This story is offered as a personal reflection of how God worked through
our unique situation and blessed us through the amazing gift of adoption.
It is my prayer that it can be used to bring glory to God,
and to encourage and fill others with hope.
Though I can not promise that your story will end like ours,
with an overflowing, arms-full kind of experience,
I can say that a surrender to Gods will and plan on your life,
and an obedience to follow it, will bring blessings to you in a way that
you can never dream or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
May Gods blessings overflow in your life!
I believe, that even before I could plan out anything in my life, God placed in my heart a very strong desire to be a Mom.
I thought of, planned, pondered, and dreamt of nothing more than being a Mom.
After we were married, we were both ready to start our family. Four heartbreaking years followed. Anguish, loss, frustration, sadness, anger. I felt them all. Mostly I felt my hope being crushed into nothing. Until there was nothing left of me, and I had fallen to my knees, crying to my Abba. Why? Why did you give me this desire? Why did you give me this desire and then not allow it to be fulfilled? Why are you letting me hurt so much for so long? Why?
I was so hopeless, I didn’t really believe He would answer me. I was just crying out….
I remember the day that our two pastor’s and an elder and their wives laid their hands on us and prayed over us. They knew and had seen our hurt and disappointment go on. I remember telling Pastor Russ, how I’d come to really hate going to work, or to the store, or even just leaving the house. Because all I could see were women with their bellies swollen with pregnancy. Babes in strollers. Frustrated parents yelling at their children (how dare they). Oh how I would give anything to have that.
I can still hear his raspy words ring truth in my ears. Words meant for gentle correcting and guiding.
You need to stop thinking of yourself. When you go to work, pray how Jesus will use you for His Kingdom. When you go to the store, pray for those little babes to grow up to know Jesus. When you see parents frustrated and yelling at their kids, pray! And you need to trust. Because we serve a God who is faithful and He loves to give good gifts to His children.
I think I just stood there staring at him. But I obediently said I would try.
The next several months, I did just that. I prayed when I went to work. I prayed when I was at the store. I prayed all through my days, first out of obedience, and then out of a growing love for my Father. I know that Russ knew what he was talking about because pretty soon, I wasn’t so focused on what I didn’t have, or what I wanted. Instead I was thinking about others. And I was finding joy in life. Friends and family members were all having babies, and I spent my time with them, loving them rather than avoiding them. Helping them rather than making excuses. Praying for them, not just for myself.
Early in the spring, my very dear friend Candi invited me to a women’s lunch meeting. On a whim I went. I don’t know or remember too much about what the woman was speaking on, but I do remember what happened there. She was talking about Jesus, the bridegroom and us His bride, when all of the sudden, she looked up, straight at me all the way in the back of the room, and said, “I’m sorry but I need to stop for a minute. The Holy Spirit wants someone here to know that once you stop idolizing your own ambitions, His gifts will come pouring out over your life. Our God is faithful.”
And that was it. No real explanation to follow, she just simply went on with her talk.
But I knew. I had an overwhelming understanding. It was me. I had turned my desire into having children into my god. I had spent all of my time, my energy, my resources forcing it to happen. I suddenly could look back and see what I had been doing all those years. I had been hosting my very own Pitty Party for one.
I could sort of feel myself slouching in my chair, hoping that she didn’t know it was me she had to interrupt her lesson for. I snuck out to my car, and bawled my eyes out the whole drive home.
Through the summer, I felt an increasing amount of peace and joy. A new found hope in my faithful Lord. But my desire to be a momma still lingered pretty strong. We’d set up an appointment with the top infertility doc in the state, kind of our last stop with the whole IVF thing. We were originally told we’d have to wait about 3 months to get in, but a last minute cancellation allowed us to squeeze an appointment in just 2 days later. Wow! We were both hopeful and excited. I think I prayed nonstop. Lord give us answers. No more grey stuff. Black or White please. Yes or No.
After our hour long meeting with nurses, financial secretaries, and lots of paper work, we finally met with the doctor. Who basically told us not to hold our breath. We could go for it, but he wouldn’t recommend it. Nothing was really in our favor for IVF to work. And our bank account was really not in our favor for being able to do it.
Now I could tell you that we both left that appointment praising God for His answer. One of us was. That was me. I was so relieved, because I knew what logically would follow was a path to adoption that I think God had really been preparing me for all along.
However Saul must have been in an entirely different meeting than I was, because we got into the car, and he drove us straight to the car dealership. He was going to trade in our new car, for a junker, and use the money to pay for IVF. And then he called a realtor. He was going to sell our house and move into a cheap apartment to pay for the IVF. And then he looked at the paper, to look for a second job, to pay for…..well you get the idea.
