“Jeremy and I started off as a very traditional couple. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy chases girl for a while, girl plays hard to get, then comes to her senses and falls in love. Jeremy and I got engaged after 4 months of dating. Since we knew each other for 8 years prior to our engagement, no one was shocked. Most people wondered why we didn’t do it sooner. Everything was perfect.
2 weeks after our engagement, I came on my period. It was difficult for a while, but the one after our engagement felt different. I begin to experience a lot of pain in my back, abdomen, and pelvic area. It was debilitating and I could barely work some days. Instead of my regular 3 to 7-day period, I would bleed for 12 days. I was taking several pain relievers every 3 to 4 hours, to keep the pain down. I knew my body was telling me something was wrong.
I listened to my body and made an appointment with my gynecologist. After an ultrasound, he suspected I had endometriosis. To confirm his diagnosis, he suggested laparoscopic surgery. We agreed to the surgery. After the surgery, he spoke with Jeremy and me. He confirmed it was endometriosis. He also told us about the scar tissues that acted like duct tape and bonded themselves to other organs in my body. The scar tissue blocked him from being able to see my ovaries. He drained as much of the cysts as he could to help relieve my pain while being careful not to get too close to my ovaries. I was young (24) and wanted children, so he was careful not to get too close.
My endometriosis was so severe, he encouraged me to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist concerning my fertility. He also gave me birth control to take continuously (which meant no period) until I was ready to have kids. After the surgery, I felt good. Jeremy and I were excited to get married, so we went into wedding mode and started planning. We got married and updated paperwork, insurance, etc. Once insurance was changed and updated, we scheduled an appointment with the RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist). We were newly married, so we knew we did not want children so early in our marriage. We collected the information from the RE and went on to enjoy our marriage for the next 2 years. I am glad we took the time and enjoyed ourselves because of the roller coaster that awaited us after the 2 years of rest.
We met with the RE again after 2 years. We had a consultation and ran some tests. After all the tests came back, she concluded it was in our best interest not to conceive without assistance. The RE was nervous I would have an ectopic pregnancy because of all the scar tissue. We agreed upon IVF and then the roller coaster came. I had a partial tubal ligation to get my body ready for IVF since my tubes were filled with scar tissue and fluid (also known as hydrosalpinx). The surgeon that performed the surgery removed one tube, then stopped. The other fallopian tube was behind all the scar tissue. He did not want to hit my ovaries, so he only took the tube he could see. After that surgery, the RE wanted me to implant an E-sure. The E-Sure would be implanted in my other tube to close the tube off. I did not want to put a piece of metal in my body. I was tired of the ‘prework’ it took to get to IVF. We were already paying off the previous two surgeries, I did not want another. We decided to step back and take some time to pray.
During my devotion and prayer time, I asked God what to do. During my venting to him, I heard ‘adoption.’ I had always wanted to adopt, but only after giving birth to a child or two. When I thought about adoption, I felt hopeful. It had been months since I felt that. The thought of being able to provide love and support to a child that needed it most gave me the peace I needed in that moment. I waited for Jeremy to come home after work. I was excited to tell him how I felt. I was overjoyed when he agreed. I began doing some research on adopting. Originally, I researched private adoption. After finding out how much it cost, I changed my mind. Jeremy and I were paying for student loans and my medical bills. Paying for adoption was out of the question. I did more research and read about adoption through foster care.
Originally, we wanted to be listed as an ‘adopt only’ family because we did not want to foster. Fostering meant being open to a child leaving us. After struggling with infertility, my father dying 3 years ago, we were not sure we could handle the grief. We had a trainer who taught our adoption and foster classes who said, ‘I know we are setting you up for heartbreak, but this is also a chance to show children the love of Christ.’ It did not matter how I felt. It was about that child feeling loved. I knew what it was like to lose a parent, imagine how that child(s) felt, being taken from their home. After our classes ended, we took more time to pray, then decided to move forward with foster care.
