This I Believe

Michael - Bellingham, Washington
Entered on July 11, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I have a vision for my future as a parent.

My wife and I decided long ago that we wanted one biological child, and then we wanted to adopt internationally. Children have always been a “when,” never an “if” for us. But we wanted to wait for the right time. And this is our plan.

After taking deliberate and calculated measures over 7 years of marriage to stave off child rearing, my wife and I made the decision that it was time to start our family. It is time to execute the plan.

We’ve since discovered that we are, as our doctor put it, “a bad biological match.” Having a biological kid poses a significant threat to the plan.

I believe that God has an acute sense of irony.

In the last year, I have given my wife exactly ninety six intra-muscular shots of hormones to fool her body into believing she is pregnant. I have become adept at mixing medicines, drawing them into a needle plunger, stabbing her in the lower back with 22 gauge needles, and slowly injecting her with things called progesterone, repronex, and follistim, among other drugs.

We do this to execute the plan. We are undergoing in-vitro fertilization.

I have witnessed my wife endure multiple ultrasounds, mining her insides for quality eggs. I have seen them remove these eggs, fertilize them, and put them right back inside her. It is done with the same kind of precision and nonchalance that you’re likely to observe as they change the oil on your old Volvo wagon.

We do this to adhere to the plan.

And after a year of this process, this attempt to fool nature, I have seen the supreme disappointment my wife has endured. We are no closer to a biological child than when we started.

We realize the plan is irrelevant. This is clearly out of our hands.

I don’t think God thinks finds this funny. However, I do think he has a good chuckle when he sees us produce such ironclad plans thinking we have supreme control over them. Perhaps he likes to throw us a curveball now and again, just to let us know.

Maybe someday we’ll have a biological child. But it certainly doesn’t define me as a parent or as a person. Maybe God just didn’t like the order of our plan. Today, my wife and I anxiously await our first adopted child from the People’s Republic of China. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited as I am for this little girl whose country I’ve never even visited. And I realize that this could be part of the plan, or not. But it certainly feels right.

And I believe I’m finished making plans.