It Was Always So Cold

It was always so cold in the waiting room.  That’s what I remember most.  It was always cold, and everyone would sit and read their magazines and act like nothing was wrong.

But we knew there was. We all knew it even if we didn’t want to admit it.  Why else would we be sitting in the infertility clinic’s waiting room?

We spent lots of time there off and on over a ten-year period. We would go and do treatments. We could get discouraged and quit. We would start again. We would hit a road block and grow discouraged. We would try again for the big guns: IVF.  We were back at the starting line.

In February 2006, after six months of processing our final diagnoses – unexplained infertility – we began to ponder adoption. We had lots of fears and uncertainties. We had known adopted people but hadn’t really looked at it for us.  There just seemed to be so many ups and downs and questions and finances. Where to begin?

When we first began to explore adoption, we thought about two places: China and Ethiopia. China seemed to have the much more established program five years ago, so we ultimately landed there. We filled out the paperwork and excitedly dove in because within a year or so we would be parents.

Or so we thought.

Two years later we were still waiting and growing discouraged. It seemed every effort to have a family was taken away from us and the thought of actually being parents seemed to get pushed further and further in the distance. We met with our agency again, totally discouraged because the wait in China literally grew longer every month. We weren’t sure we could wait as long as it took…we weren’t getting any younger and had gotten a late start as it was.

February 15, 2008 we attended our first meeting to discuss Ethiopia. We were handed a sheet of paper with two beautiful little girls who were already waiting for  family, and began to learn about the process and costs associated with Ethiopia. After spending a weekend praying, we jumped in. Because our paperwork had recently expired in China, we had a fresh homestudy and I-600 in hand, so our dossier only took a matter of three or four weeks. We were working on finalizing it when we got the call. A referral was waiting for us. A baby.

The theoretical moved into the actual.

We went the following Monday to meet with our agency and realized one of the beautiful little girls we had seen on the paper February 15th was actually going to live with us forever. The amazing photo of a girl we had seen would live on in our photo albums and we would be on our way within months to bring her home.

I had a friend pose the question: “Is adoption the answer for infertility, or is infertility the answer for orphans?”

Wow.  What a change of perspective.  I now know, with no medical training, what our “unexplained infertility” was for…and that was because our daughter didn’t grow from our bodies but from the plans God had for our family. We weren’t supposed to get a relatively easy road to parenthood because our road was taking us much further than we imagined…both literally and figuratively.

We couldn’t be more happy than the way our lives have turned out, even though it was nothing we had planned. Our daughter is and continues to be the biggest blessing in our lives. The joy she gives us and everyone she meets has enriched our lives beyond measure…and the long road getting here makes it all the more sweeter.

We are starting our second adoption this month. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us. We can’t wait to step off the plane in the country that has captured our hearts and walk another road to another amazing story.


David McDurham

David McDurham and his wife, Amy Myers McDurham, adopted their daughter, Ella, from Ethiopia in 2008. Both would mark it as one of the most spiritually challenging and rewarding experiences of their lives. David is a minister, and Amy is a marriage and family therapist. They live in Texas.

4 Responses to It Was Always So Cold

  • Jen says:

    What a beutiful post and what a beautiful little girl! We have been matched with a 4 year old little boy from Ethiopia and are awaiting a court date! I would love to email you! What is your email? I think we might live close to each other! Email me if you can!

  • Allison says:

    I had a friend pose the question: “Is adoption the answer for infertility, or is infertility the answer for orphans?” One of the most profound an soul-searching questions I have ever heard. You’ve surrounded yourself with wise people.

  • Sara says:

    I resonate with this in so many ways. I love your perspective. Congratulations on your next adoption. It’s addicting, isn’t it? :)

  • Colleen says:

    Our kids certainly find us, no matter what the path. I adopted my beautiful boy through foster care 5 years ago – but adoption was always my heart’s desire and choice – I knew God wanted me to be a mother this way. While my heart breaks for couples who struggle with infertility, it breaks more for kids who hear through the culture that their families came to them as settlements or second-choices for the babies they couldn’t have on their own. The question is powerful, indeed. But, still – I wish more families would start with adoption, rather that “settle” for it.

    Your daughter is beautiful – congratulations.

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