We’ve had several friends asking us a great question since announcing our adoption news: How did we know we were called to adopt, and why now? I mentioned that Greg and I have always thought adoption would be something we do as family. We know there is a need for it, and it is something we strongly believe in. I imagined that I would have 3 or so babies biologically, and then we would adopt (big family, I know;). When we attempted to start growing our family again over the past year and a half, things didn’t happen as easily as the first go round. We experienced two pregnancies, and unfortunately, both of them ended in miscarriage. The first one never felt fully ‘right’, so it didn’t surprise me. It was earlier on, and I had a sense of peace that it happened for a reason.
The second, however, was a different situation. Right away, I felt very pregnant. Greg and I were so excited! Remy would say constantly, “Mama, you have a baby in der?” Oh, how my mama heart melted. Just like I knew Remy was a boy from early on, I just knew this baby was a little girl. I journaled my thoughts a week before our ultrasound: “…I’m just so thankful. My body is exhausted, and I’ve felt more nauseous this go round but the signs reassure me that baby is growing strong. We praise you, Lord, for the gift of life. For carrying us through and allowing us to experience the many emotions that children bring to us, and that you use to grow us. I’ll have my appointment with Dr. Dickerson a week from Monday and look forward to seeing a healthy heartbeat, God willing.” I felt confident and allowed myself to be excited despite our previous loss. Little did I know, that excitement would take a turn on the morning of my ultrasound. I waited patiently on the table for the tech to come back in the room. She was the same one I saw for our previous miscarriage, and I almost mentioned my excitement to her, knowing things were different this time. She started looking around, and right away I saw our baby on the screen. A sigh of relief fell over me. There, my baby is there. Growing right where she is supposed to be. The tech’s words to follow still haunt me. She couldn’t find the heart beat. I asked her to keep looking, and she did, but there was no blood or oxygen flowing anywhere. She said based on the baby’s size, it appears the heart stopped beating about a day or two before. So there I was, all alone, being told that I had life inside me, but that it was no longer living. How is that even possible? Greg was halfway across the world in Tel Aviv, and I was in Louisiana without a way to reach him for several hours. I went in the next morning to have a d&c, and then just like that, I was supposed to carry on. No longer pregnant. Only empty. I felt empty. Our Doctor confirmed she was a girl, and that she had trisomy 13, a chromosomal disorder rarely viable with life outside the womb. While that news helped begin the closure process, there was a dark cloud that loomed over me. I returned to our life in Tel Aviv, but was cold and distant, particularly from Greg. I knew he couldn’t fully understand everything I physically went through in the loss of our baby, and for whatever reason I blamed him for that. It wasn’t until I had nothing left to cling to that I slowly began to let go of the pain.
For those who haven’t battled with miscarriages or infertility, it may be hard to understand. But, in the chance you have felt the same way, I share this part of my story to let you know that you don’t struggle alone. I honestly believe that it was in the depths of that despair where the Lord started to change my heart. To trust that despite the sorrow and the loss, that He is good. There is purpose in all of this. I had been too focused on what I thought my life should look like that I didn’t see all the goodness He was providing. There was so much beauty amidst the brokenness. Over time, my heart grew less bitter. As a family, we started ending each day in prayer, giving thanks for specific things that day (we still do this now). As the list began to grow, I started seeing how God’s plan is better than anything I could plan for myself. My prayers slowly shifted from ‘my will be done, to Thy will be done.” My heart began to know peace again.
In the months to follow, the idea of adoption kept popping up in my mind. I started reading stories about adoptive families and questioning why I was so interested in it. We were trying to get pregnant, and I desired as much. I brought my thoughts up with Greg, and adoption soon became a regular topic of conversation for us. We would ask each other honest questions like, “Do you think you can love another baby as much as you love Remy?” “Are we prepared for how this will change our family?” “Now?” “Are you sure you’re on board with this?” In all the questioning and thought processing, there wasn’t really any area that we disagreed on. It’s almost as if the decision was made for us. Of course…we are called to adopt! And while our story begins from a place of loss, we don’t look at this decision as second best or “Plan B.” I believe it was the loss that made me let go of control. I wasn’t able to decide how or when our babies were going to come into our family. So I started to let go, and let the Lord guide us. Through conversation and prayer, we arrived to our decision together…to begin this journey of excitement and unknown, but one we confidently pursue because we can trust Him. And trust in Him we do.