Five years ago I met a sweet little girl. I remember the first time I saw her. She came to church with her Pappo and she was dressed in the cutest little yellow dress. I was sitting in the back pew and she was in the pew right in front of us. I’m a baby magnet and I tried so hard to get her to come sit with me, but Pappo was the only person she wanted. Little did I know that five months later we would invite this 14 month old to live with us.
We never thought we’d adopt. In fact, we were in the middle of an IVF cycle when she came to live with us. But we knew that God had the helm and we accepted the direction he was taking us. We immediately went to court to obtain temporary custody. We wanted to be able to provide her insurance and provide an extra layer of legal protection. We had witnessed a friend lose a 2 year old after they’d had her for 2 years. They didn’t have legal custody, just a verbal promise. We saw that heartache and didn’t want to experience that for ourselves.
Here we are 5 years later and she started first grade this week. I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. I often laugh inside when I hear people tell me how much my daughter looks and acts like me. Sometimes I tell them she’s adopted and sometimes I keep that secret to myself. Not because I’m embarrassed, but because I don’t feel like going into the story. I just simply say, “Thanks, isn’t it amazing!?” I love to hear responses of incredulous doubt though. “Really? She’s adopted? She’s just like you. No way!”
I often wonder if I was so drawn to her at church because I was meant to be her mother. I know things happen for reasons. “If this hadn’t happened, then this wouldn’t have happened.” I look back over my last 41 years and I see how the Lord led me through certain experiences to help me gain the experience or meet a person or prepare me for a particular trial.
I don’t regret going through fertility and not being successful. That journey truly led us to our 3 children. After we adopted our daughter, we took Path classes to be foster parents, in hopes that we could adopt her baby sister. When we found out in March that we couldn’t get her, we went ahead with our fifth IVF attempt and were successful at getting pregnant. What happened next was heartbreaking, but if it hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t have our boys. I had a miscarriage in July. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. It was more emotional and downright depressing. We had spent $35,000 on trying to get pregnant. I’ll admit, I sucked my thumb for a month. Then I woke up and realized that I had a daughter that needed me. Then almost 3 months later DCS called to ask us if we had place for a baby born that morning and his 22 month old brother. If I’d been still pregnant, we’d never have brought them into our home.
See, things really do happen for a reason. Some people would say, “Miscarriage? What a horrible experience? Why didn’t you curse God and quit?” Because I know that He has a plan for me and I must have Faith in Him. Here we are 2.5 years later with perspective and experience under our belt.
Here’s what I would tell my young newlywed self: Laura, don’t you lose hope for an eternal family. You don’t know His plan. Go forward in faith and everything will work out. You don’t know what the future holds for you, but whatever it holds, don’t you lose hope. Live with no regrets for the path that you about to embark on.
If you know someone struggling with infertility, send them a link to our blog. I will begin a podcast shortly and will be interviewing professionals about the financial aspects of fertility and adoption. Stay tuned for more information.
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