When Ben and I married eight years ago, I never expected to struggle with infertility. I assumed, as most young couples do, children would come along easily when we wanted them. When our trouble started about five years ago, I found myself shocked and dismayed, my dream of a family shattered.
Once we started to pursue adoption, we began to rebuild that dream. Though it was something I desperately wanted, I tried to reconcile myself to the idea that I would not be able to experience pregnancy and childbirth, that having children would look different than we expected. But motherhood was not hopeless. Then we ran into obstacles and dead ends: indifferent social workers that told us it would never happen, friends that abandoned us along the way, and exorbitant costs that prohibited so many options. After all the time, energy, and emotion we put into that process, my hope shattered again – this time into such small pieces I thought it impossible to ever put back together.
So I gave up. I didn’t know what to ask of God anymore, so I didn’t ask anything. I put the thought of children out of my mind and pretended the gaping wound within me didn’t exist. We ended our foster care/adoption license through the state and stopped all other adoption pursuits.
But I’m learning that God can heal the impossibly broken.
One day my husband sent me an article that had caught his eye because the man in it had been at seminary with Ben. The article was about a couple that gave birth to triplets through something we had never heard of before: embryo adoption. Immediately, we began researching and learning what we could about the organization they used, the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC). Slowly, gingerly, hope awoke again – this was a viable option for our situation, with significantly shorter timeline and lower costs compared to private infant adoption. Not long after we began considering embryo adoption and trying to figure out how we could pay for it, some very generous donors gifted us enough to cover all the expenses.
At the beginning of 2017 we began the process of embryo adoption with NEDC and we hope to be finished with the process before the year is over. Even five months later, it has not sunk in that we are taking concrete steps towards becoming parents. After all we’ve been through over the past few years, part of me is bracing for everything to fall apart – there is a myriad of things that could go wrong. It is easy for me to cocoon myself in cynicism, to avoid hope and try to protect myself from disappointment.
But another part of me looks back at our journey and I’m amazed where we have ended up. There were twists and turns I didn’t expect, dead ends where we had to give up and turn around. Though there was much pain, fear, and anger, the Lord brought us to an option that fulfills everything I wanted from the beginning – the chance to carry a child and grow our family – and provided the funds to pursue it. Even for one as weak and doubting as I, God poured upon us such abundant, unexpected grace.
There is no guarantee this journey will end as we want, but I am trying to cling to hope – not because of our circumstances or abilities, but because of who God is, our most gracious and merciful Father.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
– Isaiah 30:18