Mike and Erin’s marriage has been filled with fun and adventure. In just the first couple of years of their marriage, they went on several road trips together with pups in tow, visited Walt Disney World, and even traveled abroad to Europe. Beyond traveling and adventure, they always knew they wanted to be parents, but, like many couples, chose to enjoy their time together before embarking on the journey of starting a family.
Soon, that time arrived. They began their journey of family planning. And like many others, after some time they found themselves struggling to conceive.
“We had been trying to get pregnant for 2 years naturally and realized we needed to figure out why it wasn’t happening.”
They were then informed that Erin had a severely low egg count and that the odds of them conceiving naturally were very low. They then decided to undergo 3 rounds of IUI, to soon find out they were pregnant! Though the excitement was short lived, a short and heartbreaking 6 weeks later, they miscarried. Grief-stricken, Mike and Erin tried several more times with IUI and IVF, unable to conceive again.
Early in their relationship, Mike and Erin were in agreement that they eventually wanted to adopt, regardless of how their biological family plan turned out.
“Even though we were disappointed that we couldn’t conceive naturally we took comfort in knowing we were already ready to jump in head first into adoption.”
After they decided to begin their private adoption journey with Koinonia, they connected with a Nevada agency to support them with their first match. Beginning the adoption process was a rocky road for the family.
“I feel like we went through all the emotions one could go through during this process. From being really nervous about the home study, how was a stranger and some stats going to determine if we would make good parents in just a few visits?! That turned into excitement after we had our first match so quickly after we were home study approved.”
Their first match ended up falling through, due to the birth mother changing her mind, choosing to parent. For the last few months of the birth mother’s pregnancy, Mike and Erin provided support and mentorship to the young woman in a vulnerable season of life, resulting in her feeling equipped to parent her child. This overall experience, understandably, caused Erin and Mike to feel angry, guilty and again, completely heartbroken. Although they were disappointed yet again, they stayed hopeful that they would be matched with the baby they were meant to have in their forever family.
“We felt lost and hopeless. With Koinonia’s help we were able to utilize some of their references and suggestions and ended up being matched again!”
On Halloween day, the couple got the call that they had been eagerly awaiting. Mike and Erin were matched with a birth mother. Just like that, less than a week later, they were holding Harper in the hospital. She was a precious, 5lb preemie. They immediately fell in love, shedding tears of joy, love and relief. While it was so exciting, it was also very scary for the family. After experiencing so much loss, the anxiety quickly set in, knowing they had to wait a few days before relinquishment could be signed. They did their best to stay hopeful and allowed themselves to stay in the moment. Before they knew it, Harper’s birth mother completed her adoption plan, and now they look forward to being able to adopt Harper in just a few short months.
Though the losses that Mike and Erin have experienced along the way will always be a part of their story, they believe that Harper is the child they have been preparing for this entire time.
Harper is now a 10lb, healthy and happy baby.
“Watching Harper go from preemie to this strong and chunky nugget has been so amazing.”
Mike and Erin are overwhelmed with love for her and absolutely believe she was worth the wait. They are doing their best to cope with the grief of the sweet babies they never had the opportunity to parent and continue loving Harper the best they know how. They are so excited to finalize Harper’s adoption in a few months.
“Our hope for our family is that we can raise her to be a strong, smart, and confident woman who loves herself and knows how much we love her.”
Lanni Jackson, Contributor