Let me introduce myself. My name is Tara Dicks and I am married to a wonderful man, Kaylum Dicks. We got married in 2006 after dating for 5 months -- yes, 5 months -- because we were so eager to start a family. Unfortunately, almost 8 years later, we have no children. We have been on the long, difficult journey of infertility instead. I would like to share our story with you for reasons -- to help people understand what it is like to travel this road, to help others who are on this road with us, and to ask for your help in reaching our hoped for destination -- parenthood.
I waited until I was 25 to get married, so I and my fiance could finish college first. I was being "responsible". I waited until we had settled into our marriage and my (first) husband had a steady income before I considered starting a family. I was being "responsible". I was under the illusion that society has fed us that when you want to start a family, it is just that easy. You and your partner do your part, and a few months later you are expecting your firstborn. Everybody "knows" that, everybody accepts that. And if you think I am exaggerating -- just ask yourself, when you meet a new couple, what are the first questions you ask? WHEN are you going to start a family? HOW MANY children do you want? A year or so later, the questions become, Have you started trying yet? Don't you WANT children? Doesn't HE WANT children?
So I accepted that when I was ready, I would just get pregnant. That moment was when my first nephew was born in July 2001. He stole my heart and I knew I wanted one of my own. I have been trying ever since to have a child. What I didn't know was that my (first) husband did not want children. Period. He said all the right things, but found ways over the next few years to sabotage our efforts. In late 2005, he left me. He admitted he never wanted to have children and thought I deserved a chance to have them with someone who did.
Meanwhile, Kaylum had been on his own journey. He had only ever wanted two thing in his life, since he was a small child -- to join the army and have a family, have children. He joined the army after high school, but was medically discharged 6 months later (long story). He started college and fell in love with a girl. She became pregnant, so he did the "responsible" thing, too. He quit college, married his girlfriend and got a job to support his family. They had a little boy and Kaylum loved him dearly. Unfortunately, a few months later his wife told him that she had cheated on him, the baby wasn't his, and she was leaving him.
Kaylum and I met while I was still married to my first husband. He became friends with my husband, although I didn't care much for him then. After my divorce was finalized in March 2006, Kaylum came to visit me to see how I was doing. We instantly hit it off. We were different points in our lives than we had been before. We both wanted the same things, including children. Weird how life turns out sometimes.
So we got married and started working on our family, thinking it would only be a few months because that is how it is supposed to work, right? But nothing happened, month after month. In 2008 we tried some fertility treatments. I had an intra-uterine fibroid removed -- we thought that would fix everything. But nothing happened. The next year we tried an IUI. Nothing. Even though we never got pregnant, we felt like we were losing babies. When you are told you have one or two eggs ready, are given a shot to release them and know that they are released -- it is almost impossible not to feel like they are already babies to be. It is a forgone conclusion that they will get fertilized. It was heartbreaking and too stressful to deal with, in addition to my job -- I was a foster care worker, dealing every day with parents who could not or would not care for their own children, but nevertheless, were able to have them. I don’t blame them; I just had a hard time dealing with it.
Also, we just couldn't afford it. Infertility is a medical condition, like any other disease or disorder, but most insurance does not cover the medications or procedures to treat it, only to diagnose it. And the treatment centers expect payment in full every step of the way, no payment plans.
And we still can't afford it. Both my husband and I have infertility issues and the best option for us to have own child is In Vitro Fertilization with a donor egg -- $19,000 plus medication and other fees for a 50-50 shot at success. Success rates for using our own DNA is 0-12% for my age group.
We have decided to adopt. Not because we don’t want our own child, or because it is the easy way out, or because it saves the planet or lowers population growth, or because it is the more “noble” choice, or even because we want to give some needy child who already exists a “good home.” We do still want our own child, but we feel strongly that God is leading us away from IVF procedures for whatever reason he has. He has given us peace in our hearts to pursue adoption. We are choosing adoption for the same reason we chose fertility treatments -- we want a family. We want a child of our own whom wee can raise with our values and share our interests with. We will just create “mini me’s” through nurture instead of nature. We are excited and scared about this journey, but we are moving forward to experience the joy God has in store for us.
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