I sort of stood back, just taking it all in. I reminded him that the doctor said there wasn’t a chance of us getting pregnant. Remember….you were there, right? He wouldn’t hear it. His heart wasn’t ready. I went home feeling so sad. Here we finally had an answer, only we couldn’t move forward because Saul wasn’t ready. Why hadn’t I been praying for him too?
So I started praying right then. For God to unite us. For God to reveal His plans to us. For peace.
I didn’t pray for a baby. I didn’t pray for adoption. I just prayed God’s will be done.
Not even 24 hours later, Saul told me at breakfast to go ahead and call that adoption agency. I’m so ready to be Dad. Let’s get going with this thing!
After I picked my jaw up off the ground, I cried. And hugged him. And cried some more. God is so faithful!
I was so excited after I hung up the phone. She would be sending out a packet of information for us to fill out and send back. I called Saul, and then my Mom, and told them everything. Interviews, physicals, a Home Study, and lots of paperwork. A class in mid-October. We could be ready to go before the new year started.
And we were.
Everything after that seemed to flow easily. Effortlessly. Full of a new found hope, life was joyful and exciting. Waiting was hard though.
We were called several times over the next four months about potential adoption opportunities. We took each as an opportunity to pray for a sweet little baby to have their forever home, whether it be with us, or another family. In return we were filled with peace when we were not selected. One phone call in April was different though. My heart told me it was different. A mom had looked at our profile and wanted to meet us! She was expecting a baby boy and was due in 3 weeks.
I can’t recall ever being so nervous. What should I wear? What should I talk about? How can I make her like me more? What if she changes her mind....
Then that slow, low whisper…..you have to trust me child.
So I did. And He worked through the details in a way that only a Mighty, Heavenly Creator, could. The birth parents had many similarities to us. Some in looks, others in interests and abilities. The birth mother expressed her desire for us to share in the birth, to be with her and labor, to cut the cord. I can not in words describe the joy that overwhelmed me, to be invited to such a personal, monumental experience. One I wasn’t sure I would ever have the privilege to have.
And then, just 3 weeks later, we were with her. Walking the halls. Chatting to pass the hours. Loving her. Praying hard. And trusting God to work out the rest.
His wail pierced the air about 15 hours later. The lump in my throat hurt so bad, I couldn’t swallow it back. Saul went to her side to cut the cord, tears falling down his rough, unshaven cheeks. She held him lovingly for a moment or two and motioned for me to get closer. And there he was, a beautiful bald, blue eyed bundle. Happy Mother’s Day, she whispered. And as tears ran down my face, she handed him to me.
Our son. Our Miracle. Our Isaac.
Our son. Our Miracle. Our Isaac.
|You can see my tears of joy! |
What a miraculous first Mother's Day!
Isaac, who was God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah. Isaac, whose name means “laughter”, our first response to the news of our new addition, a laugh full of joy. Isaac, a son who turned us into a family.
The hours, and days, and weeks that followed, I remember them all. How I rushed to his room the minute he started to cry. How he would nap on my chest, his head snuggled into my neck. How all of our family and friends came to welcome him. How we surprised our church when we showed up with a blue little bundle in our arms that first Sunday morning, my first Mother’s Day.
By the time he was three months old, I had gone back to working once a week. We’d found our new routine, and were loving this new life of family we’d been given. Isaac was the picture of health, and his adoption was moving along smoothly. When he was four months old, I got a call from our case worker. Figuring it was just a check-up call, I answered with no expectations.
I know Isaac is only 4 months old, and his adoption is not yet final. And this isn’t something we normally do. But would you consider adopting another baby? You see, we have a birth mom who is Hispanic and desires a Hispanic family for her baby. Yours is the only one I can offer to her.
I really didn’t know how to answer her. Had I heard her right? She wanted us to adopt another baby? Now? I somehow managed to compose myself and ask her if I could call her back, after discussing it with Saul.
Another baby? Really? I could feel myself getting excited….
Another baby. Our two had just become three four months before. We were so elated, so excited, we hadn’t even pondered if we would adopt again.
After careful consideration, and lots of prayer, we opened our hearts and our arms to the possibility that God would expand our family in this way.
Being unprepared to financially adopt again, the agency made unusual and extreme exceptions for us. Friends and family financially supported us and we all experienced God in a miraculous way. He worked through the details in a Heavenly, awesome, loving way that blew our minds! From the second crib, to the diapers, to the money for traveling. He covered over it all. I believe that we stepped out in faith, and He faithfully provided for us.