We got our first placement in January 2017. We had two boys. The oldest was 1 and a half. The second was 5 weeks old. They stayed with us for a month and then went on to live with their grandma. I grieved when they left. Now the ‘mom’ button had been triggered, I could not stop. We took a 3-month break and got another placement. It was a 5-week-old boy and his 2 ½-year-old sister. Man, did we fall in love with them. We bonded with both children. My husband loved having a daughter and she loved him. She always asked for him, called him daddy, and was always looking for him. We also have a great relationship with their birth mother. We were willing to support their mother by taking care of the two children until they got back on their feet.
After almost 3 months, their aunt and grandma came forward because their children were in foster care. The caseworker called and told me if the family checked out, they would leave to go be with them. When it happened, we were devastated. I was having a hard time, but it was even harder for my husband. I kept in touch with the aunt and grandma. They were kind enough to let me visit the kids and babysit. My husband could not bear it, so he kept his distance unless they came over to our house but I do not get to see them as much, because we have two toddlers.
After 6 months, Jeremy and I decided to get back on the horse and get another placement. I came across an email from Cornerstones of Care. It was an email with a list of sibling groups. I called the placement hotline and told them I was interested in taking the toddler and the baby, so they decided to split the kids up. After I got a few weeks, we got a call they were going to do a sibling split. I went over my list of questions and set a date with the caseworker to come to pick them up. It had been 6 months since Jeremy, and I had kids in our home.
Within those 6 months, we moved to a bigger place and contemplated getting a new car. We had a black Honda Civic. It was great, but it felt so small after putting in two car seats in the backseat and a stroller in the trunk. We were still deciding until I got the call back about the sibling group. We decided to get a Traverse with plenty of truck space and third-row seating for strollers, groceries, car seats, and more. On a Saturday (after Thanksgiving and Black Friday), we went to the dealer and got the car. The following Monday my sister joined me to go pick our new placement while my husband was at work.
Ari was 1 and a half and Jacob was 6 months at the time. My sister carried Jacob while I carried Ari to the car. Ari was eyeing me the entire time. He did not talk, he just kept looking at me like he did not trust me. I let him be. I wanted him to have the chance to watch me and take everything in. When we got home, he refused to take off his coat. It was his security blanket, so I let him keep it on. One thing I learned from my other two placements is that dinner is essential. It is a gentle and loving way of letting a child know we care. I cannot remember what I cooked, but I remembered Ari taking his coat off before he ate. It only took two weeks for us to fall into our family routine. Blank stares and side-eyes turned to laughs and giggles. Something about them being with us just felt right. I knew my boys felt the same when Ari came through the door, took his coat off, and walked to the couch to watch TV. They were home.
After 2 years, ups and downs, court dates, checkups, visits, mediation, emails, and appointments, they officially became ours on December 18, 2020. Over the years, I have kept in touch with their birth family. We have play dates with their siblings. My sons are a reminder God is faithful. Our path looked way different than Jeremy and I thought, but it is a good path. It is not a second-rate path. It was perfect and created just for us. My boys are an answered prayer. I always wanted to be a mom. I always knew I was, but my son helped me to earn the title. Jesus has blessed us beyond measure.
I cannot imagine life without my boys. Although this journey has been hard, I have no regrets. Each placement shaped me as a person, a believer, and a mom. I hated the grief we felt after a placement left, but I never regretted showing them my love and receiving it from them. In January 2021, we closed our license as foster parents but decided to take on a new role.
I became a board member of a local organization and earned a certificate to start training new foster care parents. Together Jeremy and I started a clothing line to celebrate and encourage foster/adoptive families. We donate a portion of our sales to local foster and adoption organizations. As a nation, we should all do what we can to support our children and let them know they are loved and not rejected. You do not have to be a foster parent to make a difference. Be willing to celebrate and support those that do. You can be a volunteer, a parent aid, donate to organizations that provide services for birth and foster families, do a meal train for a new foster family, throw an adoption shower. If you are thinking about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, just do it. Our children not only need good families, but they also deserve it! Having a stable home should not be a privilege, but an expectation for all children. Trust me when I say the heartbreak is nothing compared to the day when they come through the door and take off their coat.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jeremy and Britney King from Kansas City, MO. You can follow their journey on Instagram and Facebook. You can listen to their podcast here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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