What do you do when every plan you’ve ever had for your family seems like it’s just not going to happen? We have our two beautiful babies– and believe me, I’m beyond thankful for that– but I’ve always pictured and wanted more. I want a home filled with a big, loud family, but even getting our two boys was a struggle. After two losses, one baby, three losses, one baby, and another loss, I just don’t feel like it’s going to happen for us to have that big, loud family from me. We were asked probably 30 times at Ryan’s college reunion if we were going to have more babies, and it’s a question that comes up at least twice a week with a friend or stranger. My response has started being “I don’t think it’s in the cards for us.” This is HUGE for me, as I always figured it would just take longer than “normal,” but that we’d still end up with our four sweet, look-nothing-like-me babies. It’s a kick in the gut every time I have to say it, but the more I do, the less painful it becomes (mostly). Part of me feels a huge amount of guilt (because I want to give my husband and kids all the siblings we ever pictured), greed (because I already have two and secondary infertility isn’t something accepted by society as a reason to be upset) and sadness, but another part– the optimistic part– is trying to find the window after that door (seemingly) slammed shut.
I’ve wanted to be a foster mama since I volunteered as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for 18 kiddos at a time in Seattle, before we ever knew about my infertility (or my secondary infertility). Ryan was opposed, especially considering his career, but after a friend suggested it, completely unprompted by me and with no knowledge of my heart for foster kids, he started thinking about foster parenting more and more. And now? Now we’re building a home that will allow us to be foster parents to more than one sweet kiddo at a time, even if it takes us a while to be at a place where we can do it.
Infertility is a tough, tough thing, especially since you just never know. We could be blessed with another baby tomorrow, or we could never get to snuggle another little M. Gavina baby (because apparently we have a theme… oops.). Because we don’t have answers for WHY I can’t seem to carry a baby to term reliably, we may never know whether we’ll have more. Even if we’re blessed with more, though, I know that we were made to be a foster mama and daddy.
When we realized the income Ryan would be making off of his airline gig, we knew we had to do something more with it than retirement and vacations and big houses for the sake of big houses. By building a home that we can open to kids who need love and structure (both of which we can provide), we’ll be using the blessings God has given us in a way that will help far more than “keeping up with the Jones” ever would (and truthfully, these kids will bring more to our family and hearts than I could ever dream to give them). We are excited to one day love on babies (or big kids) that need it and to show by example to our biological kids that love makes a family, not genetics, and these kids will be a part of ours forever, not just until they leave our home.