Editor’s note: Amanda and Hal Senal have been chronicling their journey of adoption for TCJewfolk. You can check out the first seven chapters of their story here: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7 and Chapter 8.
I needed to face a new reality. I had gone through the long and arduous process of getting off my anti-depressants and mood stabilizers before we started trying to get pregnant. The low, safe dose of Prozac I remained on, which was safe during pregnancy, was not cutting it any longer. I am a human. A human with mental health issues. While grieving for the loss of this child, I had hit a breaking point and entered a somewhat hypo-manic state which was resulting in ridiculous, out of control spending. I felt miserable and needed it to stop. I accepted that I would once again be put on a mood stabilizer. I got really lucky, the first one I tried has been incredibly successful and is considered safe in the event I get pregnant. But I still needed an outlet and way to move forward. I still felt stuck.
A series of weird incidents occurred. For the second year in a row, our accountant told us we would be better off putting money towards a home we would own than a rental each month. We got a new landlord. We loved our old landlord, she was fabulous! I began to wonder what we could afford to purchase, surely it wouldn’t be anything I would be caught dead in let alone actually want to live in. I was happily mistaken. I went to a few open houses and saw a super cute and charming house. I contacted a realtor. We went to look at a handful of houses.
We quickly fell in love with a century old craftsman that had original hardwood floors and stained glass windows. A fire place and gorgeous original woodwork on the windows and doors. We toured the 3 bedrooms. It didn’t hit me when I first looked at the pictures online but walking into the nursery of the home that day, it came over me like a warm fuzzy blanket. The color scheme of the nursery was identical to the one I had set up at our rental. And not just the décor, but the pieces that would remain when the current owners moved out. The walls are a beautiful dark gray and yellow separated by a thin stripe of white to match that epic clock I created. The window cornices are a dark charcoal gray silk that would match the curtains I had hanging. And all of my nursery furniture would fit in the room perfectly. It was God’s way of telling me this was our house. This was the room for our baby when the time came. So in a mere two-and-a-half weeks from when we even started thinking about buying a house, we chose one and put in an offer!
This was the beginning of healing for me. This opportunity has given me purpose and a way to move forward again. And it also has provided us much needed healing as a family. While on the phone with my mother-in-law, she poignantly stated, “Maybe God knew you needed a house before you have a baby.” Not only did I know she was 100 percent correct, but that moment was a turning point for all of us.
Mother’s Day was not cheerful or somber for me this year. In the past few years, it has been a day of mourning internally. Somehow, this year, it was not quite so painful. And something else happened, many people reached out to me that day. I was so touched by texts, phone calls, and friends stopping to give me a hug, more so than in previous years. But even so, none of it saddened me this year. Because my faith in our journey has never wavered, even when the path was seemingly covered my chaos. Since the sale of our house has been pending, Hal and I have started reaching out and networking within the “adoption world” again. And a new leg of our family story is being revealed.