When I was a little girl, I dreamed of marrying and having a family by the time I was 30. We would have a set of twin boys and another boy shortly after. Their names would all start with the letter “t” (though I’m not sure why). I envisioned myself with a large, pregnant belly, and I relished the thought of raising children that carried genetic components of my husband and myself.
After we had tried to have kids for a few years, I started to wonder if God had a different plan for my family. I was approaching the age of 30, and we were still unable to conceive. I could see my dream slipping through my fingertips, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
We struggled with infertility for four years, and had a “diagnosis” of unexplained infertility. In other words, multiple doctors had no idea why we couldn’t conceive. After trying four different fertility procedures, we found ourselves at a crossroad and unsure of where to go.
I wanted to pursue more expensive fertility treatment first, and then adopt if the treatment did not work. But after considering the financial investment of fertility treatments and adoption, we realized we could only afford to pursue one option. We had to decide between adoption or a fertility treatment called in vitro fertilization (IVF).
My husband was very open to adoption, and I was resistant. He agreed to research adoption further, and I promised I would go to an informational meeting if he did the research. We also set up a meeting with our fertility doctor to discuss the possibility of IVF.
As we sat in the adoption information session at Bethany Christian Services, we felt a spark of hope for the first time in four years. As adoptive parents shared their stories with us, we saw how God could grow our family through adoption. We left feeling excited and hopeful, two emotions we hadn’t felt in a long time.
The next day we met with the fertility specialist and discussed our treatment options. From the moment I walked into his office, I felt sadness and despair. The stark surroundings reminded me of our four failed treatments, and I wasn’t sure I could handle more disappointment. If we tried IVF and it didn’t work, we would be out of money and still without a child. I cried the whole way home, because I knew I had to let go of my dream of having a biological child.
As we discussed our options, we decided to pursue domestic infant adoption. We chose infant adoption, because we wanted to have the opportunity to raise a child from infancy. We started the tedious process of filling out adoption paperwork, yet I found myself wondering if we made the right decision.
In infant adoption, the birthmother chooses the adoptive parents she wants to raise her child. Once matched with an adoptive family, she can decide to parent the baby any time before finalization. That was terrifying to me. It felt like my ability to become a parent was dependent on someone else.
I remained scared and unsure throughout the adoption process. The fear of a failed adoption (where the birthmom decides to parent her child) consumed me. I struggled with mild anxiety every time I met with my son’s birthmom. What if I did something she didn’t like? What if I spend all of this time and energy building a relationship, and she still changes her mind?
God was asking me to walk through a door I did not want to walk through. I was scared what I would find on the other side. How could I trust God when He already allowed pain and loss to enter my story?
I had a choice. Either I continue to hold tightly to my dream of what my family would look like, or I could entrust my dream to God. I prayed daily that God would allow me to entrust my dream to him, so that my arms would be empty to receive what He had for us.
What God had for my family turned out to be so much better than anything I planned. Today we have two beautiful children adopted from two different birthfamilies. They look similar to one another and to my husband and me. Each one shares multiple personality traits with myself, my husband, and our extended family. My son and I share a fear of the unknown, and we can sleep through everything. While my husband and daughter share a love of figuring out how things work, and their overactive minds make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
You would not know that we are an adoptive family just by looking at us, but I love to tell people our story. It gives God the glory for putting our family together. It shows His workmanship and His attention to detail. He formed my kids’ bodies separately in their mothers’ wombs and chose them to be in our family.
I always say that adoption is messy. If it wasn’t messy, the child would not need to be adopted. But adoption is made beautiful by God. He redeems the messy situation, and makes it beautiful by His grace.
If you struggle with infertility and/or are considering adoption, I pray you will join me this month on my blog. I will be sharing more of our story throughout the month of November in honor of National Adoption Month.
May you be encouraged as you read our story and know that you are not alone, you are not invisible, and there is hope. You can entrust your dream for your family to Him one day at a time.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11