My name is Holly; I’m a teacher. It’s my 10th year teaching this year. My husband and I met in 2013-14, but didn’t get together until like, 2016 or so. Then we got married in January of 2019. We both were turning 30 and knew that we wanted to start a family right away, like pretty quick. We’d kind of lived out our 20s already and were established in our careers and, you know, kind of reaching that point in life where you’re comfortable to start doing that stuff. Um, there have been some concerns that I had had before we got married, about getting pregnant, and I had gone to a doctor. They were like, “Oh, yeah, this is, you have PCOS, but this is fine. We’re gonna give you some medicine, it’s gonna clear it, everything’s gonna be great.” And we live life for the next six months of me taking this medicine and nothing happens. So my doctor is like, “Okay, well, let’s see what else is going on.” I go through a surgery and they find out, “Oh, well, you also have endometriosis.” So they removed that and then we did six more months of medication and nothing happened. By that time, they were like, “Well, now we just don’t know why. We’ve treated these things and we just don’t know why you’re not getting pregnant.”
So the next year, the second year of our marriage, I started going through more aggressive treatments. More surgeries. I think I had like two more surgeries, and several other things. It was really hard. It was really hard on me. It’s really hard for me to even talk about. But it was about that time, I started to look into some other avenues of things to kind of deal with a lot of the emotional part of that because I was dry, I guess, is the best way to say it. Like, there was just nothing more in me. I’d given two years of my life to trying to create a family with my husband and when we had started to go through some of the treatments that we did, my attitude was to kind of put my head down and just get through it. And especially the second year of our marriage…because I was going through the treatments and COVID was happening. So I was doing a lot of those alone. My husband wasn’t allowed to be with me and so it was just, it was just very traumatizing.
My wrongness in all of that is that I, when we started doing that, it just did not even dawn on me to talk to God about it first. I just kind of thought, oh, okay, I’m just gonna go in and do this. I’m gonna just put my nose to the grindstone. I’m gonna put my head down. I’m just gonna get through it. I didn’t realize what kind of trauma I was putting myself through. I felt like any hope I had in medicine…and you know, that was the thing like, they told us everything looked good on paper. I was the right age. I was the right weight. I was the right…I had all of these great levels. And then they were like, “We just can’t explain why. We don’t know why.” It just completely diminished my hope in it [medicine]. And I guess it was probably like September of that year, of last year, I was like, I have to do something different.
I remember I was on, I can’t remember if it was Facebook or Instagram, and I came across Moms in the Making. There are hundreds of organizations for you to get into, for the infertility stuff. But it kind of dawned on me that if I hung around in secular groups, that it was not going to do anything to restore my hope. I was in a couple of the, like a Facebook group or something, and there was just all of this negativity and all of this bitterness and all of this. It didn’t make me feel like anything was going to change. I knew that that was not the food I needed to be eating, that was not going to replenish my dry well that I had.
So I got involved with Moms in the Making, which has been amazing. I mean, I have met so many wonderful people. I guess the theme that started to resound in me was trust. Trusting. There’s just several times when I would be in my time of prayer with God and I would feel like compulsory to do something for like…I didn’t want to go and participate in baby showers last year. It was like every other teacher on my hallway got pregnant, including one of my precious friends that was doing the infertility thing with me. We were both going through it at the same time and she got pregnant, and I didn’t. It was really hard.
It was really hard for me not to let that bitterness kind of swallow me up. That was something difficult for me and I can just remember different times God telling me like, “Okay, I know you don’t feel like doing this, but you need to do it anyway. You need to go and be generous in buying a gift. You need to go and send a card or buy that expecting mom lunch or whatever.” It was hard for me to be around those people and be around the situations, but I put forth to like to do it anyway. Um, it was hard to do those things, because like I said, when you’re going through the infertility stuff, I think some of the first things that you feel are shame, and? What am I doing wrong?’ And I think it’s just a very, it can be a very powerful avenue for the devil to get a foothold if you allow it, because you just feel so victimized. And you feel like, Why isn’t God doing this for me? Or what’s wrong with me? Why? Why? You know?
So fast forward to the spring, and I can remember on Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day is particularly hard for this community. We talked about it, because it just is [hard], because it’s also on a Sunday and you’re going to church, so it’s kind of mixing the two worlds. The place where you’re finding strength and also a place that makes you extremely vulnerable and weak because it’s just so, it can be so defeating. I can remember all of these people that I work with, they had just had their first children. I had given gifts, and I had spoken, I’d been respectful and I can remember God being like, “You need to send them all a Mother’s Day card. It’s their first Mother’s Day.” And I did it. It was really hard, but I did that.
