Matt was my first kiss...
I know that sounds like the best kind of romance, and it is, but it should be known that it took us 4 more years to figure out that we were actually a perfect match for each other. Four years of cultivating a deep and abiding friendship, filled with adventures we called our own that were ripe with laughter, movie theaters and long drives through the mountains with the windows rolled down and the music turned up. Falling in love with your best friend is something out of a movie but four years after our first kiss, we found ourselves in that place. And two years after that, we stood at the front of our home church, saying "I do".
But before I get too ahead of myself, you're not here for that story... You're here for the other one. The one about why we have chosen to walk down a path to adoption.
Journey to a Mini Oho
Somewhere between year six and year eight of marriage, we started to notice a shift in our conversations from "if we have a baby" to that ever-hopeful "when we have a baby" and by year nine, we felt as ready as a couple could ever be to dive headfirst into a life you know you are vastly unprepared and under-qualified for.
So, we pulled the goalie (yeah, that goalie) and bought the big house with the extra bedrooms in the quiet suburb. We purchased a coffee table with round edges and padding instead of that sharp-edged marble coffee table I preferred. We added the puppy with the reasoning that we wouldn't want the challenge of a new puppy and a new baby at the same time. We started looking at the calendar and planning what potential maternity leave might look like around wedding season and then we waited.
And since then, the puppy turned three, the padded coffee table has (rather miraculously) stayed and twenty one gorgeous, new babies have been born to those couples whose weddings I had hoped photograph with a pregnant belly.
In late 2016, we found out that we wouldn't be able to have children the old fashioned way due to a previously unknown genetic condition that caused my egg supply to go bad and my body to start menopause at the ripe age of 33.
There's a lot to this part of the story - grief, pain, the loss of dreams we held so closely. And those are topics that deserve a conversation but the ultimately, the result of the road we had to walk to get here, is that God has lit a fire of passion in our hearts for adoption. It was an unexpected turn in our story but it is a turn that has been wholly beautiful & entirely hopeful, every step of the way.
We can't wait to share more with you and while, yes, we're even more excited and anticipatory for the day when we can post baby photos of OUR Mini Oho, we promise to tell the in-between story here. The hard. The hopeful. The down-trodden. The joyous.
But this part of our story is where you come in.
The average waiting time for a couple wanting to adopt within our agency is 24 months. Two years of hoping each time our phone rings it's our social worker with a potential match. Two years of a house without the pitter patter of little feet. Two years where we feel a longing for our Mini Oho with hearts that aren't quite complete.
If the wait is what God has intended for us, we are in it and in it for the long haul. But we believe in the power of community and know that every person that knows about our desire to adopt is one more person who can spread the word and help us find our Mini Oho. (And who knows, we haven't settled on names yet so does having a baby named after you sound pretty awesome? Most definitely so.)
Above all, though, we covet your prayers and your love. Every night we pray together for this unknown baby and on days that are tough, this simple act strengthens and emboldens my heart. To have those that love us down in the trenches with us as we wait, through prayer & hope, is more than we deserve but what I know will fortify us through this process.
And if you are, yourself, considering adoption and want to know more about us? Send us a message, day or night. We would love to hear from you.
The Ohos (Matt & Melissa) (Gunnar & Charlie, too!)