From infertility to adoption God was with me.
God has a plan.
This is the very definition of faith, isn’t it?
I had my own plan when it came to building our family, and now I know that was the problem. I’m a planner. First comes love, (check,) then comes marriage (check,) then the baby carriage. It wasn’t happening. My type A neurons were firing faster than fireworks at Disney World on the Fourth of July. I had the ovulation kits, the calendar marked. I’d calculate in my head from appointments what would make a spring or a summer baby. “That would be perfect,” I thought, “I can be on maternity leave and it will be nice weather.”
Thus began the IVF cycles, the injections of hormones at timed intervals, the prayers–oh the prayers! “God, please, please let this work. I know you want us to be parents and raise our children in your image, please help this to work. Amen.” Then transfers of embryos, the bloodwork, more praying. Then followed two miscarriages that brought me to a darkness unlike any I had ever known. I was doing everything right! Why wasn’t this working?!?!
Everywhere I looked, there were babies. The mall, the library…don’t even get me started on Target on a weekday. Nowhere was safe–not even the movie theater. I distinctly remember being in church, kneeling after receiving Holy Communion and praying harder than I ever had for God to let it be our turn. Without realizing it, I had tears streaming down my face as I silently whispered, “God, please let this work, we want to be parents, surely it is our turn?”
Next the anger set in. I’ll admit it, I was angry with God. Heck, I was angry with the world. I was angry with the moms with their cute babies in their shiny jogging strollers. I was angry with our doctors, I was angry with myself. It wasn’t fair. Why would God allow two wonderful people who had good jobs, values, a nice home, and loving spirits to continue to want for a family?
I kept going to church faithfully. I still prayed, though my prayers tended to sound like a heated court session on an episode of Law and Order. They went something like this: “God, if you allow for IVF to work and I get pregnant I will ______ (fill in the blank with any do-gooding verb.) Years passed–four to be exact–and I was beside myself. I was trying to figure out how to come to terms with a future that did not include children in it. It was unimaginable.
You see, God did have a plan.
Everyone around us affirmed that “God had a plan.” I tried not to lose it–I was wrought with anxiety and despair. For some reason, even though I’m not a country music fan, a song that had brought me peace before by Garth Brooks would randomly pop into my head. It was about unanswered prayers. The lyrics thanked God for them–that even though He doesn’t answer, it “don’t mean He don’t care, sometimes God’s greatest gift is unanswered prayers.”
Not too much later, a friend told me that for her the goal was never to be pregnant. It was to find herself in that rocking chair, with her child. It dawned on me then. I had been praying for what I thought I wanted. He was listening but was telling me to be patient. The irony? My husband and I always planned to adopt to build our family. I just didn’t think it would be in that order. I was praying for the right and wrong thing at the same time. The goal was to be a mother, not to be pregnant. I just needed to pray that it would take form in the way He wanted and let go of what I thought the order and the process should look like. For the first time in four years, I felt a renewed sense of peace wash over me. I was going to be a mother. I just had to shift my praying.
I know that as I write this, I am doing so with the lens of 20/20 hindsight. We have a beautiful daughter who we adopted at birth. She’s almost three now, and she is the strongest presence of God in my life. You see, after the realization that God wasn’t answering those prayers, we began the process of being cleared for adoption.
My husband took his sad wife to meet with an attorney, and as we were getting up to leave her office, she told us about a potential birth mother who would be “perfect for us.” She told us we had to show our profile right away as she was sending books out that afternoon. You see, God did have a plan. Had we made our appointment for even ten minutes later, we would not have our daughter. Was the path leading to her hard? Absolutely. Was it worth it? You might say it was a prayer finally answered.
From infertility to adoption, God was with me.