Family–Not “If” but “When”

I’ve always known I wanted a family. When I was in elementary school, I was committed to adoption. At the age of 10, I didn’t want to contribute to world overpopulation.

As college students involved in an evangelical, fundamentalist church, my fiance (Tom) and I discussed–and were excited–about the idea of 13 children! This idea also served to traumatize both sets of our parents.8754457

Then, as a young married couple, we decided to divorce because I continued to be committed to the prospect of raising a child/children. However, my husband’s feelings had changed. He enjoyed and believed a more carefree life that focused on music was more in-line with his needs.

Craig and I

When I met Craig, I shared with him on our first date that I wanted a family–but it wouldn’t be easy. He was game for pursuing infertility work or adoption from the very beginning.

You see, I had actively begun trying to get pregnant after 5 years of marriage with my first husband. It was 1992. Like so many couples, we just assumed it would happen quickly when the decision was made.It didn’t.

With my ex-husband, there was infertility work, marriage counseling, a separation, buying a dog, moving, and divorce. I rocked the single life and began to explore adopting a little girl from China as a single woman. But then I met Craig.  There was dating, marriage, more infertility, a military deployment, an adoption match, Russia adoption “shut-down”, our match falling through, and finally deciding to go “blind” to meet our potential children. For me, this involved 14 years of dreaming, planning, working, hoping, and disappointments…lots and lots of disappointments.

But it was also years of choosing, of journey, of decisions.

I remember one decision vividly…the decision to transition from infertility work to an adoption journey.

Traveling to a specialist in Milwaukee (Brookfield or New Berlin maybe) I had regular blood tests to check hormone levels and vaginal ultrasounds monitoring egg development. We’d spent thousands of dollars on medication to increase my egg production and then to put me into temporary early menopause. I would always get the first appointment at the clinic and then race on the interstate to work. I’d keep in touch with Deb, the school secretary, to make sure someone could temporarily cover my class for a couple of minutes if I was late. 

On this morning, I was driving like a bat-outa-hell to get to work.  I had met with “Doctor” and he had recommended that our next IVF involve donor eggs. My sister Michelle was a very good candidate. His words flowed through my mind and I watched them, disconnected. They seemed like butterflies exploring me as I watched and evaluated them.

I pulled into the parking lot at my school and sat there. Although I was a couple of minutes later than usual and all the children were off the playground and in their classrooms…I stayed, not moving. Questions came. How does this idea feel? Does it feel like the next step?

The next thought that flowed into my soul was that pregnancy was an…experience, for a short period of time. What I was really interested in, what I was really seeking was…

…a family.

It was time to move from the possible to the probable. I was going to transition from “if” to “when”. 

Meeting Luka in the orphanage

I literally flipped the switch from getting pregnant to deciding to switch focus to adoption. One door shut and I walked toward another opening. There was an exit for the road “less traveled” just ahead….



Kadon and Daddy first time meeting

Before I got out of the car to go into work, I knew that I would never see that infertility doctor again. No more crazy drives down the interstate trying to get to work on time. No more daily injections, no more expensive drugs.


just off the plane from Russia

Four years later, July 5th, 2006, Craig and I left Moscow with two little boys. 

Our family was born.


Who is Lisa






Click here to check out other Sidetracked opinions

#sidetrackedsisters #sidetrackedlisa #sidetrackedlegacies #infertilityjourney #adoptionstory #familybuilding

Please follow and like us:

3 thoughts on “Family–Not “If” but “When”

    • Thanks! I promised Deb that after we adopted the boys I was finished with all the drama…little did I know!!! It was fun writing about this, I’ve shared the journey with so many people and it continues to feel inspirational.

  1. I feel like I was there with you for part of your journey getting your family. Listening to awesome, sad, heart breaking, hilarious stories—EVERY EMOTION THAT IS POSSIBLE—with your team of coworkers!! Your stories made lunchtime an adventure in listening and showing compassion to a dear friend. All the work you did to finally have your family has paid off. You are blessed, and I am so lucky to have traveled the road with you through some of that journey. Hugs, gini

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.