I can remember on Mother’s Day being in my little corner of my room – I have this corner of my room that’s where I kind of, that’s where I pray and get down on my face. – and I can remember asking God, “Are You listening to me? Can You really hear me because I’ve been going through this, I’ve done all of this stuff, and it’s really hard and it hurts my heart and I just need to know. I need a sign of some kind that You can hear me. I don’t need a big thing, I just need some kind of like, this isn’t an all for nothing thing. That there is beauty in the ashes here; that something good is gonna happen.” At that moment, I felt a peace come over me like it was all going to be okay and feeling the sense to be watching; the sense to be watching for it. It was like, Okay, you want a sign? Just watch, just watch.
My husband and I are pretty big Star Wars fans to an embarrassing degree and one night, this is probably a week and a half after Mother’s Day, so it’s the 21st of May and my husband and I were sitting on the couch at home watching Star Wars on Friday night. It’s like what you aspire to in marriage on Friday nights. (ha ha ha) Out of nowhere, my husband’s second cousin messages me on Facebook. I hadn’t spoken with her since our wedding, we got married in January of 2019 and this is May of 2021. I was like, Okay, well, I’m sure that she knew that we wanted to have children, but she did not know the degree of which we were struggling. So she pm’d me over Facebook – I mean, she didn’t even have my phone number. This is over Facebook. – and she kind of starts out with an apology about, “I don’t want to be overstepping my bounds.” She works at a campus ministry in Pennsylvania and she said, “I know a girl that is pregnant. She wants to give the baby up in an out of state adoption. Would that be something that you and Joe were interested in?”
I felt like I’d been hit in the face. Like, yeah, here’s your sign. I just remember just standing there with my phone and staring. I guess I had a real worrisome look, because Joe looks at me and he’s like, “Are you okay? Is everything okay? Did somebody die?” I mean, he said that. He’s like, “Did someone die? Is everything okay?” “Yeah,” and I told him what happened. I just was so floored at the time. We had talked about adoption at one point in time. I just didn’t have a very good attitude. I remember telling Joe, I was like, “Yeah, I’m not going to pursue adoption, if God wanted me to adopt, He would drop it in my lap.” I mean, I said that! I said that word for word and that was probably over a year prior to this incident occurring.
I ended up calling the leaders of our small group here at church to pray with us, because I was like, ‘I don’t even know what to do.’ We had been told, “Oh, she’s 35 weeks pregnant. This is gonna be five weeks.” We didn’t know if there had been any, you know, drugs or anything like that. We didn’t know, we didn’t know anything. I ended up being like, “Okay, yeah, sure. Let’s see where this goes. If it starts getting crazy squirrely, if something doesn’t add up right, it’s not like we don’t have five weeks to back out.” So I told Joe’s cousin we were like, “Yeah, let’s see where this goes.” And I guess as soon as we were obedient to God, He was like, great, great. Glad to have your answer, because they contacted me the next day and they said, “Uh, well, she went into labor and actually, you have a little boy. We would like you to name him.” And I, again, I know that some of these instances where this happened, I wish I had a picture of my face because…I know like my mom and I, when they contacted me, we were – So this is May 22nd. My mother’s birthday is May 19th and my birthday is the 25th. – so we were out together for our mutual birthdays. I was telling her about this and stuff and she was commenting. She’s like, “Oh, what a birthday present for you and she’s like, that’s really cool.” And then I remember we’re in the Lowe’s parking lot and I tell her, I was like, “Oh, apparently we have a little boy.” and she starts screaming like, “Oh my gosh!!” you know?
So Joe and I get back to the house and they’re like, “Yeah, they want you to name him. She, the birth mother, she’s, she is okay with you, and you need to get a lawyer and start this process and blah, blah, blah, what name do you want to give him?” We named him Simon, Simon Luke. And I’ll get back to the importance of that here in just a moment. We’ll just stick a pin in that for right now. We wanted a biblical name, but one that maybe you don’t hear quite as often and didn’t look into it much other than that. It was just a name I liked, that was it. I remember I picked Simon. This is just like I said, there’s just so many details to this that, they just lined up perfectly and it goes over, actually several years, and here was the first detail.
The year prior, at school, I had another teacher that lived down the street from me and she had broken her leg. She couldn’t drive so I ended up driving her to school for several months, and getting to know her. She was in a totally different hallway than me and we probably wouldn’t have talked very much otherwise. But during that time, she was the only person that I knew that had adopted children. She had adopted, her and her husband, they had adopted two little girls. They had worked through this ministry called The Call and they help people with adoption and everything. So that Sunday, that was the only person I knew to call about, “I need an adoption attorney. Do you have the name of someone?” And she was like, “Oh, yeah, I do.” She gave me the name of this attorney and he was nothing short of amazing. In fact, that’s all he does, is out of state adoptions. And he and his wife, they have done this themselves. He had been through everything that we had been through. He deeply empathized with a lot of the stuff that we had endured through infertility and being very, like, we weren’t really sure about adoption as a process and he knew his stuff.
