Green Team: The Barnes’
Our Story, as told by Jessica:
Chris and I are high school sweethearts. In 2002, we met in study hall when Chris was a sophomore and I was a freshman. We became friends and quickly started dating. From early in our relationship, we talked about what we wanted in life: marriage, education, children. I shared a desire to adopt, because some of my cousins were adopted as infants and toddlers. Chris was inspired by my wish to adopt, but we both agreed that adoption would be in our future. Chris followed me to Williamsburg, VA, where I attended The College of William and Mary and earned my Bachelor’s. We married in a small wedding in the Wren Chapel in May of 2008. I graduated the following year, and Chris earned his Journeyman and Master electrical licenses.
For the next couple of years, we focused a large portion of our attention on buying a house and finally purchased a home in late 2010. It was a check off the list on our way to building a family. In the meantime, I had decided to go to graduate school. After trying to wait for the “right time,” we decided to have a family after I graduated. My OB/GYN had told me to come back after a year, if I wasn’t pregnant. So, I diligently waited for the year mark to roll around. I was trying not to worry, but my cycles were very irregular. In October 2012, I went back to the doctor. She prescribed me medicine to help regulate my cycles and ordered an HSG (test to evaluate my uterus and fallopian tubes) for me and a semen analysis for Chris. More boxes to check before we could get this baby making show on the road.
About a month later, we received bad news. I was told that my tubes were blocked, and I had an irregular shaped uterus. Chris’s semen analysis had also come back with some of his stats low, and we were told In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was our only option to have a successful pregnancy. We were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) that day. Heartbroken is an understatement. Even Chris who is an eternal optimism was devastated. We pushed ahead. When we first met with our RE, he gave us better news. Turns out my HSG had been poorly analyzed and my tubes were not blocked, so we could try some less invasive and cheaper procedures before considering IVF. I kept up my Clomid regime, but after I didn’t respond well, I was put on Femara and started Intrauterine Inseminations (IUIs). Over the course of the next year, we would have 7 IUIs (4 with Femara and 3 with injectables), 2 fresh IVF cycles, and 1 frozen embryo transfer. We covered all expenses ourselves as our health insurance provides no coverage for fertility treatments.
We only achieved pregnancy once which ended in a chemical pregnancy (early miscarriage). Our baby was given little hope from the very beginning, but we hoped we would have a successful pregnancy anyways. However, it wasn’t meant to be.
Adoption was always in the back of our minds. Before our last cycle, we decided we would be adopting regardless of the outcome. We attended several adoption orientation meetings, and settled on using the adoption agency C2adopt located in Richmond. We liked the social workers and their mission. Adopting one or two infants domestically seemed like the best fit for us, and we officially started working with them in January 2015. It took several months to finish our home study, but we were approved in May.
Despite our ups and downs with our family building, we have managed to stay mostly positive. We are excited to become parents through adoption and have the family we always imagined. Our parents and extended family are also very excited for us. We shared our struggles with our parents and a few close friends during our infertility journey, but starting sharing publicly about our infertility and desire to adopt in November 2014. We were met with an amazing amount of support from our family, friends, and even strangers.
So, we were beyond excited when we received word we were chosen to be one of the featured couples this year. It’s an amazing opportunity to continue to share our story as well as a way to defray some of the high cost of adoption. Unfortunately, our employers do not provide adoption benefits, but this grant will help us with the cost of networking with agencies outside of Virginia and/or legal fees for the adoption process.
Again, we are so excited to be part of the race this year and to represent TEAM GREEN! Thank you for your support!