I never expected to carry a child. When I was 20, a doctor told me that it was highly unlikely that I’d be able to get pregnant. I grieved. I grieved long and hard. I wanted my children to grow up with a biological connection in their lives, and I wanted that connection to be me. I’d always dreamed of looking at a little mini me. I wanted to endure the nine months of pregnancy and bond with them in my tummy. I wanted my children to recognize my voice when they were born. I wanted to breastfeed. I wanted that undeniable “you are mine” feeling. Not that my parents and I didn’t have an unbreakable familial connection… but biology is different. I hadn’t had that before.
I had reunited with my birth family already when the doctor delivered that blow. Seeing people that looked like me, that had a medical history that meant something to me, that had my blood running through their veins was surreal after nearly 20 years without that connection. When I did get what I was searching for in reunion, I wanted more. I wanted my family tree to expand through my future husband’s and my genes. I didn’t realize the magnitude of that until I married the man that would give me my family.
Adoption meant so much to me as it was. After taking time to grieve, I set my heart on adopting someday. I completely wrote off even thinking about getting pregnant. When my husband and I started dating, I made sure he was okay with that from the get go. I told him what the doctor told me and leveled his expectations. “Of course,” he told me, “I would love to adopt someday. And if that’s how we make our family, that’s a dream come true. But I have to tell you, God is going to give us biological children.” It made me cry to hear him say that… mostly because I didn’t want to disappoint him. I was afraid that he was so convinced we’d have kids, and if we didn’t… he’d resent me for it.
Every time we talked about family and children, he reassured me that he looked forward to adopting, but also reiterated that God had assured him adoption isn’t the only way we would become parents. I cried each and every time he said that, afraid that he would be wildly disappointed someday. No matter how much he held me and told me he’d never be disappointed as long as we were together… my anxiety still won.
We got married on December 13, 2014. In December of the following year, we were approached by a woman who was unexpectedly pregnant with a little girl. A one night stand turned into a lifelong commitment. She sent me a message on Facebook explaining that she’d read my article “Why The #ShoutYourAbortion Campaign Keeps Me Up At Night” while she was at the abortion clinic, and that my article led her out the door. Somehow, the words I strung together changed not just her life and mine… but her unborn child’s. If that wasn’t enough, she wanted to know if we’d ever considered adopting.
I went home that evening and told my husband everything. Were we ready for a baby? We’d always dreamed and prayed for a child, and now that there was one on the way, those dreams were suddenly real. We prayed and we fasted for two weeks… then God brought us our answer: Yes.
I hung on to her every word each time we chatted. I stayed focused on how she was doing. Was there anything we could pray for her specifically? I sent her Bible verses and articles that made me think of her. I immersed myself in the Word as I sought guidance about how to communicate with her. Most of all, I just wanted her to be okay. She was about to make a huge decision… not just one that could break her heart, but one that would decide the course of life for a beautiful baby girl. I wanted her decision to be informed and spiritually sound. I didn’t want to push her one way or the other.
As my husband and I prepared our hearts, we called the baby Lucy. We prayed for Lucy and her mama day in and day out for months. We prayed for Lucy’s father, that he’d be involved in the decision making and be at peace with adoption, too. We prayed for their extended family. We prayed that there’d be no judgment or criticism, only love, support and relationships strengthened through God’s faithfulness. I got updates about visits to the doctor. I offered to go when she didn’t have anyone available to go with her. Ultimately, I loved her from a distance. I encouraged her as she brought up another couple she was considering. It was her sister, who had already adopted a child within the family. I gently reinforced our desire to adopt, but somehow still found joy in the fact that she had options. What a gift it was that she was loved on so many sides and supported in so many ways.
We started planning. We let our families in on the big news and asked for prayers and support as we started down the road of adoption... a very familiar road for my family. We talked about how this adoption would be different from mine because we would still have a relationship with Lucy's birth mother. We talked about which room in our home to turn into a nursery. My husband came across a small, white bedside table that was on sale. He bought it, because it would look nice in a little girl's bedroom.
Then one day, about three months later, I opened a message and my heart shattered. Lucy wasn’t meant for us. She belonged to her birth mother’s sister. A completely understandable decision, but still a blow to our selfish hearts.
I had spent more than four years readying my heart for adoption. I’d spent nearly two years readying my husband for that reality. Adoption landed in my lap in the most meaningful way, and then God took it away. He gives and takes away.
We sat in the swing on our back porch for two hours that night and cried. Were we just so excited to start our family that we made up God’s answer to us? Did we convince ourselves of something that was never meant to be?
Had Lucy been ours, we would have been ready. But looking back now, God’s timing was perfect for us, for her birth mother, and for her adoptive parents. God strengthened our marriage. God grew us as individuals. God taught us our first lesson in parenting. God taught us a huge lesson in patience, in grace and in peace. We found peace in his answer eventually, but we cried to Him and mourned our loss.
We celebrated Lucy’s new family, and cried when we saw her first photos. The family that adopted her was always her family. They were her family from the moment God pieced together her DNA. Our purpose in all of it was to be there for her birth mother. Our purpose was to pray and mourn with her. My purpose was to love her. My purpose was to write that article months before she knew she was pregnant. I was living and writing my purpose and I didn’t even know it. My purpose was to fiercely support her from a distance.
A year later, I found out I was pregnant. I took four pregnancy tests because I simply couldn’t believe it. My husband couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe it so much that he asked me who was pregnant when I showed him the positive pregnancy tests.
I prepared to bring August into the world with one thought in the back of my mind every single day: “Not everyone gets to do this.” Pregnancy was the greatest gift God had ever given me. It was hard. I had my own issues. Each trimester tormented me in a different way. It was months of morning sickness or back pain, or it was a mind game of insecurity and doubt. But every time an unpleasant symptom weighed me down, the “what-almost-wasn’t” lifted me right back up.
Now, I look at my son every day with a sense of awe. I take and post a ton of photos and videos because I don’t think it’ll ever get old that he is mine. I am an adoptee with a biological child… the blessing of carrying him in my belly and bringing him into this world is not lost on me.
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