T-Minus 6 Days!

We spent many hours praying and talking together after our meeting with Alfred, the adoption attorney. We spent time reviewing the research that we had gone through, ensuring that our process had been thorough and that our decision was what God wanted for us.

We believed God was saying yes to Alfred. We called his office and let his assistant know that we would be proceeding with our adoption process with Alfred as our attorney.

The adventure had officially begun!

We were given the name of three independent social workers in the Seattle area and called each of them. The first lady we spoke with came across in her conversation with Jane as quite cold, she didn’t seem too excited about the prospect of working with us, and we didn’t feel too peaceful about it either. We called the second social worker and what a difference! Such a lovely sounding lady, who was extremely thorough in what she covered with us – we felt like she would be a good fit for us! Onto the third social worker, and that was quite interesting! Her email address sounded like a 13 year old’s… Interesting choice!

We prayed about the three options, and with very little to go by other than the three short phone calls and the paper work they had all emailed through to us, we chose number two! We had tried to find more information about them personally online, but couldn’t see anything. But we felt peaceful with our choice. She was by far the most in-depth and detailed with the forms we had to fill in, and while that was a little frightening, we loved it!

We called our social worker back — let’s call her Amanda. She was delighted that we were choosing to work with her, and she encouraged us on our way to fill in the paperwork! The forms were numerous. Five references for friends and family, and a reference for each of us to be completed by a colleague. A financial form detailing almost as much information as needed for our mortgage. A medical examination form to be completed by our doctor. Confidential disclosure forms as well as multiple background checks for FBI, State Patrol and DSHS. An application form, and the questionnaire… Oh the questionnaire!

The first miracle in our journey with Amanda was her discovering that the lengthy international background check for me, being a UK citizen, would not be necessary. The UK doesn’t have an exact background check for the specific type of information needed, so the additional two-month wait we thought we would have to endure was instantly cleared!

Amanda encouraged us to get on with our background check paperwork, which included our FBI Fingerprints. So, off we went to our scheduled fingerprint examination. Our first expense towards our adoption and we loved every minute of it!

From there, we distributed our references and began working on our paperwork. It’s a good thing we’re excited about this, because we sure were motivated to work on all the forms.

Then came the questionnaire! The word count just for the questions totaled 2,500 words! That was just the questions. And next to each question it said, ‘please be thorough in your response and leave no time unaccounted for’. Jane and I took it in turns writing our entire life story from birth to present, best and worst moments, questions on our relationship, on how we view children, methods of discipline, wills, interracial adoption and so much more.

On the morning of Thursday, April 23rd, I called Amanda to ask a few questions and let her know that we would be submitting our paper work that night. Jane was out at the time dropping her parents at the airport. Amanda dropped the bomb shell on me with Jane not even home. ‘So, shall we just book your home visit in now then? Would this time next week work?’ What?! Is this a test? If I say no, will she think we’re hiding something and need to time to work on our coverup plan? That’s April 30th. The following day, Jane is leading a women’s retreat and Arundel’s Dad arrives from England. Practically speaking, Amanda, that day would be a bit of a nightmare. So I said, ‘Yes!’

Oh my goodness… The countdown clock was ticking. T-Minus 7 days until the home study visit, where Amanda will walk through every part of our home, analysing it for any possible problems that could hinder us from safely having a child in our care. She’ll drill us with questions for 3 hours, together and separately. And in that short amount of time, she will come to the decision with the authority of Washington State to approve or deny us as potential adoptive parents. Yes, that’s all happening next week… God help us.

After hours and hours of writing during the rest of that cloudy Seattle Thursday, we reached page 30 and 22,600 words of our questionnaire! Our fingers were numb. That night, we collated all of our completed documents and emailed them to Amanda. Our first round of paperwork — complete! Amanda emailed back this morning and thanked us for our very thorough responses. In fact her words were, ‘Thank you for being so thorough! I am very struck by your commitment to this process.’ Exciting!

So here we are, sitting in our home, which in the past 30 hours has undergone somewhat of a minor renovation already. A new coffee table, a potted yucca plant, a new kitchen rug, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, shelves for the garage, a secure box for medicine, artwork for the guest room, a chair for the baby room, office chairs, and a couple of new candles to top it all off. Even the doggies are booked in for grooming the day before she comes! Perhaps we’re a little excessive. But hey, we have a home study, my Dad visiting and the biggest party we have ever hosted all in four days! Why wait any longer?

Annabelle thinks the new coffee table is a great addition!

Annabelle thinks the new coffee table is a great addition!

The to-do list is endless between now and Thursday at 10.30am. From weeding to touch up paint, hanging artwork to testing smoke alarms, printing pictures to mowing the lawns.

But God. He’s in every step of this process, and while we sit by the roaring fire on this cold night, we’re reminded that God has all of this under control. While he laughs at our small efforts to impress during the home study, he already knows where our baby is and he’s ready to call them home.

Arundel

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Google Doesn’t Have All The Answers.

In this day and age, Google answers all. At least, that’s how us twenty-somethings generally think.

Once Arundel and I were on the same page in terms of wanting to pursue more information about the possibility of adoption, I went to work researching all of our options. Initially, we found an agency that was started by a church in our area. They had a great story behind how they got started — God really made a way for them. They also had an amazing heart for what God wants in the adoption process.  I got in touch with them and we signed up to go to their next orientation meeting.

