixteen.
It was a snowy, wintry cold day in February when Mike asked me to marry him. We were seventeen. We were so worried about what people would say that we kept it to ourselves for a while; eventually of course we had to tell everyone what was bursting out from our hearts. Not surprisingly we heard a lot of people tell us that we were too young and it wouldn't last - but while we might have been too young and hasty, it did last. And it has been an incredible, amazing and beautiful journey.
We got married in 1998, eleven days after I turned 18. We were penniless and full of big dreams that came crashing down around us into a hard reality amazingly fast. It was a wake up call, but we took it on the chin.
After about a year, we decided to start trying to have a baby. We didn't know that we were stepping onto the battleground of a war that would not just consume the next decade of our lives - but define it as well.
Infertility is a terrible thing for any couple to have to go through. The sense of loss and failure is almost unbearable at times. We clung to each other and our faith - but no one we knew really understood.
There were tests and drugs and misdiagnosis - attempts at the natural approach, dietary changes, accupuncture and foul tasting teas... nothing worked. Nothing even helped. Not until we finally had the means and insurance to go to fertility specialist.
We went through almost a year of various fertility drug cycles and IUI. When that didn't work, I had surgery and we were told to come back in three months to try again. Three months later, as I prepared to go back through the invasive hoop jumping I discovered I was 9 weeks pregnant!
My pregnancy was flawless... until it wasn't. I went into premature labor when I was just 24 weeks pregnant and spent a week in the hospital on all kinds of drugs absolutely forbidden to move. It was the worst week of my life.
When Gloria was born, she weighed just 1 pound and 11 ounces. She had heart and liver problems, eye problems, stomach problems... on and on. They warned us that her chances of survival were slim, that it would be an uphill battle... but we never gave up hope.
After three surgeries, countless blood transfusions, several close calls, one horrifying medical malpractice overdose and nearly six months - our daughter finally came home!
To this day however, nearly four years later - Gloria still struggles with the repercussions of her troubled birth. She had a surgically placed tube in her stomach for the first year of her life since she wouldn't eat. She didn't crawl untl she was a year old, she didn't walk until she was two, and she still doesn't talk. We love her to pieces, she's the light of our world and taught us the meaning of... well, everything that matters. We truly believe that God has given her a very special purpose and that someday she will overcome these obstacles... but it requires a daily effort to keep that faith and face her special challenges with grace.
For a long time, we were content with Glory. She developed very slowly so she was (and still is in many ways) like a baby. We didn't have the emotional currency to go through the infertility roller coaster again and we lived in a very small house that barely had room for the three of us.
But things have changed. We've moved into a comfortable, spacious four-bedroom home, Glory will be 4 next month, she's in school and doing great... and that old ache has returned. We want another baby.
So, bravely - we scheduled an appointment with our fertility specialist for March 5th... but then, an amazing gift fell into our laps. We were given the opportunity to adopt.
Fertility treatments aren't cheap - but they are gradual. $250.00 here, $120.00 there... it's doable. Adoption however is different. It requires large sums of cash all at once and while we make a comfortable living, we just don't have thousands of dollars sitting in the bank.
That's why we're here; to ask those of you that love us for help. Our lawyer charges a $2,000.00 flat fee and can take payments. The home study could be anywhere between $500.00 and $3,000.00 and then there are the travel expenses, court costs and necessary home improvements for the home study as well as the things we need for a new baby like an infant carseat and diapers.
If we had had more time to plan, we could have saved some money but our birth mother is due in June and the clock is ticking.
We are very fortunate to be doing an independant adoption. Domestic adoption through an agency can cost upward of thirty or forty thousand dollars. We don't need nearly that much, but what we do need is simply out our reach in such a short time frame.
Please help us complete our family; even if you cannot donate, you can spread the word, share our story on your social media and of course, pray for us. Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know us.