My wife and I got married in February of 2008. In April of the following year, on my birthday she broke the news that I was going to be a daddy. For some of you that have received the same news, you may have found that a bit scary or found yourself wondering if you were ready for the journey ahead. For me, I remember being excited and not so worried. Perhaps I was not as worried because I have been blessed to have five nephews and six nieces. Along with that came a lot of diaper changes, spit up, slobber, vomit, sleepless nights, and an occasional trip to the ER. Did I mention the happiness, endless laughs, and memories?
As the weeks progressed, Stephanie began having some medical complications that ultimately led to the loss of the baby. It was a very difficult time and we handled it in two very different ways.
For me, the pain and hurt were very real, but I was able to hide my emotions deep inside of me. I tried my best to stay emotionally strong for Stephanie. I remember asking God, Why? Why did I have to go thru this? Shortly thereafter God sent a somewhat cryptic message to us by way of a brother in the church. In this message, God said “The answer is not in the question why it’s in his purpose”
If this wasn’t hard enough, our family doctor broke the news that because of the complications around the failed pregnancy. Stephanie and I, would not be able to have children naturally. With that news came, even more, pain and again I wondered what possible purpose there was in this, but as the head of the household, I had to be strong, so I again buried those feelings deep inside and put on a facade that all was well with me.
Exploring Our Options
Sometime later, our Doctor brought up IVF as a possible option. I had an initial problem with the morality of this and spent a period praying about it. For me, this was too close to “Playing God” with the doctors talking about adding an extra chromosome to do this or that. I went along somewhat reluctantly wanting to support my wife but looking for God to close the doors if this was not in his will.
For us the process of IVF it was short lived. Additional complications arose that prohibited us from reaching the end goal. So once again, my wife and I walked away with brokenness knowing that God was shutting this door.
After a lengthy period of time had passed, and some of the pain and hurt had subsided. We decided to explore the process of adoption through an adoption agency. For those of you that have never been down this road, this process is intense, long, and drawn out. Almost immediately the first hurdle we encountered was the costs.
After being told that we needed a minimum of fifteen thousand dollars in hand to begin the process and as much as ten thousand more to complete this process. I again began to question why my wife and I had to go thru this. The agency told us that until we could prove that we had the initial down payment in hand we would remain in a holding pattern, circling endlessly wondering where God was in all of this. As only God can do, and on perfect cue, my employer handed me a check for the down payment.
Talk about stunned, it’s not every day somebody hands you a check for fifteen thousand dollars. We made it pretty far with the adoption agency. Just waiting for the call that we had been matched with our perfect child. Day after day, week and week we waited, and as time began to slip by and our hopes again became faint, a letter arrived from the agency.
On the day, we received the letter, Stephanie called me at work to share what it said. Let me break it down for you and give you the short version. The letter stated that the agency adoption sources had dried up and that they were struggling to pay their bills and could no longer guaranty that a child was destined to reach our home. If that wasn’t hard enough to digest, they asked us to pray for God’s direction and guidance for their agency.
Now I have to tell you where I was mentally and spiritually at this point. I was not in the mood to pray for their agency, in fact, to this day I honestly can’t recall if I ever did during that time. I was at a point of exhaustion. I was drained, spiritually defeated and frustrated. I remember telling Stephanie that we might as well move on with other things we wanted in life and come to the realization that children were not in God’s plan for us. So as hard as that was we prepared to move on, even purchasing our first home and trying to pick up the pieces.
There was only one problem with that. The longing to be parents was still so very strong in both of our lives and we don’t believe God would allow that feeling to be present in your life and never provide us the desires of our hearts. So again, we executed on what little faith we both had left, and decided to look at other options to be able to give our love to children that needed it the most.
In January of 2017, the Lord sent a new family to our church that was active in a foster child program. I approached Stephanie and said, hey what do you think about exploring this a bit further and see what happens.
Shortly thereafter we contacted NYAP (National Youth Advocacy Program) to see what we needed to do to start that process. When they found that we already had an approved home-study and background checks for both the required state and federal agencies, from all of the stuff we had been thru previously, they fast-tracked our certification to become foster parents.
Foster to adopt isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a very real possibility, that we could open our home and take in a child. Then become attached only to have them removed to be reunited with their biologic parent. Now while we hope that is the outcome in one respect we are also worried about how we will deal with that situation when the time comes. Then again what could possibly be worse than what we had already dealt with? What could be worse than never knowing what it’s like to be a mommy or a daddy and to pour love into a child that needed it the most?
I have to say both Stephanie and I had a peace about this process. Perhaps we were just so tired of fighting, just to have our hopes smashed to pieces by a different plan God had for our lives. We prayed that God would send us a healthy baby. One that we could love and care for even if it was just for a brief moment in time.
I remember texting a friend of mine and said, well this just got real. As I opened the door to see not one but two beautiful little boys. Over the next few weeks, we were blessed beyond measure, by not one but two little boys God. The pain for nearly seven years before faded into the background and was replaced by the crying of two little ones that need diapers, food, love or my personal favorite snuggle time.
We have so many memories already that have been made from their first church service and prayer time to family time around the boy’s cribs. Where I am blessed to read to them their children’s Bible and pray over them as they go to sleep. Well, I should say try to get them to go to sleep. I wonder if they still fight going to bed?
As God was working in our lives to alleviate some pain and hurt from the process of the past several years, he was also working in the boy’s mother’s life. We are happy to say the boys are now back with her and are doing very well. We are so blessed that we are able to continue to have windows into their lives and watch them grow up.
The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Our journey is not yet over, in fact, there may be many more twists and turns along the way. I hope that by sharing the hurt and pain my wife and I have had to endure, that we are able to connect with someone and encourage them thru their situation.
For those of you that are reading this blog post and don’t know us or the God we serve, we invite you to come be a part of something that God is doing and witness first hand the things God has for us in the months ahead.