We had the honor to be there at Nate’s birth too. Just three weeks after that first phone call, we were there, with my sweet momma and our 5 month old son in tow. A shriveled little dark haired baby boy, who wailed nearly nonstop, and barley weighed 6 pounds. Nathaniel, means gift from God. Truly he is! A gift from God that was more than we could have hoped or dreamed of!
We brought him home and all four of us laid on our bed, the two boys side by side, and we cried and praised God for his rich blessings!
Life with two babies this close in age was unusual and hectic, but I found my groove and my routine and we managed okay. By the time they were both a year old, they were napping at the same time, and I seemed to be able to keep the house clean, supper on the table, and get a shower nearly every day. Life was good, and we were reminded often of God’s faithful provision that first year when with two in diapers and needing formula, money suddenly didn’t stretch as far as it used to. Just as we were nearing the end of our diaper stash, someone would show up with boxes of diapers and wipes, or find a really good deal on formula and stock us up with it. We learned that the more we leaned on God, the more we trusted Him to provide, the more blessed we became with His perfect plan for our family.
|Look at me with my full arms!|
This was a common sight those first few months.
A babe in each arm, with my hands crooked to feed them both at the same time.
|Our two babies!|
Isaac was 5 months, Nate was 1 week old.
Then just before Isaac turned 2….I found out I was pregnant!
The woman whose doctors said it was near impossible got pregnant.
I was totally blown away…
I remember it vividly. The complete shock. The excitement and hope. The joy. And overwhelming gratitude.
When we discovered it was a girl, I was elated. A princess was just what our family needed! My pregnancy with her was very hard, and though I was exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to be pregnant, it became very apparent to me that God knows best, and He planned for my pregnancy to come after we had adopted the boys for a good reason.
The day she was born was an amazing experience. I’d become a mom through the gift of another woman. I’d been the one waiting, watching, and wishing. Now it was me, and I loved every minute of it. Even when in the end we were in the O.R. and I heard her cry from across the room, and I told Saul to let go of my hand and go to her, it was me, and from me that she came into the world. What an honor to experience motherhood from both sides….
She was perfectly pink, with round cheeks, and dark curly hair. A spitting image of her daddy…and I was in love again! Elaina means “light”, and that is truly what she is to our family. A light of hope. The twinkle in our eye. I could hardly let her go and didn’t really want to share her at all. Saul was certain she would never walk since I carried her all the time.
Life with three kids in 2 years was insane. I’m pretty sure I was a little bit crazy, but honestly I don’t have a lot of memories of that time. Thank goodness for pictures. Busy was an understatement. Overwhelmed was more like it. But grateful. Oh so grateful!
How was it that I had earned the privilege to mother these 3 beautiful healthy babies?
Just after Nate turned 3, Saul got a job transfer. So we sold our house and moved to a new town. I got a new job too, and we bought our second home. Life was still very busy and I was working hard to enjoy every minute of it.
|The boys crawled into bed with us each morning.|
I really cherished this quiet time, before the busyness of the day started.
When Isaac was in preschool, I started having thoughts towards homeschooling, and began doing so much more intentional training and educating during our days. I was going through all of our baby things to sell, when my mom jokingly said, “You know this is great way to make sure you get pregnant again. Sell all of your baby things.”
And you know what?
She was right.
Just a week later I found out I was pregnant!
That’s right. The woman who was told she was not going to get pregnant, was now pregnant again! In just 5 quick years, we would have 4 beautiful children. Isn’t our God AMAZING?
My pregnancy this time around was really rough again. We had too many trips to the hospital to count. I could barley walk from a neurological complication. Dealing with all that, while homeschooling, and having three children ages 5 and under was emotionally challenging and physically exhausting.
But it was so worth it! Olivia was born a month early, but strong and healthy. A tiny, fair- skinned beauty, she instantly melted our hearts. I’ll never forget Nate touching her face over and over, trying to figure out if she was real. Olivia, which means Peaceful, a fervent prayer of mine for nine months. Lord knew I didn’t need any more drama in my life! We brought her home, so happy to have her in our arms, our family complete.
Who would have ever guessed that God would grow our family this way? And now that I have it, I can’t imagine it any other way.
It is, and will always be my prayer that by sharing our story, we can show to the world how God can and does work mightily, and is still performing miracles today! Though often we had been told, that all we needed to do was just "relax", we see things so differently. No amount of "relaxing" could have cured the medical reason we had not conceived. Only trusting and believing in the God who faithfully, lovingly, provides for us could "cure" our infertility. It was only through an active trusting acceptance of His plan and purpose on our lives that allowed the blessings to overflow. We would have never chosen first to adopt, and truly believe in God's perfect timing. How else could you describe this amazing encounter of our family of Miracles? To God be the glory!