If you’ve known me for any time at all then I’m sure you know how much I absolutely adore babies, and there’s nothing sweeter than a new baby in the arms of new parents.
What you may not know is how much I want babies of my own, and how I’ve always wanted to be a foster parent, adopt at least one child of my own, and be a surrogate if the opportunity ever presented itself. Want to hear God laugh, then tell Him your plans.
I never thought His plan for me would have me behind a camera capturing those things that I want most, but it’s a blessing…a HUGE blessing, and a calling that I’m thankful He’s walking me through. It’s not easy, I’ve shed more tears editing sessions than I care to admit, but I can honestly say I now cannot imagine doing anything else…funny how that works…how God works…how His plan for you will put you right where you need to be.
So, here I am, 30, and no where close to being able to start having the large family I ache for, and clearly not in any position to adopt, foster, or surrogate. But yet I still have a desire in my soul to help those who cannot have a baby of their own.
I’ve known Kathryn for a while, she’s besties with my old home girl Leighann, who with the help of another of our mutual friends, Monica, is hosting this blessed auction, so I know Kathryn by-proxy. I’ve never met her hubby, Ryan, except through Facebook posts, but I have to say it’s clear 1) they’re madly in love with God, 2) they’re madly in love with each other, 3) They will be amazing parents.
Here’s their story from the Facebook Auction Event: (Get your tissues ready…you’ve been warned!)
“About 4 years ago, Ryan and I (Kathryn) decided we wanted our little family of two to grow into a family of three. I was about to have surgery on my kidney the summer of ‘09, and we thought once I fully recovered from that, we could start trying.
We tried on our own for about a year using Clomid off and on. After having no luck, my gynecologist referred us to a reproductive endocrinologist. We met with Dr. Harris, and she decided to start me out on Femara and trigger shots. We did this for 2 months but still did not get the results we were wanting. She then decided to do a laparoscopic surgery to make sure my tubes were not blocked and everything looked ok. Luckily, my tubes were fine, however, she did find a dermoid tumor located behind my right ovary. It was positioned so that it did not show up on any of the ultrasounds I had had done. She removed it, and we later found out that had I gotten pregnant with the tumor still inside me, it would have ruptured and caused major complications for the baby and me. I also had some endometriosis that was removed as well. She placed us in a very small category: “unexplained infertility.” From a doctor’s standpoint, everything was lining up perfectly for conception to take place.
From March-October of 2010, we tried several different medications and shots. Unfortunately for us, none worked. We did two rounds of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) in November and December. Both resulted in negative pregnancy tests. That is when Dr. Harris recommended we do IVF (Invitro Fertilization).
In March of 2012, Dr. Harris transferred two very healthy (and cute…we have pictures) embryos. We waited 10 days and then went in for lab work. I’ll never forget the phone call as long as I live. Extremely nervous, I answer and the nurse says, “So, what obgyn do you all want to use?” To say we were excited is an understatement. This is something we had wanted more than anything…something I had dreamed of since I was a little girl. Sadly, we found out not long after that I had miscarried. Highest of highs to lowest of lows all in a matter of a few short days.
In June of 2012, we decided to switch to a different doctor. We immediately fell in love with Dr. Donesky and his staff. He scheduled us for our second IVF procedure for July. After all of the stimulating medication and shots, I was put to sleep again for the egg retrieval and after 5 days of growth, we had 4 sweet embryos. We decided to have two transferred and to freeze the remaining two. We waited the 10 days and went in for the pregnancy test. I knew immediately from the nurse’s facial expression that it had not worked. We were heartbroken. However, we still had one more shot. We still had our 2 miracle embryos that were frozen (I called them our snowflake babies).
Ryan and I both felt we needed a break from all things fertility related. With school about to start back up, we decided we would take a year off to let my body have a break from all the shots, being put to sleep, medications, etc. In May of 2013, we had our third and final IVF procedure done. We both felt so good about this last one. I felt like we had the whole county praying with us. Another phone call I will never forget as long as I live… “I am so sorry, Kathryn. It was negative.” Our last chance at being biological parents had resulted in, yet again, a negative pregnancy test.
Even though doctors have pretty much ruled out the possibility of us ever being biological parents, God has not ruled out the desire in our hearts to be parents. There are many stories of adoption in the Bible, but the greatest one is the story of our “adoption” into God’s family. Through His Son, He takes us in as His adopted sons and daughters. What greater gift to give a child than to rescue him/her and show the same love and compassion that Christ shows us. And so the next chapter of our lives begins…”
I knew they’d been trying from posts I’d occasionally see on Facebook, but I didn’t know the depth of how hard they’d tried. While I don’t know their specific heartbreak, I do know what it’s like to want something so desperately that you ache inside because you know it’s missing…someone is missing. Their’s is a wee one of their own.
If you don’t think God works in mysterious ways, and in ways you’d never imagine, I feel sorry for you. When I first read their whole story a few weeks ago, in the request for auction items to be donated on the auction page, “A WEDDING” resounded in my mind…sort of alike a flashing billboard if you will. “Where’d that come from?” I thought.
Like a lot of Christians, and Biblical characters, who were called to do big things they thought they couldn’t…I then fought it… “that’s A LOT of work I won’t get paid for”, “I could just donate a canvas print, or a regular portrait session.”, “People will question my motives for donating something this big!”, “That wasn’t God…that was my own sappy uterus speaking out of turn”… HA! And then I’ve had some of the worst weeks since I started this business!
Fast forward to yesterday. I sat working on sessions, feeling absolutely emotionally and spiritually drained, questioning if this crazy leap of full-time photography was really what I was called to do…. And then… I can’t remember what prompted it, but I stumbled back on to their Auction page. “A WEDDING!” again rang through my head. I’d been fighting it, and all along He was there telling me to just give in. To let the “I can’t”, the “What if no one bids?”, the “What if it only goes for a $1? All that work and they’ll only get a dollar!?”, and the seemingly impossibility of it all, just go. “What I call you to I’ve already worked out!”. Man I needed that reminder…oh boy did I need that reminder!
Then my favorite thought happened, the one that’s pushed me throughout my life, and in this beautiful passion I call a career…. “Do unto others.” Just being transparent (which you know I’m good at) “I mean what if this was me, and my future hubs? What if the large family I want can’t come naturally, and we’ve tried everything else? I’d hope someone would do the same if I was in the same boat.”
Through their story, their journey, their struggle, I was ministered to! WOW! So, here I am, jumping in and praying that this auction helps bring the future Stamey Baby home to his/her eagerly awaiting mommy & daddy as soon as possible! THOSE are some images I definitely can’t wait to see.
In an age where we take so much for granted, and it’s all about “what’s in it for me”, I hope at least one person is moved to do something big, giant, and grand to help someone else. Yes, it’ll be a blessing to them they may have never expected, but, trust me, there are plenty of blessings that will follow being obedient and giving with a cheerful heart! I’ve already received mine…a good kick in the rear reminder from God of just what procrastinating, and doubting Him will do, AND that HE’s got.this…HE’s got.my.back! 🙂
Here’s to believing that this auction brings more than any of us dream. Please help spread the word…there’s TONS of fantastic items for any budget. You get something great, and you give something great!
Note: for those interested in the Wedding Collection, but you may not win it, OR you’re interested in a larger BJP Wedding Collection, for the month of August 10% of EVERY wedding or floral design (yes I do that too now on a selective basis) retainer deposit received will go to the Stamey Adoption Auction! It’s a win win…you get the beautiful photography or floral design you want, and they’re a little closer to bringing home baby! Let’s do.this!