Sunday, January 16, 2011

nEw YeAr LeTtEr

Nic and Allison were planning on sending out a Christmas card and letter to their family, but the holidays always bring the hustle and bustle. Instead, they decided to do a review of this past year. 2010 has been an eventful year for the Phair family. It has brought new adventures and challenges. They look forward to 2011 for what it might bring to their family and their marriage.

Nic is continuing his work as an insurance agent for Klamath Insurance Center. He stays busy with his calling as Elders Quorum President in their ward. Allison is the primary chorister and has been for 2 years. They both are enjoying their callings. Most recently Allison was called to be the ward choir director and succeeded in her first Christmas sacrament meeting program. Nic and Allison also celebrated their 2 year anniversary on December 27. They can’t believe how the time has passed.

Time to rewind and take a step back into 2010. In March, Allison finished up her college degree in Applied Psychology with an emphasis in Human Services at Oregon Institute of Technology and in June, received her diploma. June also marked the one year mark of Nic and Allison trying to conceive. This is where the real story begins.

Nic and Allison’s doctors decided to run tests to see why they were having issues conceiving. Routine male tests were done on Nic and doctors found a low sperm count. Nic and Allison were disappointed and saddened by this news, but life must go on. They wondered: why the low numbers? A tiny varicocele vein was found, but wasn’t big enough to cause the low numbers. They debated whether surgery was a good idea or not, but decided for Nic not to have the surgery.

The Phairs decided to visit a fertility specialist to see what their options were. The specialist stated that intrauterine insemination wasn’t an option because of the low numbers. Nic and Allison truly were devastated about this – it doesn’t mean they still couldn’t have spent the money on it, but decided against it because of their low chances. They walked away knowing that adoption and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) were their only options. Nic and Allison decided to look into IVF.

Research was done and they picked a hospital in Portland: Oregon Reproductive Medicine (ORM). More information about ORM and the process of IVF can be found here. ORM has really great test results for IVF. Although IVF was the most expensive option, Nic and Allison knew it would be worth it in the end. They knew their families would be behind them the whole way. Nic and Allison were set up with a very good doctor at ORM. Paperwork was filled out, appointments were made, trips back and forth to Portland were made, IVF teaching was done, and routine tests were done. Nic and Allison had hope and there was finally a light shining ahead.

Through routine female testing, their doctor found that Allison’s hormone levels and egg quality weren’t where they were supposed to be for her age of 23. The doctor said that her eggs were the quality of a 40 year old. All of their options were exhausted to try and make IVF work. However after more testing, their doctor said that the likelihood of conceiving with IVF was very slim. Their doctor was more then happy to proceed with IVF, but knew this was disappointing news to this couple wanting to start their family.

Despite the bad news, there was good news given to this little family. Allison got a job at Sky Lakes Medical Center as a discharge planner in October. This was great news for Nic and Allison and a definite blessing for their family.

Nic and Allison knew they had a big decision to make. Tears were shed as they knew it was becoming more difficult to start their family. Prayers were offered up; priesthood blessings were given; fasting was done. Nic and Allison received their answer: not to proceed with IVF. They decided to take a breather after many months of this emotionally and physically draining journey. They knew adoption was the next road to travel.

Allison realized she was having a hard time dealing with the news of not being able to bear children of her own; she decided to see a counselor. As hard as it was for Allison to admit, she knew this would benefit her greatly. She was right. She has been very grateful to her counselor for giving her different perspectives on what it means to be a woman and have a family. Allison has learned that she already has a family with Nic – Nic is her family. Despite her expectations of starting a family the “normal way,” she learned that it doesn’t make her any less of a woman.

December brought hope and enlightenment to the Phair family. A case manager from LDS Family Services visited with the Klamath Falls Stake President. Luckily for Nic and Allison, they have a close connection with the Stake President, and were able to meet with this case manager. They were extremely grateful to the Stake President for allowing them the opportunity to sit and discuss adoption with this case manager.

It was an hour and a half meeting, and so the adoption journey began for them. This is now where their story ends. Nic and Allison have started the adoption process and look forward to their journey in 2011. They are also creating an adoption blog. One of their friends is generously creating it and once it is done, you will be the first to know.

As they reflect on 2010, they are grateful for the trials they have been faced with. They would never wish these experiences on any family, but they wouldn’t trade their experiences for anything. Their experiences have brought them closer together as a couple and have strengthened their relationship with their Heavenly Father. There is a greater plan for this family. That’s what faith is all about – moving forward not knowing where this journey might lead you, but knowing that you’ll be a better person because of it. Nic and Allison have received so much strength and support from their families as they have traveled through this past year. They are grateful for the prayers that have been offered on their behalf. They hope you will take this journey with them wherever it may lead them. Nic and Allison pray and hope that 2011 will bring their family a blessing from heaven.


Summer said...

I'm in complete awe of how you and Nic have handled everything that you've been dealt. We love you both so much, and know that the Lord is mindful of you. I'm so excited to see who the Lord sends your way this year. You are going to be wonderful parents, and we know this is going to be a great year!

mom-jayne said...

You just never know what life is going to throw at you? What a year you have had and it sounds like at the end, you are at peace and ready to move forward. Good for you. Can't wait to see your new blog. It will be fun to see where 2011 takes you!!! Loves...

Savannah said...

Wow, what a road you have travelled this past year! Nic shared part of your story with Adam, and thank you for sharing the rest with us here and being so open and honest. We all want to be here for you supporting you every step of the way! Please let us know what we can do to buoy you up! We love you guys! We're excited to see how 2011 progresses for you!

natalie said...

long road behind you, but sounds like a GREAT road ahead. super fun and risk-taking. but it will be worth it.
miss you guys!

KP said...

Alli, I'm so excited for you and Nic to adopt and have your family grow. I can't imagine the struggles you have had to go through, but you and Nic are both stronger because of this and your little 2011 baby is going to be so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful family!

i miss you!!

Warrior Princess said...

all i can say is that i love you both so very very much. :) and i'm grateful that you are my friends because you're examples strengthen me immensely. thank you for sharing everything with us to lift us up and strengthen our faith.

Katie said...

first of all i want to say how sorry i am that you can't conceive, i understand a little bit of the sorrow that brings from the miscarriage i had before ruth was born. i am so excited for you and my prayers are with you on your adoption journey. good luck, you'll be such a great mom when the time comes!

aspenfamilymedicine said...

As we went through our trials with infertility and the decision to adopt our children, there was a quote that meant a lot to me "there are years that ask questions and there are years that answer." I can promise that you will look back on this time and be so thankful for the journey. The majority of women out there can bear children- very few are allowed the honor of having a woman TRUST you enough to place their baby in your arms, asking you to be the child's mother. And when you receive your child, that is your "own" child. Heavenly Father places these spirits into their homes and as you proceed, you will be a witness of this. I am so thankful for MY children and so humbled by the process that brought them into our home. You'll see...
: )

ChelseaDawnBowen said...

Allison you know i love you and nic so much! The Lord has an incredible plan in store for you. Alli your friendship has meant the world to me as i struggled through all my years of depression and heartache and i want you to know that i am here for you, anytime, 24/7! thanks for being one of my heroes! love you both! love-chelsea