18 Nov The Unexpected – Our Adoption Journey
Adoption is not, and never has been, our “plan B.”
We always knew adoption would be part of our story before we got married (or even engaged). At our wedding, a friend gave us a book with a bunch of fun lists to make for dreaming about the future. There was a page titled “List the Things You Want to Do in Life,” and on our honeymoon, we started filling it out. Number 1 on this list? “Adopt.”
We planned to have one or two biological children before adopting. This way, we could learn what it is like to be a parent before throwing in the complexities of adopting a child (and having our first parenting experiences be with a toddler or small child). This was our expectation.
However, in the fall of 2017, we found out that we were infertile. After a few months of different appointments and seeing specialists, we were given a 0% chance of getting pregnant naturally. This was devastating to say the least. Spending your entire life growing up with this expectation of “of course one day I will have a biological child with my spouse,” then having that very basic and foundational expectation suddenly taken away was crushing.
We grieved personally, through counseling, and with our community here in Montana. Little things like seeing each others baby pictures and wondering if our child would have looked more like one of us, or the many announcements from friends that they were pregnant all made our own grief more difficult in this time.
But God was faithful to again bring us back to Him. We had unknowingly placed a lot of our hope in our own expectation of what life would look like. We had expected that our life and family would happen how we had planned. Through infertility, and the season of pain and grief it brought, God was speaking and gently reminding us that He truly is the only one trustworthy and dependable enough to place all our hope in. Hope placed in anything this earthly life may have to offer (even something SO good like pregnancy and family), is a hope that is actually misplaced and it creates a temporal and shaky “footing” in life. God reminded us of the eternal and abundant life He has already given us through Jesus and all He did through his life, death and resurrection. God lifted our heads and our eyes to continue seeing life through this eternal perspective with Him as our foundation and our hope.
After finding out we were infertile, we didn’t want to assume anything about our future and what God had for us. So we started praying and asking: “God do you want us to focus 100% on ministry – the family of Christ – and not have a traditional family (whether through biological or adoption)?” “God, are you trying to show us that we shouldn’t be parents?” “God, is adoption just another thing we assumed and not something you want us to do?”
It was during this wrestling that we had a few significant moments and confirmations.
One such moment came when we were both sitting by the lake, talking about life, and we paused in the conversation to pray and ask God if He had anything to say. We both felt very strongly that adoption was still indeed something He had for us and where He was leading us. For me (Stephen), I felt God say “I created you to be a father.” This was one of those confirming moments I will never forget.
We understand that adoption is not an answer to infertility and that is why part of our process was coming back to God and asking Him if He was still indeed leading us to adopt as we had felt before we were married.
Through prayer and the Lord giving us confirmation, we know He is leading us to adopt, and to adopt now instead of later on in our lives when we might feel more “ready” or equipped.
We are both confident moving forward knowing that adoption is something God has called us to. We are to be parents, to provide a home and security for children, and to see orphans become sons and daughters.
Have you ever prayed or thought about adoption? Check out this resource to find out if adoption might be something to which God is leading you.
If you haven’t read our first blog about how God first led us to adopt, click here!
If you or someone you know is struggling through infertility, a great resource we were given was a book titled When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden. There is even a chapter on adoption in that book that helped us to evaluate our motivations to adopt.