Open, honest and vulnerable. These are words you do not hear much of these days. In this world of social media we generally put out the best photos and the best versions of ourselves on display for all to see. We want to share with you our story and in the process we can make our story your story as well.
When Val and I met in 2010 in Puerto Rico, we knew we had found something special in one another. Who turns a brunch date into a 9 hour outing unless you just did not want it to ever end? That is what happened to us and it was just the beginning of what continues to be a God ordained relationship.
It was during that very first date that we agreed we both wanted children and we were both excited that we wanted to have them soon. So once we were married on April 14, 2012, we began the journey of growing old together but wanting to share that joy with a family.
Val got sick right after our honeymoon and after much research and lots of doctor’s appointments we found out she had hypothyroidism. Unfortunately the typical medication used for hypo was making her worse until she finally found a great doctor that was willing to prescribe a new medication that started to help her feel better. We also noticed in Puerto Rico after several months of trying to have a baby that we may need some help so we began to see fertility doctors while on the island. These doctors were very expensive and did not even accept insurance because Puerto Rican insurance companies had a reputation for not paying them properly. By then, we knew we were transferring David’s job back to the mainland in Austin, Texas.
Once we found a place to live and health insurances in place we began again the task of finding help for growing our family. We saw several fertility doctors and started fertility treatments right away. So for over two years we tried unsuccessfully with fertility drugs and IUIs.
Since we were being unsuccessful with our treatments the doctor suggested for Val to have surgery to make sure everything was working properly, eliminate the possibility of endometriosis, scrape her uterus and make sure her tubes were not blocked - the works and Val wanted it all done at the same time. Val had surgery in August 2014, where she had Laparoscopy with Laser of Endometriosis, Chromopertubation, Hysteroscopy, Polypectomy, D&C, myomectomy.
The doctor found: a polyp in the cavity of the uterus, a fibroid inside the uterus and another outside of it. He removed these and scraped the uterus. She also had endometriosis stage 3 in the uterus, on both ovaries and outside the uterus on both sides. Her colon was stuck to the uterus on the left and on the right by the endometriosis. All of it was removed & her tubes were confirmed not to be blocked. The doctor also found and removed a Tumor the size of a tennis ball under her right ovary. They froze it and sent for testing and Thank God it was benign!
The doctor said this would reset everything so we should try three more IUIs after that.
After the surgery we tried a couple of more times when the doctor finally said that he did not see any hope in what he was doing and our last resort was to try a very expensive In-Vitro procedure. We were not sure about the procedure so we decided to go to a free consultation to get all the details. We quickly learned that we would not be able to use Val’s eggs for the process. Although this may be okay for other couples, we knew that we did not want a family that had David’s genes but none of Val’s genes. So at that point we just stopped altogether and stayed in a grieving stage for nearly a year.
Val would cry every time she would see a baby or pregnant woman, especially at church. She borrowed from the library “You can Adopt” but could not come to read it. We had talked much about the loss of being able to have a family but may have thought that with time we would forget about the longing and desire to have a family of our own. But God knows the desires of our hearts and has a way to get your attention even when you think you may be over it!
We were in attendance at a church service at the Austin Stone when they talked about adoption and crisis pregnancies. Our ears perked up. After the service we began to talk again. Over that year of grieving, we believe that God was working on our hearts to be available to His Purpose and not just Our Purpose. Sometimes God does not give you what you want but what you need. We began to look at scriptures like Psalms 68:5-6 that says “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families” and James 1:27 which states “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
So we could not get it out of our minds no matter how hard we tried. Val borrowed the book from the library again and we started discussing all we were learning. David had a day off so we drove to the Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center that our church had mentioned which cares and gives supplies to young women in a crisis pregnancy and provides counseling. They gave us several local agencies in the Austin area that they worked with or helped with girls in crisis. We knew there were several different kinds of adoption but we felt a peace about a domestic infant adoption.
So through our research we kept coming back to one adoption agency. Generations Adoption out of Waco, Texas, seemed to be made just for us. They are a Christian agency which helps to match mothers in a crisis pregnancy with Christian couples who have been married at least three years and will raise the child in a Christian environment. Because they believe so strongly in saving the orphan they keep their prices lower than any other agency in Texas. We kept having positive feelings about the whole process even though we had heard it could be costly. Who knew helping the orphan was going to be so expensive? $22,000 per child, not including attorney fees and we want two children. We knew though that if this is what God wanted for us, He would provide a path.
Our anticipated expenses for the adoption are approximately $50,000 which includes home study expenses, agency costs, birthparent adoption counseling and related services, approval for waiting list and placement fees, medical and birth mother expenses, legal and finalization costs plus possibly lodging. We have worked hard to save much of the cost and are still in need of approximately $35,000.
So David has been working and saving every additional dollar that comes our way through overtime and Val has created a lifestyle blog that focuses on fashion, beauty, and home decor called acheekylifestyle.com so she may be able to work part time and be a stay at home mom. We have saved quite a bit in a short amount of time and we wanted to do it all ourselves and even felt guilty about asking for help. That is until we had a conversation with David’s brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Debi. They are an amazing couple that were foster parents to many children and adopted two girls through the foster care system. They are great girls and Steve and Debi have been a huge inspiration for us. They mentioned something that stuck with us. They said God calls all Christians to serve the orphan and the widow and when we adopt we are directly helping with that call. However, not every person is called to adopt so when we ask others for help they are able to share in the blessing of fulfilling that call to help the widow and orphan. And by not asking, we may also be preventing someone from receiving a blessing that comes from giving to help the orphan.
So now we want to ask you all. Our friends and family and friends we have yet to meet. If God is prompting you to help us in this endeavor to provide a loving family for two children (or twins if God willing) then please donate to our fundraising site and pass it on to your church family and all of your contacts that would share in this blessing. Thank you for allowing us this moment to be open, honest, and vulnerable with you.
Love you all,
David and Val Banderman