‘This requires emergency surgery. Like right now.’ Hot tears rolled down my cheeks. ‘It’s happening again.’: Couple adopts foster baby after infertility, miscarriages

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“On May 30th, 2015, I married the love of my life, Justin. We didn’t want to wait long to start a family, so we decided to leave it up to chance and figured it would happen when it was time. Well, that was until it didn’t. Each month was fun as I took a pregnancy test, convinced this would be the month it was positive. But it wasn’t.

young couple before they adopted their son
Courtesy of Magan Williams

In the fall of 2016, we decided to open our home as foster parents. Our first placement was in our home for seven months. About a month after our first foster placement left our home, I had surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst and I was also diagnosed with endometriosis. In December of that same year, we received our second foster placement. They were in our home until April of 2018. About a month after they left, on May 30th, 2018, our third wedding anniversary, we found out we were pregnant. I took about seven pregnancy tests that morning before putting together a little gift box to give to my husband that evening when he got home from work. We couldn’t believe it was finally our time!

Unfortunately, about a week later, I began to miscarry. My husband took me to the ER, where my body completed the miscarriage. It was a devastating blow. We had all of these big dreams for our first baby that were taken away in an instant. The months passed by and around April of 2019, I began having some of the same health problems I had experienced with the endometriosis previously. In May of 2019, I underwent another surgery to clean up the endometriosis that was staking its claim in my uterus.

During this time, we faced all of the questions childless married couples dread… ‘When are you having babies?’ ‘Are you guys trying?’ ‘Don’t you want kids?’ ‘Just relax and it will happen when you aren’t trying.’ While perhaps the intentions were pure, every single comment seared right into my soul like a hot knife.

couple holding out hope after infertility struggles
Courtesy of Magan Williams

Each endometriosis surgery I had allowed for optimal fertility for about 6 months. This proved correct for me on two different occasions, the May 2018 pregnancy, and then again when I discovered I was pregnant on November 1st, 2019. We were very cautiously optimistic this time around. I immediately contacted my OB-GYN and requested bloodwork and checked to see if there was anything we could do to give us our best shot at a viable pregnancy. I was then prescribed Progesterone, which I would take twice a day for the next month until I reached 11 weeks long.

It wasn’t two days later that I began bleeding and cramping. I remember looking at Justin and saying, ‘It’s happening again.’ I contacted the doctor’s office on Monday morning and was asked to come in for more bloodwork to see what my HCG level was doing, while also being placed on precautions. After several days of my levels rising but not doubling, the nurse wanted me to come in to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

We got in the car and made the 35-minute drive to the doctor’s office, the majority of the way in silence, minus my sniffles as hot tears rolled down my cheeks. Tears of anger. Tears of frustration. Tears of hurt. Tears of broken promises. Tears of broken faith, still trying to hang on by a thread. Tears of trying to negotiate with God to let this baby live.

mom and dad posing in a car for a selfie
Courtesy of Magan Williams

I began to google ectopic pregnancy, as that is what the nurse wanted to rule out. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. It can occur in the ovary, in the abdomen, but most often in one of the Fallopian tubes. No matter where the embryo lands, if it isn’t appropriately implanted in the uterus, it will not survive. Most commonly, ectopic pregnancies are treated with a chemotherapy drug called Methotrexate, so I began to mentally prepare for starting this medication.

When we got into the doctor’s office, I was called back and went into an ultrasound room. Intense pain took over as I was being poked and prodded. I asked the ultrasound tech, ‘I’m not sure you’re allowed to discuss what you see with us, but can you tell us anything?’ She responded by saying, ‘I’m seeing a spot that looks very concerning to me in your right Fallopian tube. It looks like this may be an ectopic pregnancy, I’m so sorry.’ She let us know she was going to give the images to the PA and she would be back in to discuss what was found.

However, the PA never showed up. Instead, we were ushered into another room where we were informed my OB-GYN wanted to speak with us instead. They apologized for the wait, as my doctor had to run across the street to deliver a baby, oh the irony, but she would be with us momentarily. We waited. I sobbed. My husband held me. I tried to push him away. He held me tighter. Because he is the calm in the midst of every single one of our storms. My very own angel. My doctor comes in and we are prepared for her to give us the prescription and to explain the process and what we should expect.

dad taking a nap in a chair in the hospital
Courtesy of Magan Williams

Instead, we hear, ‘This is an ectopic pregnancy and it requires emergency surgery. Like right now.’ She continued saying she couldn’t wait until the next morning to do the surgery herself because the tissue was large and  she feared it would rupture and I would bleed out before making it back to the hospital. She let me know she had more babies to deliver that afternoon and her colleague would be performing the surgery.

Before we left, she did something I will never forget or be able to repay her for. She asked, ‘Can I hug you?’ She proceeded to tell me how this was not my fault and I could not have done anything to prevent this. We made it to the hospital, and my surgery was successful. However, my Fallopian tube did have to be removed. Shortly after, we entered the world of a global pandemic, and we got to spend a lot of time as just husband and wife that I will forever treasure. Things were quiet on the growing our family front and we tried to just be thankful for my life being spared and not focus too much on a baby.

That is until August 11th, 2020, when I received a phone call asking if we would be willing to bring home a 2-day old baby boy through the foster care system. Our home had been closed to foster care for over two years at this point, and we had to make a quick decision on whether or not we wanted to have our home emergency opened to accept this placement. On a whim, based on a phone call out of the blue, we decided to take this leap.