So I called him on Monday of that week, and I was like, “Yeah, what do we need to do?” And he goes, “Okay, well, you need background checks, and you need child maltreatment stuff…” And I was like, “Well, my husband and I are both teachers.” And he was like, “Oh, great. That usually takes a month to do but you already have it done. So that’s fine.” The next thing was we had to have a case study, a home study done from a social worker, and someone had told me they were like, “Oh, yeah, sometimes you have to wait for a month for that, too.” And our attorney was like, “No, no, no. I have someone.” And I think she came on Friday of that week. This was also the last week of school. So we’re getting out for the summer. We already have all this stuff done. So from Saturday to Saturday, I mean, that was it. He was born on Saturday and by that next Saturday, we were leaving. We left the state to go get him. I remember telling the social worker, she was extremely nice, I was like, “Yeah, I did not know a week ago I was gonna be a parent, but here we are.” If you had told me from that Friday that I was sitting at home on my couch, watching Star Wars, what I would be doing that next Friday, I would have laughed in your face. It was like, Oh oh ho…(laughing).
So yeah, we drove, my husband and I, we drove across the country to go and get our son. So we were and during that time y’all, like I said, it was just there were things that when you hear about out of state adoptions, and then you hear about this story, you’re like, wow, that just does not happen. It just doesn’t happen that way. During that week that Simon was born, he was able to stay with Joe’s family, like temporary custody. So he was with people that we trusted. He was never touched by a government entity. He was never touched by DHS. He was never in an adoption agency. He was never, a lot of times that stuff can, you know, make things very complicated and we just did not have to deal with it at all. He was able to stay with our family.
Once we got there, I think it took about two and a half weeks, three weeks to process everything through the state. You’re dealing with government offices with that, so that takes a little bit of time. But I remember our lawyer saying, he’s like, “Yeah, you know, we try to get these done pretty quick, because most of the time, people are out a few thousand on a credit card because they are staying in a hotel.” And I’m just sitting there, like, I can’t imagine staying in a hotel with a very small infant. We were able to stay with our family that whole time. So we weren’t out a whole bunch of money. We actually had a really nice time with Joe’s grandparents with the baby for those first couple of weeks. My mother-in-law flew to where we were and then we ended up driving back to Arkansas with the baby. He was just wonderful, perfect, everything went incredibly smooth.
There were a couple of times, and any time that something, I even thought that something might not go smooth, I remember I would just, I would pray and be like, “Okay, God. I mean, You have really hit me in the face with the sign. Thank you. That is what I asked for and I am taking the lesson of trust. So I’m not going to get flipped out. I’m going to trust that You know. You’re good and You’re making good out of everything.” Like there was one point, we had to have a medical, they had to have something that said we didn’t have communicable diseases and it wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. It was supposed to be like some blood tests and a physical. Everything was just starting to open up there and so I remember calling a place and they were like, “Yeah, the first time I can get you an appointment is in September.” because they were that far behind. And I was just, you know, oh my goodness, what are we going to do? And I called my attorney and I said, “I just don’t, I just don’t even know what to do.” And he goes, “Do you ever have to get a physical for your insurance?” And I was like, “Yeah, I mean, we got one done last July.” And he goes, “Okay, let me call you back.” And he called me back within five minutes. He had called the compact office here in Arkansas and they were like, “Yeah, they’ll take that, that’ll be fine.” So we just, you know, it’s just several instances of things like that, that just, oh, that’s fine. Well, it’s okay. No big deal. So everything was done.
We came back to Arkansas, my mother-in-law drove back with us, and was with us. June 23rd we went to court and the adoption was finalized. So a month past the time, he was a month old, a month and a day old, and he was, you know, it was finalized, legally ours. And I mean, that that was it! Like if you had told me, on that Friday I was sitting at home watching Star Wars on my couch with my husband, that in a month I would have an infant, I would have a baby, I would have I would have laughed in your face.
So we had to be kind of secretive about it till everything was done and so then I was just very eager to share my story. I remember Joe’s cousin talking to me and saying, “Oh, I just love his name so much. I looked it up. Did you know that it means God listens?” And I was like. “No, I didn’t.” I just, I just started crying then about you know, Wow, of course it does. Of course that’s what it means. So just like I said, all of the little details of the story is what makes it so incredibly special. And he has been just so wonderful and amazing. I mean, he just just turned two months old. I still just sit here and I’ll be rocking him sometimes and I’m just like, How did I get here? I just look at him and…he’s so perfect. And that’s the thing, like, he’s perfect in every way. He’s just a precious, precious little boy.