We met in 2004, while both still attending Illinois State University. We were both actively involved with Encounter, a local campus ministry, and knew of each other from the previous semester. But, it was during a mission trip to Muncie, Indiana over winter break that we first developed our friendship. We became friends and started spending more time together. In April of 2004 we officially started dating, got engaged in October of 2005, and married in July of 2006.
We got married at 22 and 24, respectively so children were definitely not at the forefront of our minds. We are both only children and were used to our independence. We both have a love for travel and adventure and wanted to spend our first few years of marriage enjoying one another.
Kids were always a part of our future, but we planned on having them a few years down the road. Unfortunately, we did not realize it would take longer than expected, so our few years have become 6+. Even though we waited longer, and our journey of trying hasn’t been the path we have chosen, we don’t regret the time we shared in our early/mid 20s.
However, we are not getting any younger and deeply desire to grow our family. So in the fall of 2011, after a year of trying unsuccessfully, we decided to seek assistance through the Fertility and IVF Center at the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, IL. After a year of working with the staff there, which included minor surgery and undergoing 4 unsuccessful IUIs, we are still waiting for new life to join us. We look at this as the beginning of the end of our infertility adventures. If our in vitro is unsuccessful we may try one more time or seek other options such as adoption.
I guess you could say we are accustomed to trials in our life. At the age of 20, Amanda lost her mom to pulmonary fibrosis. Then, while working through our struggles to build family, Dan lost his mom in January, 2012 to lung cancer. Both were unexpected losses because neither were smokers. So our small family of 6 became 4, which has made the waiting of growth a little harder.
Even though our life has had some trying times, we are blessed to have the hope of Jesus. We know he has overcome this world and has given us renewed strength. Our faith has grown and we are thankful for His mercies.