The Adventures of Bert.

Our IVF cycle ‘officially’ failed on April 23, 2014. I had gotten the phone call from our reproductive endocrinologist (RE) around noon to personally tell me the results of my blood test (beta). Dr. Nyak had the sweetest, calming voice and in the most empathetic way possible she broke the news. Negative. But I already knew. I had tested in the morning before going to get my blood taken. I had actually been testing for days, so the phone call wasn’t the difficult part. It was the days following that were.

I decided to finish the day of work and then cried myself to sleep that night; and many, many more nights after that.

I would probably describe my behaviors similar to a zombie following our failed cycle. I walked around lifeless and lost. No direction. Just wandering through life. I felt completely drained.

A few days after our failed cycle, my husband asked for me to go on a walk with him. I reluctantly agreed. At this point, it was probably a miracle I was even getting out of bed and going to work, let alone engage in anything outside of the necessary. But we went to a trail that led to a reservoir, we just sat and talked. I cried. He cried. Next steps were discussed.

I think Tommy would have been ready to move onto adoption from that very moment, but I couldn’t even discuss the topic. There’s a lot to think about. I had to decided if I was okay with letting go of carrying a child, never experiencing pregnancy or labor, or whether I was okay with not ever having a child that wasn’t our DNA together. My heart broke into a million pieces when I knew that the one and only embryo that was created with both of our DNA’s never made it. This was a loss I had to grieve.

And so that’s what I did: I grieved.

July 25, 2014. I know this date specifically, because I had been at my brother’s for a Christmas in July party. And just as I was finishing up talking with our family friend about her adoption journey, my phone rang. I was expecting the normal “hey leaving work, be home soon” conversation with my husband. But this conversation was a bit different than the norm.

“I found a bird earlier today. I couldn’t find his nest or his mom. He’s coming home with me”

“Umm, okay?”

And so he brought home this tiny creature.

We instantly fell in love with this little guy. He was just this little ball of fluff. His eyes were barely open and he had patches without feathers all over. I was head over heels for this bird.

For the next 7 days, this little red-eyed viro, that we called Bert, was our world. We feed him, gave him a home, cared for him 24/7…we loved him.

When Bert began to stop singing or eating, we knew something wasn’t right. He passed exactly one week after he entered our lives. We were crushed.

But we then quickly realized something. During those 7 days, we were happy again. We both looked forward to our evenings, we laughed, we had joy again…it had been almost 2 years of trying to be parents and up to this point, we had lost hope, joy, and were filled with sadness.

A few days after Bert’s passing, I sent a text message to my husband:

“I think God placed Bert in our lives to show us that if we can love a creature that isn’t even the same species, we can surely love a child that’s not of our DNA. I think we need to adopt”

My husband replied “I was hoping you’d say that. I completely agree”.

It was at that point we moved forward with pursing adoption


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