It did not take me long to realize the baby we had lost that previous November had the same due date as this sweet baby we were about to welcome into our home. We quickly completed all of the necessary paperwork; had a home visit on the morning of August 13th; and by around 4 p.m. on August 13th, 2020, I was walking into the NICU at OU Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City to meet our son for the very first time. I had to go in alone, as COVID procedures would not allow my husband to join me, so he waited patiently in the car until we were discharged.

son's little hand wrapped around his mom's hand
Courtesy of Magan Williams

We went from just a married couple to a married couple with a brand new baby in a matter of hours. We had absolutely nothing baby-related in our home. Within days of word getting out that we had a new baby, our porch was absolutely flooded with Amazon packages containing all of the essentials we could ever need. As we began this new journey, we had high hopes in regards to fostering him with the intentions of adoption; however, having been foster parents before, we were very cautiously optimistic.

We promised ourselves we would try to remain level-headed about the situation and guarded, but that mentality was not feasible once we had that precious 7 lb. baby in our arms. Our lives legitimately changed in less than 48 hours. It is so strange how vivid that small span of time still is in my mind, I hope I am forever able to remember each detail as it happened. It truly reminds me of what a miracle this boy is, not only in our lives, but his little life itself. His birth was quite traumatic – the mere fact he is alive and thriving is a complete and total miracle in and of itself. The doctors in the hospital were sure to remind me of that.

mom and dad giving their adoptive son a kiss
Courtesy of Magan Williams
family in front of a christmas tree
Courtesy of Magan Williams

Even though we knew it was likely we would have the opportunity to adopt, every step in progression brought more and more relief as we became closer to reality. Our situation was quite different from most foster care cases. It was only nine months after birth before all parental rights were terminated and our son became a ward of the state. In hindsight, nine months is nothing – but at the moment, each and every step was agonizing. We had many setbacks and the constant fear of the unknown.

Even once we were told we were the adoptive family for our son, I would still catch myself occasionally wondering, ‘But what if…?’ I think that is just part of human nature and likely my mind’s trauma response to the loss we have experienced in the past. In May, it’s like I was finally able to say, ‘Okay, this is it. This is going to happen. We are really going to legally be a family forever.’ That is the sort of feeling I don’t even know how to explain.

parents with their adopted kid in the pumpkin patch
Courtesy of Magan Williams

You get so caught up in the days of fighting for this sweet little human who unexpectedly made an appearance into your life, and providing their day-to-day needs, knowing just how precious life is and how hard we have fought to be at this point. This has been the most grueling, yet most rewarding process I have ever been through in my life. I have grown more as a person throughout this process than in any other situation in my life.

I know firsthand what it is like to want a family and not be able to create that. As a woman, that is what my body is biologically created to do, and the fact my body has failed me in that regard is something I have had to work and grow through. However, having those struggles and going through this experience makes me appreciate being a mom ten times more than I think I would, had I just been able to conceive easily.

I’ve never been a patient person, however, this process has forced me to slow down and have patience with the process. On November 16th, 2021, after 464 days in foster care – we finalized our adoption and our son legally became Koepka Jayce Williams. Koepka after one of our favorite golfers, and because we love being asked, ‘Now, how do you say his name?’ And then Jayce after my brother, Cameron Jayce, who passed away in 2002.

parents with their adoptive son after adopting him
Courtesy of Magan Williams

We are so grateful we get to celebrate our first holiday season legally as The Williams. I would like to conclude our story by saying this: I could not have more love or respect for our son’s birth mom, his first mom. We love her. She is a part of him, a part of us. She is brave. She is courageous. She is a fighter. We are so thankful to her for giving birth to him. No one will ever be able to understand how or why I feel the way I do about her, but that isn’t for other people to get.

Our son will know just how deep her love for him runs. I will protect him fiercely and he will always know where he came from. I hope that prospective adoptive parents do their research, that they immerse themselves in conversation with not only other adoptive parents but with people who have been adopted and with biological parents who have given their children up for adoption. Be prepared to be flexible, to be patient, to be resilient, to give love to people that can be really hard to love because, at times, we are all really hard to love.

You cannot be an adoptive parent and hold hate in your heart for people you feel failed your child; that’s not what love is. The biggest ingredient in adoption is love. Everything you do has to come from a place of love. Also, please remember that foster care/adoption is not a ‘one size fits all.’ Everyone’s experience is different and just because I feel the way I do or experienced things how I did, does not mean everyone else does, or that I think everyone else does. I’ll leave you with this, every single day you have left on this earth – find a way to love. Spread love. Give love. Be love.”

family taking a picture in front of their home together
Courtesy of Magan Williams

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Magan Williams from OKC, OK. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and  YouTube  for our best videos.

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‘You need a closed adoption.’ My mom was adamant. Suddenly, the world turned upside down. She’d kept the secret for 35 years.’: Adoptive mom finds lost long sister, ‘It was divine intervention’

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‘The nurse came in and said, ‘Her new parents are ready for her.’ Only 15, I kissed her soft baby cheek, and placed her into the arms of her mama.’: Teen mom embarks on ‘beautiful’ open adoption journey, ‘I couldn’t have picked better parents’

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