Since we were children, my husband and I knew we each wanted to marry someone that had a desire to adopt. Fortunately, we both did and as our relationship progressed, we assumed we’d adopt after having biological children. We wanted to wait about 5 years to have any children, but after being married a little over a year, we went on a mission trip to Haiti together and fell in love with the children there. We decided to start the adoption process from Haiti straightaway.
Through a long and difficult process, we learned that to adopt a Haitian child, we had to have been married for 10 years and one of us had to be 35 years old. We were completely devastated. We were really hoping to have a child.
Soon after, we heard about a visiting sponsor program through the Florida Baptist Children’s home where one of the children on their campus would spend one weekend a month with us. Since it was too soon to adopt, we decided to sponsor a teenage girl for over a year through this program. She ended up being adopted and moving out of town. At her going away party, her caseworker mentioned that we’d be great foster parents. We talked more with her about it and it led to us being foster parents for almost 3 years. We fostered six different children (anywhere from 1 month to 4 years old!).
During this time, we were praying for Haitian law to change. We received news that it did 3 years later, when we happened to be living there, but we still did not meet the age requirement. We had moved to Haiti for 2 years and began working in orphan care. Just before we did, we were approaching 5 years of marriage, and decided to start trying for biological children. Little did we know this would be one of the hardest seasons of our marriage. After trying for a year, we saw a fertility specialist who told us that even with the most aggressive and expensive treatment, it was unlikely that we’d conceive. We had already decided that we would rather adopt another child than pay for the most expensive fertility treatment. We began letting go of the idea of ever have a biological child, but wanted to trust God for a miracle. It was so hard. I don’t know if I have ever struggled with my faith more.
I was sad. I was angry. I was heartbroken.
I often wondered what I had done wrong and if God was punishing me for earlier decisions I had made.
I began to go to a Redemption Care Group at City Church and worked through my anger and sadness in a place where I wasn’t judged or given a go-to “Christian answer”. In my Care Group, I was presented with Truth in the most loving way possible. I was specifically reminded of God as Immanuel and that he was with me even in this most difficult time. It was during that time that God started reminding me of this same truth in tangible ways. While the sadness was still there, my anger had subsided, and I was able to talk to God directly about my sadness and ask Him to help me through it. I began to pray for a miracle again, which was scary because there was three years worth of disappointment there. God reminded me that He was in control and that He could still give us a biological child, but He also may choose not to.
We recently studied Daniel in our City Group at City Church, but before that I had read Daniel 3:18 (“But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up”).
This became my verse because I knew God could perform a miracle, but I had to believe that even if he didn’t, He was still good. I had to “fake it till I made it” for a while, repeating this verse over and over again. After a month of doing so, I got the courage and faith to call another fertility specialist to get a second opinion. When I made the appointment, they asked about the last test I’d taken – and it had been a while. I kept the appointment and took a test the next day, expecting what would seem like the hundredth negative, but it wasn’t. It was positive!! I took about 12 more. They were ALL positive! God had given us a miracle!
I knew He could, but wasn’t sure if He would, but He did! I thought that would be the end of struggling to trust God, but there are many things that can go wrong throughout a pregnancy and we had some scares along the way.
My faith and trust in God has grown so deeply and Daniel 3:18 continues to give me strength each day. We just had our baby girl a few short weeks ago and we are officially in the adoption process from Haiti. So we will soon have 2 children that will be a part of our family forever and we are so grateful to God that He has given us these blessings. I used to watch baby dedications, torn apart inside, wanting a child so desperately. Now I can confidently say that this child is a miracle from God! It is really difficult, but remarkable to hope even when doctors or others say there is no point in hoping. Anything is possible with God!