Last night, Scott and I were chatting (again!) about all the preparation we need to find time and energy for before the twins arrive. (Admittedly, I am a planner to the hilt, probably to a fault… I’m sure most couples can roll with the flow and be just fine!). We’re in the middle of rearranging the entire house, updating our Trust, selecting a pediatrician, determining if two car seats plus another child will fit in the second row of our SUV, evaluating ways to completely fence off the pool, finding part-time help for the weeks Scott is traveling a couple of nights (a momma of newborn twins is not a pretty site after 48 hours without sleep!). When we’re both working full-time and have three other children we want and need to give attention to, even completing a baby registry has been draining (thank goodness my mother-in-law stayed on me for this one!). There’s also all the books we’re trying to get through… nutrition for twin pregnancy, natural birth or cesarean, how to get your twins to sleep through the night… . And did someone say Christmas is only six weeks away… oy!!
We weren’t complaining though, and fortunately we’ve always been a great team together (we probably wouldn’t have found the courage to embark on this if we weren’t!). We knew it was going to be a lot of work adding to our family… but the blessings would all be worth it.
Last night we flashed back to our first steps toward embryo adoption… receiving and completing the adoption home-study packet before we could be evaluated by Bethany and accepted by The NEDC. We began tackling that around the holidays last year. If you haven’t seen a home-study packet yet, I’ll tell you, it can be intimidating at first sight… it’s about a half-inch thick, with all kinds of forms that need interpretation. In addition to the pages of questions that needed answers from each of us regarding our views of our marriage, upbringings, plans for rearing our eventual child or children… there was also the proof of income, affidavit of health insurance, physicals, blood and drug tests for our doctors to complete, criminal background checks including a need for finger printing, even a rabies shot for our cat (whose paws had never stepped outside the house or come in contact with another animal). We didn’t hesitate to dig in, but it did feel like a chore at first.
But, on top of all we needed to do, we had to ask family and friends to write on our behalf personal letters of recommendation… could we really ask others to take the time from their busy schedules to do this for us?? This was the piece that added the greatest anxiety… neither Scott nor I have ever been good at asking help from others, we prefer to give it.
What happened was amazing though… my sister Jennifer, Scott’s cousin Mary Joan, old friends Wendy, Lance, Kristie and Nick, who were still such a big part of our current lives, all jumped enthusiastically at the request. Unanimously, they all thought it such a special opportunity to help us bring a life or lives, frozen in time, into this world. Not only were we touched by their loving support, we were amazed at how quickly Bethany received their letters… not a one procrastinated.
It was when we brought our dear family and friends into our “process” for making a baby and sensed their reactions that our own perspectives changed. No longer was it paperwork we needed to chug through, but our answers to the Bethany questions became our love letters to our future child or children. Typically, there is not much tangible evidence, so to speak, when your toddler asks mommy or daddy, “tell me how I was made”… but we will always have for our children the thoughtful words that we put so much love into to tell the story of why we believe God wanted us to bring them into this world and how we plan on raising them to be happy, healthy people who walk in His Word.
We never asked for copies of the letters of recommendation written on our behalf, but rather asked that our family and friends save them… to give to the twins when they graduate, or get married, or have children of their own.
It may often times be a simpler process to conceive naturally but it could never be a more special one. Not only the love letters that we started for our twins but also the opportunity to share the beginnings of their precious lives with so many people that we love so much. Proverbs 17:17