Espressos of Faith welcomes another guest blogger today. I don’t know Joan. I was sitting at breakfast the other day with a very dear friend sharing my vision for this blog site, which was to feature stories of hope, faith, healing, and endurance in tough trials—at the end of them, or even in the middle. From time to time, this involves bringing in guest bloggers/writers, or even just courageous non-writers willing to send me sketches of their personal stories to share God’s hope with the world. Upon hearing this, my sweet friend shared Joan’s story with me, and I knew, if she was willing, it could touch others who have walked, or are walking, a similar path. We live all the way around the world from each other; I will likely never meet Joan in person. But, I am honored to meet her in this space and share a piece of her inspiration with you. I think you will find her heartfelt honesty refreshing. She begins with a poem she wrote during her struggles with infertility. Without any further introduction, here is Joan…
Treasure the flutters of first life
For those whose wombs will ever be empty.
Treasure your bump
For those whose bellies will never swell.
Treasure that sleepy 3 AM hug
For those whose sleep will never be disturbed.
Treasure every “Mommy, I love you!”
For those who will never hear the words “Mommy” or “Daddy.”
Treasure your mad and cluttered house
For those whose house will ever be tidy.
Treasure your children
For those who dream of having children every day.
With celebrating Nicole’s adoption day on Monday, I wanted to write about our adoption story and what I learnt about God along the way.
Our journey began Oct 1, 2001. That seems so long ago. We decided as young married couples do, we would start trying for a baby. So full of optimism and hope, we started trying. In December, I was convinced I was pregnant, so off to the doctor I went. The result was negative. I remember thinking, oh this was not how it was supposed to be. But, it was it how was going to be.
Many months of negative results, wondering, hoping just maybe this month will see me pregnant. The niggling thought: What if I never do? In the end, I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. In other words, there was nothing wrong with me; I just could not fall pregnant. And so began a journey of tears, heartache, and shattered dreams.
We began fertility treatment. Every cycle I would pack up my broken heart, put it a box, go for the treatment. For two weeks, we would hope. Then, my heart would break, I would be angry with God, cry and pick up myself up again.
And we would try again.
It was one of the most difficult times of my life. I know some people wonder why infertility is so hard. If you are a parent, close your eyes. Imagine your child comes running to you calling you “Mommy” and gives the biggest hugs. Every couple dealing with infertility dreams that dream, but in their world, it’s just a dream. Never becoming reality. You have a monthly reminder you are not pregnant. Everyone around you is falling pregnant, and your body is not doing the one thing you were designed to do: carry life. It is heart-wrenching and devastating.
For many, it is a silent pain. What I learnt about God is: God knows our pain. It might feel as if He is far away, distant, but He is right there holding us in our darkest hours. His plan is not our plan, but He holds us in the unfolding of His plan as a mother eagle holds her babies. He sends His angels to watch over us. I count several dear ones as our angels during this time. They cried with us, prayed and ultimately celebrated with us.
Two turning points occurred. One was that I suffered a miscarriage. During that hard time God gave me a glimpse of eternity. And the second was my final treatment. After it was negative, I was broken and empty. I let go and let God. When we can longer carry on ourselves, God can. We get in our own way, and when we let go of holding on with our own strength and let Him carry some of the weight, we can rest and just breathe. When James mentioned the option of adoption, for me it wasn’t a second choice; I knew it was God’s choice. I knew this was the way it was supposed to be.
After several months, we were matched with a little girl. When we held her for the first time, it felt as if our hearts were lit up from the inside. I am the picture of the girl standing in front of the Cross holding her suitcase full of her hopes and dreams for her King, not knowing that what He has in store for me is far more than I could ever have imagined!
At Nicole’s dedication, I stated that if God had given me a choice, one road with happiness and biological children and a road with suffering and Nicole at the end, I would choose the road with suffering and Nicole.
Because God’s plan is perfect. And because He loves us.
Psalm 121, King David speaking
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.