ShAMELESS PLUGS and other stuff
The Berger family found itself at a crossroads in the fall of 2009.
While Joe Berger, up until that point a journeyman offensive lineman, finally was earning his first starting gig in the NFL in his second stint with the Miami Dolphins, his wife, Abby, for most of that season endured weekly fertility treatments.
“It was so hard,” Abby said. “It was awful. It was grueling, consuming, emotional.”
It had previously taken a year of trying for Abby to become pregnant with their young son, Gavin. The prospect of Abby giving birth to a second child seemed slim.
“Doors just kept closing one after another with that,” Abby said. “We just didn’t feel at peace about that. Thankfully God had other plans.”
As Joe, now the starting center for the Vikings, was dealing with the excitement of starting the final six games of the 2009 season and the stress of auditioning for what he hoped would be a permanent gig with the Dolphins, the Bergers decided they should cease Abby’s fertility treatments and consider adopting a baby.
“There was a lot on our mind in 2009,” said Joe, who can chuckle about it now.
After the season ended, in January 2010, the Bergers attended their first adoption meeting. Over the next months, there were more meetings and background checks and mountains of paperwork for Abby to fill out. And in March of that year, Blake was born and soon would be welcomed into the Berger household.
A year later, after Berger started 14 more games for the Dolphins, he was released after the preseason. The Vikings, looking to bolster their offensive line depth, quickly signed him. He ended up starting seven games in 2011, his first year in Minnesota.
That next year, the Bergers began to discuss adoption again. Joe and Abby, whose father had been an orphan in Ireland, first met at church in their hometown of Newaygo, Mich. The couple got married in 2004, before Berger’s last year at Michigan Tech, and always had envisioned having three or four children.
“We’ve just always said we wanted to be open to how the Lord would grow our family,” Abby said. “So whatever way that is, we just wanted to be open to it.”
A week later, the Bergers found out that Abby was pregnant with a girl, Ella.
Read the rest of the story at StarTribune.com…