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And Then There Were Four: The Socia’s Story

socia(bfy1)_11On April 30th, 2011, I experienced the best day of my life—marrying my best friend. I couldn’t wait to start our life together as Mr. and Mrs. Socia! Oh, the adventures we would have—traveling, hosting parties at our home, starting holiday traditions of our own, and eventually the most exciting adventure—becoming parents!

As a newlywed, I never imagined that, once we started trying to conceive, our journey to become parents would be a difficult one–and yet, that became the case. Over the years, we’ve experienced friends all around us announcing their exciting news, and while we were thrilled for them and so excited to meet their bundle of joy, we couldn’t help but wonder as the months and years passed by, why we continued to experience the heartache of the words “not pregnant” that appeared on each test we took. In June of 2015, we got the unfortunate news from a test we’d had completed that we would not be able to conceive naturally; thus, we began researching clinics and doctors that could help in our journey to become parents. For anyone who has ever gone through any fertility treatment, you’re well aware…. it’s not easy! The medicines, injections, procedures, doctors who treat you like a number vs. a person and overall strain it puts on a marriage all make a couple wonder every day, “Is it really worth it?” The treatments, coupled with all the prodding that comes from family and friends asking “Why do you still have no children?” and “You really should hurry up” place even more strain on the couple. I have to pause and say, I understand why many marriages don’t last due to infertility issues. It’s embarrassing to both of you and you wonder what you could do differently, and then there are all the doctors and the hormones — you don’t even feel like yourself! While marriage is a partnership and takes work, fertility issues within a marriage….well, that requires an abundance of patience, love and humor (you have to laugh!) that many days you just don’t have. I’m blessed beyond compare with a loving husband…he’s held my hand through every day of it.

In November of 2015, we completed our third round of fertility treatments and got the news a week before Thanksgiving that IVF didn’t work and the two embryos transferred did not result in a pregnancy. We were devastated…. we prayed, consoled each other and decided that that had to be the last round of treatments — it was just too much. In February, however, we’d regained a sense of “We’ve got this!” and decided to do one more round of IVF. The toughest part of IVF was that if you ended up getting pregnant, you found out together from the blood draw they did two weeks after they transferred the embryo. It kind of cuts in on the fun of getting to surprise your husband with the news! On June 29th, we made the trek 3 hours away from our house to our specialist to have the last embryo transfer completed. I prayed the entire time and just knew that God had a little baby Socia waiting for us from this round. We had our blood test scheduled for July 8th and our anxiety was surreal…. the waiting was the worst! I felt many of the pregnancy symptoms, but couldn’t bring myself to take a test because I’d seen so many negatives. I just couldn’t stand to see another one. But, on Thursday, July 7th, at 2pm, I experienced the joy of a POSITIVE pregnancy test! I cried, screamed loudly “REALLY?!” about 10 times and then took 5 more tests, all confirming I was really pregnant! I canceled every meeting I had and drove up to my husband’s office because I wanted to be able to tell him that I was pregnant, instead of a doctor! I pulled him away from patients, into his office and pulled the “Iron Baby” onesie I’d gotten 4 years ago from his first Ironman race out of my bag and started crying. The joy we experienced was insurmountable, and we felt that our missing puzzle piece was finally present and growing!

socia(bfy1)_19On July 18th, I randomly started spotting, and, unfortunately, within an hour it was all over with. I felt numb. We were devastated beyond words — devastated. Our fertility clinic said it might not be a miscarriage, and had us drive 6 hours round trip the next day to run some tests that confirmed that we had, in fact, lost the baby. I remember thinking, what now? Why would God let us go through all of this? What have we done wrong? My sweet dad gave me the best reminder and said, “You didn’t marry Adam to have kids…. you married him because you loved him and knew you couldn’t go a day without him.” Those words sunk deep, and I knew that was how we would go on — we’d focus on the amazing marriage we had. In all of this, our faith and our marriage have stayed very strong, and have only gotten that much stronger. Again I’ll say, he’s held my hand through every day.

