Nolan was back this week and is already over half way to his first birthday! 7 months of joy and memories and promises of a future that his parents didn't know if they would ever have outside of each other. This little man was born to be theirs, to heal their hearts and fill their home. Meet Mark, Beth, and Nolan Dickey here is the story of how they became a family.
Their journey started more than 8 years ago when they first decided to start a family. Years of devastation followed, failed fertility treatments that left them feeling hopeless. After the last round of IVF was unsuccessful they decided to pursue adoption. Feeling overwhelmed not knowing where to even start the process, Beth turned to a friend who referred them to an agency out of Chicago. They signed a two-year contract with them that expired January 6, 2017. The next two years would be full of more heartache. 3 failed adoption situations made it nearly impossible to look to the future with hope.
Backtrack a little to fall of 2016. Beth's younger sister offered to be a surrogate. With only 3 months left of the contract with their adoption agency and no baby, they felt as though this may be their only hope. It had been two years since they were last in that fertility clinic, feelings of disappointment were all to familiar sitting in that office, but this time would be different. After weeks of appointments and check ups and endless paperwork they heard the words that they hadn't heard in 8 years...they were having a baby, soon after that, they found out they were actually having twins.
They were scheduled to have their 8-week appointment and ultrasound on January 6, 2017...the day their adoption contract was set to expire. The night before, on her way home from work, Beth received a call from their adoption agency, "how do you feel about being in Texas in 24 hours? There was a baby boy born this morning and you have been chosen to adopt him". So many emotions followed, they were skeptical of what Beth had just heard having been in that situation before. There was a baby that needed them, and they had twins on the way. That night was full of phone calls with social workers and lawyers hundreds of miles away. Beth recalled someone once telling her that life was never guaranteed and before they knew it they were packing their bags and buying plane tickets. Surrounded by family, they made the decision to take the giant leap of faith and go to Texas.
The next morning was their ultrasound and appointment for the twins, they were dealt more heartache, the twins did not make it and Beth's sister would soon miscarry. There was no time to grieve, they were leaving for Texas later that day.
Numb from the day before and completely out of tears they went to the hospital praying for a miracle but prepared for the worst. Would they leave the hospital as parents? Would this time be different or would it end just like the others? They walked into Nolan's NICU room and laid eyes on their son. The heartache, devastation, disappointment, hurt, anger, all of it... all these years were preparing them for the moment they first saw him. That afternoon papers were signed and it was official, they were going home a family. It was such an emotional week for them. This journey was over, yet just beginning. A wonderful woman chose them to raise her baby boy. What a selfless, courageous act. They are thankful for her every.single.day.
When they left their farm house that January morning they had no idea if they would return with a baby. They had no idea the week ahead would be filled with some of their lowest lows and ultimately their highest highs. This was how it was always supposed to end. Nolan wasn't born to Mark and Beth, but he was meant for them. He was born 2 weeks early, the day before their contract was to expire. If he wouldn't have come early there's no way of knowing what would've happened. I am so thankful that he was anxious to come into this world when he did and I am so thankful that I have had the pleasure of documenting this perfect little boy.