Updated: Mar 6, 2019
How did we get here?
It's been a roller coaster up until this point. Between the ups and downs of high hopes and dashed dreams with fertility treatments, tests, and even prayer, suffice it to say we have been through a lot. Maybe you can (or can't) imagine. Maybe you had been here before and remember. Maybe you are here. Regardless of where you may be in your journey, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope amidst dashed dreams because God is "mighty to save".
"It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” - Isaiah 63:1
Initially, we didn't believe that truth when we heard the news back in 2015 that I was unable to provide children. Kara and I were both shell shocked at the news, but after recovering from that emotionally, we decided to pursue fertility treatments for Kara through donor insemination. It all got really technical and almost took the joy and hope out of our desire because of how medical and methodical everything was. Between appointments, the doctor's pragmatic responses to results and advice, it just felt, at least for me, impersonal and clinical--like a human child was not on the other side of this. Naturally, we did get wrapped up in the hopes that this was going to work. If only we knew, we would have adopted sooner, but I was fully behind my wife's desire to carry. It's unimaginable to me the emotions and pains she was going through and all I could do was feel that I was cheering her on helplessly from the sidelines. We also both had our own bouts with God. The kind where you exclaim with shaking fists "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?". It's shameful today to think I said such words; actually, it got worse. How about "Ah, God, this is who you are and what you do." I was seeing only the fallenness of this world and thinking, yup, this is what God allows so that we can suffer and are forced to hope in Him. Little did I know how ensnared I was with evil's conniving plans to turn me against God and their cheering as I did. Their jeering as we cried and suffered at the loss of a life we had dreamed to make. It is clear to me who the real enemy is, who has forsaken us and God.
I don't mean to give advice, since this is about our story, but if you're reading this: You have to have community in journeys like this. You have to. If it weren't for community and Christian counsel, we would probably still be in some bitter state with God and therefore in continuous despair and/or hardness of heart. It's hard to say where we would be now, but God-given community is everything! All that to say, it was community that turned us around. Church, discipleship group, etc. Even on Sunday, when almost every word I sung became a question (God, you are good became God, are you good?). I have enough psychological issues already (ha!), but I recall my brain actually flipping verbs like "are" around in these type of verses to form a question instead of a true statement. This was good for me because it allowed me to process my struggle. Then in a discipleship group I was able to process with close friends. Their encouragement was good medicine to a sick heart (Proverbs 13:12). In fact, all I could do was seek help. What else could I do (John 6:68)? After being given the strength to fight my own battles, I felt I was able to start comforting my dear wife, who was hurting more than me. I am grateful God had me go through all that because I felt like I was more capable to support my wife, who still felt like all hope was lost. But then something began to change in me before it changed in Kara.
As I came across Bible verses such as Isaiah 53:3 (He was a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief) I started coming to the realization that God gets it. He gets us and our suffering and He knew we would be in ruts like these. In fact, He wanted to take away as much suffering as He could by conquering sin altogether and nailing it to the cross (John 3:16), so that we might have a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). So in comes Isaiah 63:1: "I am mighty to save". This spurred in me a deep desire of all the hurting people out there. Those who do not have a future and a hope without God. But who's to say they can't? What I mean is, what if God could use Kara and me to give someone a future and hope in Christ? I know adoption isn't about this savior mentality, and yet when it comes down to it, there is a deep need to adopt. I started looking into the facts and there are countless orphans in need of a family. Only 2% of American families actually adopt (from the 33% that even consider adoption). I firmly began hearing God's call in this way.
God clearly calls us to care for the "least of these" (Matthew 25:40) and given Kara and my unique circumstances, I started believing we simply must adopt. We both desire a family and we both want to raise a baby, but we can't have a biological child. Maybe it sounds like we were forced into the adoption process because we couldn't have our "own" child, but this couldn't be farther from the truth. God's plan all along was to stir in us the desire to adopt because we would be doing just that. But we weren't ready at the beginning of this journey. This was all part of His glorious plan and future for us. Before time, His story was to send His son to die for us so that we may have this story today; and ultimately, that our future child would have one too.