Hi, I’m Julie! I’m a 27-year-old mother of two, a runner, and an aspiring “yogi”.
Almost six years ago my husband and I were given a verdict of sterility. We hadn’t quite been married for a full year, nor were we trying to get pregnant, but the news came as a huge shock anyway! We both came from large families and had always known that we wanted children, so it was a big blow. It’s hard to describe the complexity of emotions I felt when the doctor gave us the news, but the most overwhelming one was devastation. I felt like my heart was broken and my dreams were shattered. I felt lonely and alone—that there was no one who understood my loss. I think I cried every day for those first few weeks and had a constant headache.
The doctor told us we had two options: Don’t have kids, or adopt. We immediately knew that adoption was for us! At this time I was wrapping up my bachelor’s degree and my husband, Lance still had another year. We were poor students and knew we couldn’t afford an expensive private adoption so instead, we waited. Our church has an adoption agency and subsidizes a lot of the cost, but they require couples to be married for two years before starting their paperwork. I threw myself into my job, my church calling, my family, and I even took a sewing class. My goal was to stay busy, and it worked! Although I still felt really sad, I was too busy to dwell on it much and I looked forward with excitement to our two year anniversary when we could start our paperwork.
Lance graduated and landed a great job. We felt like it was a sign that we should take it when we found out that they had an adoption benefit. We moved to a new city and started life in the “real world”. I felt like I had dealt with things well until we were suddenly in a new city where I had no friends, no job, and a whole lot of empty days to fill by myself. I cried a lot! I felt lonely, miserable, and sorry for myself. This is when I started running. With so much time to fill, I turned to running to fill it. I had run in high school and occasionally in college, but never anything super consistent. I decided that now was the time to get back into it. I signed up for races during the summer of 2009, lots of races… I ran two half marathons, two relays, some 5 and 10ks, and capped it all off with my first full marathon. It was just what I needed! It was therapeutic for me, and while I ran my negative thoughts, discouragement, anger, and frustration didn’t seem so unbearable anymore.
We adopted our first little boy, Zachary, in 2010. He was perfection. He healed a lot of the broken places in my heart, and I thought when he came that our sterility made sense, it led me to him! I was surprised then, when we started the adoption process again the next year that it was so hard! Negative emotions came back to the surface. I doubted myself, and felt infertility pangs even stronger than before. I got to a really low point, where I felt so depressed and discouraged (it was a much longer wait for our second adoption than our first) that I realized I needed to get back to running regularly again. I signed up for another half marathon and started posting the fastest times of my life during training. I would go to the gym when I felt the most discouraged, angry or frustrated and would throw all of that negative energy into my workout to push myself to go faster and harder. After a series of miracles Tyson was born in April of 2012.
Now we have two beautiful sons who came to us miraculously through adoption. They are our biggest dreams come true, but it doesn’t mean life is always easy. I continue to run and have taken up yoga as well. It is the cheapest therapy out there! Exercise helps me focus negative energy, it helps me be happier (and thus a better mom), it helps me to love myself, and it gives me the control I want but often don’t have. When I am feeling grumpy or frustrated my husband will tell me, “You should go work out!”
I joke with people that I exercise so that I can eat whatever I want, but really I do it because it makes me happy! I feel like my best self when I am being active and when hardships come up (as they do for everyone) I can usually put them in perspective with a little bit of sweat!
We were approved a month ago for our third adoption. It’s exciting, and scary all at the same time, but with all of the things I have learned in the past, I know that whatever happens will be for the best. And, on the days I feel discouraged I lace up my shoes and take myself out for a little bit of therapy!
If you like the nitty gritty details of race day or want to read more about our journey as a family check out http://lanceandjulie.blogspot.com
You can also view our adoption info at http://lanceandjulieadopt.blogspot.com or our agency profile at https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/30915581/ourMessage.jsf