When photographer Jennings Paige began to picture her future, she knew what she wanted and set goals to get there. However; change is inevitable and often brings challenges. When it came to starting a family she faced a whirlwind of obstacles. Determination remained her driving force through her journey and she has adopted two children. Now, she and her husband are ready for a third child through surrogacy. Although her original plan had some unexpected rewrites she’s still on track to having the big family she always pictured.
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted children. When I was a teenager I made a plan to graduate college, get married and have a baby right away. I faced difficulty very early on and was diagnosed with stage four endometriosis. I am very goal-oriented, so I didn’t care what was in the way, I just wanted the doctors to fix it so I could finally become a mother. I had a surgery for my endometriosis in 2004, which was intended to give me a chance at getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
I had four surgeries to treat the endometriosis and five rounds of in vitro fertilization. My results were not successful. I had two early miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies that had to be terminated. The fertility medication I was taking caused a lot of pain and made me very sick. I decided to not to continue pursuing having a baby on my own.
In the middle of all that effort to have a biological baby, I researched adoption. Unlike my painful and turbulent road to a baby through in vitro, adoption proved to be relatively easy. My husband and I found a wonderful adoption attorney and we met and were matched with a couple in Las Vegas who could not provide for another child, but wanted the baby to have a good home. Gracie Makana -Hawaiian for “gift from God”- was born on January 8, 2006. I was so happy to be a mother and have a beautiful healthy daughter. Three years later I received more exciting news. Gracie’s birthfather had impregnated another woman, who also wanted to place the baby for adoption. Since the new baby was Gracie’s biological half-sibling, they offered the baby boy to us first. Hudson Ryan was born on January 15th, 2010, and again I found myself blessed beyond all measure.
In the midst of all this blissful baby happiness my world was about to be turned upside down. My husband of nine years told me he had no desire to be a husband or a father anymore and left me. I was now a single mother with a 4-year-old and a six month old baby to care for.
But life has a way of bringing unexpected love and happiness when you need it most. In 2011, I met my true soul mate, Ryan. He loves the children as his own and is in the process of legally adopting both of them. Together, we work hard, play hard and laugh constantly!
Ryan works hard for the army every day of his life. He is the Company Commander of a Military Police unit based in Riverside County. Through all the ups and downs, I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet and we have a beautiful life. We are so excited that through surrogacy and the Expect Miracles organization we can grow our family. I ‘m confident that whatever we do, the universe will put us together with just the right circumstances and people to make our dreams come true.