‘I didn’t care HOW I became a mom.’: Couple learns they’re pregnant 6 years after adopting first child

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“Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming a mother. So naturally, I couldn’t understand why my deepest desire after marriage wasn’t happening for us. Phil and I were married back in 2011 after spending four outears dating through college. Only two years into our blissful marriage, we were diagnosed with infertility. (Phil would eventually be diagnosed with Severe Male Factor Infertility, while my fertility issues stemmed from Stage IV Endometriosis, MTHFR, and Factor V Leiden.) I was in utter denial. I would find myself saying, ‘This won’t last. We will get pregnant soon.’ After all, I didn’t know many women my age who had infertility issues, or at least there weren’t any in my close circle of friends talking about it. Well, the months turned into years and I found myself surrounded by uncertainty, isolation, and fear. I was living my worst nightmare. Month after month, year after year, I found myself sobbing on the bathroom floor just trying to get through the day. Everyone around me seemed to sneeze on command, get pregnant, and deliver a baby. But why couldn’t we? How could this be our story? What good will come of this failure?

After 2 years of trying to conceive naturally with every home remedy in the book, we spent another year with IUI fertility treatments. There I was, three years into infertility and I had found myself frozen in fear. One weekend, while at a women’s retreat in March of 2015, my fear turned to acceptance, and my heart started to change. I decided right then and there…I didn’t care HOW I became a mom… I just wanted the baby that was right for our family. It was no longer about me filling my void, but being open to God’s plan for my life. I was ready to adopt.

We took the plunge into adoption that next month. I spent every waking minute filling out paperwork for our home study. I wanted to make it happen as fast as possible. Little did I know that 6 days into the traditional adoption route, a birth mom showed up at our church on Mother’s Day in 2015. She put in a prayer request card saying she was 37.5 weeks pregnant and still hadn’t found an adoptive family. Quickly, the prayer request card made its way into my husband’s hands. The very next day, we were eating dinner with her at a local restaurant. We all were unsure what to say but eventually began to get to know each other. The purpose was simply to hear her story and love on her. It was that love that pierced her heart and within 45 minutes of getting home that night when Phil’s phone rang. ‘Hello?’ It was her mother. She started by saying, she understood this is a very emotional time for all of us and didn’t want to keep us waiting. ‘We just wanted to let you know that she picked you. She wants you to be the adoptive parents.’ Instantly, tears streamed down my face. I cried harder than I have ever cried in my entire life. All the walls I had built up came crumbling down in that moment.

Woman crouches down on dock to kiss pregnant woman's stomach
Alex Congelliere

We spent the next few days spending time together with birth mom. We wanted to get to know each other and it was important to me to have stories to share with our daughter. Eight days later we got the call that birth mom was in labor. We were invited to be in the delivery room. We were so blessed and got to witness our daughter Kinsley Grace being born!! I fell in love the moment she entered this world. It was the most amazing whirlwind experience of my entire life.

Woman cries in hospital bed as she holds newborn baby to chest
Alex Congelliere

Kinsley’s adoption story touched thousands of lives and gave couples struggling with infertility and those looking to adopt hope in their journey. It was shortly after the birth of Kinsley that we started documenting the journey of building our family through YouTube vlogs. We’d film our infertility appointments, our daily life of raising a baby and made an intentional effort to speak love and encouragement in every single video to whoever wanted to watch.

Our new world of parenting came fast. After all, we had our daughter in our hands just nine days after we met her birth mother. It was amazing. When Kinsley was approaching a year old, we felt a voice in our hearts say, ‘I’m not done building your family.’ We were completely smitten with our new daughter, and around the time she turned one, Phil and I began thinking about the next steps in our family building journey. While living very frugally and saving up every penny we could muster for our future fertility treatments, a woman found me on Instagram and asked me some basic questions about our open adoption with Kinsley’s birth mother. Questions became curiosity and curiosity turned into boldness asking us if we would ever adopt again, and if so, how soon would we adopt? That boldness eventually overcame her and while experiencing the love and compassion we had for her her, she asked us if we would adopt her baby girl she was pregnant with. Phil and I prayed and talked about it. It became quickly apparent to us we were meant to adopt this child. We followed the same steps with her that we did with Kinsley’s birth mom by listening to her story and building a friendship with this courageous woman. I finished my medication so I could have the Egg Retrieval surgery and then put our IVF fertility treatments plans on pause while we adopted this baby girl on the way.

