My name is Shane Somers. I've never written a blog before and don't really know how to start one. I'm actually just sitting her staring at the computer screen running different 'Intro to our blog' ideas. Maybe a simple 'hello'? Or since I'm a pastor, should I start with a cheesy joke? Nah. Since a blog is simply your thoughts and the expression of your thoughts, how about I just start writing... My wife, Summer, and I have been a journey over the past year and a half. This is our journey.
Having been married for a year and a half, we decided to begin trying to start a family. I have to say that I love kids. Always have. My wife and I were ignited with the burning desire of being parents. I'm a youth pastor. We feel like I have 40+ kids already. We love the students we work with dearly and feel an emotional, personal connection with them. But to be able to have a child that was mine, a child that I can be 'daddy' to and Summer can be 'mommy' to was where our hearts were at. In the following months after we began trying, our conversations with each other would often be child-centered. I wanted to have that moment when my baby would fall asleep on my chest as I fell asleep on the couch. Summer wanted that time where she can just sit for hours holding her precious baby. I dreamed of when I could one day teach my own kids how to do things such as change a tire, kick a soccer ball,or tie a shoe. Together, we couldn't wait to take vacation as a family and have Saturday morning soccer games. These were the thoughts that captivated us. This was our dream!
Months and months went on. These thoughts became more frequent and more strong. We knew that we were supposed to be parents! By the 7th and 8th month, it started to become frustrating. We had talked to many people who shared stories of it taking over a year for them, some longer. While we appreciated their stories, it didn't seem to help with what we were feeling inside. Other friends and family members during this time became pregnant rather quickly. We were very excited for them, but it was a constant reminder for us that we weren't pregnant yet. Several more months passed by with no change, no pregnancy.
After a full year of trying to get pregnant on our own, we decided to seek help from an infertility specialist. Of course, we didn't know of any doctors who work in this field so we began searching online. After looking through several doctors and practices, we saw one that kind of stood out among the rest. It was the Center for Reproductive Medicine just north of downtown. The doctor, Dr. Randall Loy, was well-acomplished and was said to be the best in his field! So we call to set up an appointment. Of course, the #1 doctor in Orlando is busy. It was February and we were told that typically we couldn't get in until late March! However, they had a cancellation the following Thursday so we took it! A couple days later, Summer was talking with her uncle who goes to Northland Church and this topic came up. He told her "When you decide to see a specialist, go see Dr. Randall Loy. He is a great Christian man and attends our church." Summer and I were thrilled because we had already set an appointment with this doctor. We were sure that this was no accident and that God was leading us in the direction to finally become parents.
Through our time with Dr. Loy, we had several tests done and 2 procedures. For our first procedure he said that our levels looked great, everything seemed to be working as it should. We were confidently expecting to be pregnant that month because we knew God led us to this man and to this time. Test day came, and what a blow. Negative. We were crushed! Our second procedure was said to look even better as far as levels go, but again...negative.
"Why God? Why isn't this working?! We have been praying so hard for so long! Why are others getting pregnant and not us? All we want is to have a child to love and teach them your love!" These were our thoughts. We struggled with these. We couldn't understand why God wasn't giving us the desire of our hearts. Parenting is a thing that God takes seriously and is vital to raising the next generation for Christ. It wasn't like our desire was to have a big house or nice car...just a baby.
Adoption has always been something that has been near to Summer's heart. I wasn't too keen on the idea. I had fears and doubts with my capability of loving 'someone elses' child. Adoption wasn't discussed hardly at all during the procedures. We were so focused on having 'our own' kids. On a particularly emotionally hard day, it was even said that 'we could always adopt'. At the time, it didn't make us feel better. Rather, it made it worse. "Here is your consolation prize for failing to get pregnant" was how it felt.
After the second procedure didn't work, we wondered if we should even try a third. It is emotionally, physically, and financially taxing to do a procedure. The pills and injections took a toll on Summer. We also had a very busy summer ahead so the timing would be challenging. We decided against it and take the summer off. One morning before Summer went to work, she asked if I would at least pray about adoption. Remember, I didn't have the same desire toward adoption as Summer had. But I told her I would. I prayed that day and also did a little searching online. I can't really explain what happened other than my heart was softened toward it...or should I say, God softened my heart. As I was researching online, looking at agencies, pictures, etc., my heart felt different. There began to grow this interest and 'maybe this could work' feeling.
Over the next several weeks, adoption came to my mind a whole lot! I was looking up more information. I was even sorting out agencies that we would choose from IF this was where we decided to go. The interest that sparked in my heart began to change to excitement of the possibility! Summer approached me on the topic again. This time, I wasn't as hesitant as I once was. I was actually excited about thinking about it all. As we shared together, it was obvious that God had planted this desire in both of our lives. So, we began.
We spent a few weeks looking through all the agencies out there and we ended up deciding to pursue the America World Adoption Agency. The question of whether to adopt domestically or internationally wasn't really a debate. We both had the passion to adopt outside of the U.S. AWAA partners with several different countries such as Russia, China, Rwanda, Kazikstan, Ukraine, and Brazil. There are different requirements for each country and the country that best fit us was the country of Ethiopia! We attended a free AWAA seminar last weekend. It was encouraging and inspiring to hear stories and to see children given a loving Christian home. We had prayed that from the time we began to consider adoption, that God would open and close doors. As we walked out of the seminar, we both knew this was part of God's plan for us.We have already been approved to adopt through AWAA and are now embarking on all the legal paperwork stage of the adoption process.
Last Thursday, when we received the call saying we were approved, it felt as if we had just seen a positive pregnancy test. During this time God has put such a love and passion in our hearts for our son, whom we know nothing about. Even though this baby is not growing inside of Summer, he is definitely growing inside our hearts.
I like to have my quiet time with God in the mornings at the office before anyone gets there. I am reading in Jeremiah and wanted to look something up in my Bible Dictionary-the word 'Anathoth'. As I was flipping to that page, my thumb slipped and landed me in the first part of the A's...'Adoption'. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not the type of person who thinks every little thing that happens is a direct sign from God. What it did though was caused me to read what it had to say, including different passages in Scripture that deals with adoption. Ephesians 1:4-5, it says that God chose us in Him before the creation of the world. In love, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ. I thought about that. God adopted us! I am adopted into the family of God. He chose us. Summer and I are choosing an Ethiopian. He loved us before we were born. I can tell that you that Summer and I love our baby boy so much! We don't know his name, what he looks like, or anything. But we love him because he will be ours!
God put that intense desire to be parents in our lives. That hasn't changed. We prayed over and over thar God would free us from infertility. Well, he has. He DID answer our prayers. But it just wasn't the way we expected it. We believe God was allowing us to go through infertility to point us to adopt. This isn't plan B. No, we believe this was God's plan A the whole time.
Please pray for us. This journey is far from over. A big obstacle that will test our faith is the $25,000(or so) to pay for this adoption. I know that if this is truly God's plan for our life, money will be provided. We will be applying for grants and doing fundraisers. Pray for our faith to continue to be strengthened and also for the money to be available! Join us in praying for our son - for his safety and also that we will be united with him as quickly as possible.
We will use this blog to keep everyone updated on our journey to bring our son home!