In late September, we decided we’d just enjoy the holidays and we’d put all thoughts regarding starting a family to the side and revisit any thoughts or next steps in 2017. Adam and I continued to pray for clarity and an understanding of what God would have us do. Neither of us wanted to move forward in any way unless God’s hand of provision and blessing was on it. On Thursday, December 1st, I told Adam that I really felt God laying on my heart that we had so much love to give, and we could easily give that love to a child that didn’t come from us. Adam smiled, and through tears said, God was placing that same thing on his heart. We cried, laughed, hugged, and realized that God was calling us to ADOPT! That next evening, I walked into the nursery in our home (which had been a forbidden room to walk into, as I broke down every time) and looked at the few newborn clothes and blankets we’d already purchased and I smiled —finally, no tears! I thought to myself, some baby will get good use out of these clothes, and will receive so much love and hugs from us. That baby would also get some sweet puppy kisses from our fur babies Zoe and Lylah!

socia(bfy1)_15Days and weeks seemed to drag on, as we had still yet to receive a call from our adoption attorney that a birth mother was interested in us. While we knew this was just part of the unfortunately lengthy process, patience seemed almost impossible for us. Around the end of January, we decided to sign with an agency vs. just utilizing an attorney. The agency we’d chosen, ABBA Adoption, was in Little Rock, and I still remember the random Friday we met with the owner. She stated that it would likely be at least a year before we signed with a birth mother, but I just knew she’d be the right fit to help us find a baby—our baby! On Thursday, February 16, at 7:30pm, we got a call from the owner that would forever change us. The ink had barely dried on our application when she shared the good news… she had a birth mother for us! Her voice relayed quickly that there was a catch. The baby was actually two babies – twins –  and the mother was due to have a C-section the following Friday. We would need to give an answer the very next morning. She talked us through all of the details and warned us that she didn’t feel the birth mother would last until her planned C-section, and that we should be prepared for their arrival much sooner. We hung up, laughed and gave each other anxious looks and then prayed. We weren’t 100% sure of an immediate “yes,” but we knew we didn’t feel a “no.” The night turned into several calls, and before we knew it, we were telling her a resounding “YES!” Shortly after, she called to tell us that the birth mother was at the hospital and the babies would be arriving within the hour. We threw clothes into a suitcase and made our way to the hospital with excitement and anxiety all at the same time. I stopped my husband before we left the house and said, “The next time we walk through those doors, we’ll be parents to twins!”

We rushed through the doors of the hospital around midnight and were set up in our very own room, as if I had actually delivered the babies. They told us both boys were doing great and that we could see them in a few minutes… minutes, not hours! We were about to meet our baby boys and our excitement and joy could not be contained. I still remember when we walked through the doors of the nursery room and saw them for the first time — my heart could barely take it. They handed me the first born, Beckham Isaiah. He was born at 11:43, and his sweet brother, Liam Crosby followed 2 minutes later. As I held him close to my heart, I couldn’t stop the tears that flowed. Oh, did they flow! I had envisioned for so many years what it would feel like, and what he/she would look like upon first meeting. I’d never imagined through the years that the scenario would look like this, but I can’t imagine a better ending to our lengthy journey to becoming parents.

As I write this, the boys are seven weeks old and have settled into our home and our family so very well. Lylah and Zoe love being big sisters, and their sweet brothers are smothered with kisses daily! Adam and I are learning many valuable life lessons: sleep is overrated, and 3 hours of good sleep is oddly refreshing. Alone time is a thing of the past, and our favorite time is when we’re all 4 cuddled on the couch. Lastly, a trip to Walmart or Walgreens is now a novelty, in which we flip a coin to see who the lucky one is who gets to sneak out for a few quick minutes! They attended their first church service this past Sunday, and I held Beckham as we sang about God’s promises to us. I held him close and tears gently fell down my cheeks… God’s promises to us have been a bit hard to see during the entire journey, but He certainly fulfilled them in His timing. We are so blessed to see the evidence of this daily in the eyes of Beckham and Liam.

On this Mother’s Day, I’m so grateful for the gift of joining this wonderful club that we call “motherhood.” It’s been quite the journey to get here and, oddly, I wouldn’t change a bit of it. I wasn’t aware I had enough love in my heart to love two sweet boys so incredibly much. My love for my husband has grown more than I ever could have imagined, as I see him in this amazing new role as their dad.

Adam, I look forward to holding your hand as we continue into this next phase of our lives as “Mom and Dad”  Here’s to the late nights, early mornings, potty training, training wheels, baseball games and hearing them call the Hogs….I can’t imagine anyone I’d rather have by my side to love, learn and parent.

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