Father who holds daughter in arms points to stomach of pregnant woman while wife does the same
Alex Congelliere

To help us with the costs, we had multiple friends and family ask if they could help raise funds for us. We were so humbled and said yes. We had garage sale, a #LoveMultiplies T-Shirt fundraiser, and another online fundraiser. Phil and I had 50% of our adoption costs raised and were in the delivery room as our second daughter Callie Jo was born in September of 2016. Again, we documented this process on YouTube, encouraging others along the way and watched Callie’s story inspire and bless birth mothers and couples along their journey.

Adopted first child kisses newborn sister on the chin
Alex Congelliere

After years of infertility and calculations on when and how I’d become a mom, all of my plans were exceeded when I looked down at my newborn daughter on our flight back to California and realized I had become a mother of two perfect girls within 16 months. Phil and I were present in every moment with our girls and we still had peace about moving forward with IVF when Callie was just year old and Kinsley was two and a half. Then we heard that familiar voice again, ‘I’m not done building your family.’ This time, we weren’t surprised at all because we had 6 beautiful frozen embryos that had lasted through the Egg Retrieval a year earlier.

Adopted older sister smiles with arm around younger sister
Alex Congelliere

Our ability to have biological children had always hinged upon our infertility woes, but believed we were supposed to keep trying. With two children at home, we decided to progress with the first IVF Transfer in August of 2017. It was bliss. We were confident this was the key to our infertility issues we’d faced for 5 years up until that point. After the transfer we were sure it took. 12 days later, we filmed our heartbreaking live reaction receiving the news that our IVF transfer did not work. Heartbroken and confused, we kept pushing towards the goal of building our family. Using our second of six embryos, we transferred another that December. Ten days later, Phil and I decided to take an at-home pregnancy test a few days short of getting our blood test done by our doctor.

Husband and wife holding up pregnancy test that indicated pregnancy
Alex Congelliere

The test showed two lines, or did it? Two days later we learned that we had what is deemed as a chemical pregnancy. The beautiful life was trying to grow inside of me hadn’t made it past a few weeks. It all seemed so frustrating that our second transfer did not work, but there was also a glimmer of hope in it, too. Our doctor went back to study our case and found out that I had a blood clotting disorder that was keeping our pregnancies from becoming viable. We had answers and our doctor believed she knew how to treat these early miscarriages from happening.

After that second failed cycle, and hearing the news from our doctor that there was in fact hope for the next transfer, our YouTube community rallied around us and offered to start a fundraising page to give us another shot sooner rather than later.

Husband and wife in shock that they are having a baby
Alex Congelliere

After raising the funds for a third IVF Transfer, we began the process filled with faith, hope, and love from our community, we began our protocol. Our emotional IVF transfer took place on February 13th and after a ten day wait, we found out that we were fully pregnant for the first time in 6 years! The outpouring of love and affection from our community has been overwhelming.

Husband and wife holding up sonogram of IVF baby
Alex Congelliere

Today, Phil and I continue to document for our journey through this pregnancy and raising our two precious girls, just as we have done for two years. We share most honest moments of life including the highest highs and the lowest lows in hopes that someone would find hope, healing, and encouragement through our lives. We believe that everyone is on a journey, and we want to help them know and discover there is a plan and a purpose for their life, and encourage them to find it. Just as we have done for years, we end each of our videos by saying, ‘Go Let Your Love Multiply!’ That phrase and wording ‘Love Multiplies’ has not only gone from an adoption t-shirt fundraiser, to a motto in our vlogs, but we’re turning it into a non-profit organization designed to educate, encourage and bring financial resources to those who most desperately want to build their family and learn to multiply their love.”

Mother holds adopted daughter in lap next to husband who is holding newborn daughter
Alex Congelliere

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alex Congelliere, 30, of Southern California. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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