It was a cold December Saturday morning and it was the first time Arundel and I had heard anyone talk about adoption that actually works in the field. It was eye-opening and heart-wrenching, for sure. As we sat there and listened to these people filled with the Father’s heart for His orphans, our hearts also stirred within us and we were feeling more and more confirmation in our spirits that Jesus was directing us towards adoption. We were passionate about this agency, and could really see ourselves working with them. However, when we spoke to them about what ages of children they generally place into adoptive families, they told us that they were only placing 5 years old and up. It would be 6 months to a year before they would work with any younger children.

And I tried to convince myself that we could handle a 5 year old. That we shouldn’t be “selfish” and want a younger child. That in order to really be doing God’s work, it had to break you (as I knew adopting a 5 year old would, at this point in life).

We went home that day and were full of mixed emotions. I was so excited that we were actually moving forward – actually talking to an agency and starting to look towards the future instead of just staying stuck in our present lack. I could also almost hear my sweet husband’s mind working on over-drive trying to process all the information we had just received, and I knew that I needed to give him space. I decided that I would wait a little while before I asked him what he thought about it. Unfortunately, 5 minutes into being home again and it had felt as if a week had gone by. “So, what do you think?” My eyes were obviously hopeful and my tone prying. You would think that after waiting 3 years, I would have gotten that whole patience thing nailed by now.

Nope.

Arundel graciously explained that he needed some time to think, and understood my excitement and curiosity. I kept my thoughts reserved for the rest of the day to try to allow him some mental space. We talked through things the next day, and Arundel said what I knew all along was true — that we both knew that God was telling us that He had a younger child for us. That adopting a 5 year old isn’t right for us right now.

This is the part where God reminded me (yet again) of how good He really is. Remember how I said that it was feeling as though in order to really be doing God’s work, it had to break you?

Well, God did break me.

He broke that wrong thinking off of me. He broke my skewed way of seeing things, and He reinforced His goodness in me. He reminded me that He isn’t walking us through this trial just to watch us suffer. He isn’t looking for a martyr. No matter what we go through, none of it ever even begins to compare to what He has already done for us. He reminded me that I need to trust Him — not just to get us through barely alive, but to bring us into His promised land.

Somehow, I had it in my mind that wanting to adopt an infant is not as worthy or as valuable as adopting an older child. I was believing that in order to fully represent Jesus to our future children, we had to put aside our dreams and just accept what was in front of us. But, God reminded me: HE put those dreams in us. And to put aside those dreams would be to put aside His promise over us.

Needless to say, a huge weight lifted off of me the moment I really took to heart what God was trying to show me — that we don’t have to settle.

Arundel and I agreed that we really loved the agency we had met with, so we should wait for their infant placement program to begin in 6-12 months.

It wasn’t until almost 3 months later that we heard from them again. We reached out to them to ask what we could be doing in the mean time to get ahead of the game. Our sweet contact at that agency replied and sadly let us know that it would realistically be longer than 12 months before they could start their infant placement program.

We were disappointed, but thankful that we were able to find out then, and not 9 months later. We decided to begin looking into other agencies and options.

So, back to Google I went. I searched page after page of adoption-related resources, and sifted through what felt like classified ads for sweet little souls across the country. We looked deeper into a few more agencies in our area, but none were right for us. Either their values didn’t line up with ours, or they weren’t accepting new families, or they simply never responded to us. Either way, we got no where.

Twenty-somethings, I have news for you:

Google doesn’t have all the answers.

And, Mama still knows best.

A couple of weeks prior, I had sat there telling my Mom about all the different agencies we were sifting through and how none of them seemed to be right. That’s when she told me, “you need to speak with our friends who have adopted before — I think you’ll like the way they did it.”

She was referring to some dear family friends who have two beautiful children that God brought to them through adoption. We reached out to them and asked for their recommendation. They immediately told us about the adoption attorney they used and how amazing he was. Isn’t it crazy how we can search for weeks and weeks on our own, and nothing will come from it? But, when we reach out and accept help from those in the community God has placed us in, He connects us right where we are supposed to be?

The following week, we had our first appointment with the attorney.

We showed up to his swanky office in a big skyscraper in Downtown. We took the elevator up to the 11th floor, realized it was the wrong floor, went back down to the lobby, then back up to the 15th floor – and waited in his lobby for what seemed like an eternity (it was probably 10 minutes). While we were waiting, we sneaked a couple of selfies in (Exhibit A – we are trying to document the whole process!), giggled about our awkwardness, and admired the art on the wall. When the attorney walked by us on the way to his office before our appointment, Arundel recognized him. He told me later that he took one look at the attorney’s wrinkle-lined face and thought, “I hope he isn’t jaded, passionless, or tired of this job. I hope he still enjoys this just as much as when he started.”

Exhibit A - These moments are worth documenting, right?

Exhibit A – These moments are worth documenting, right?

Boy, does he. Our attorney – we’ll call him Alfred – was exuberant, dedicated, and authentic. He gave us time to ask him all our questions, to hear as much knowledge from him as we could, and he really cared about where we were at in the process. He laid out the timeline of things. He showed us how it would work if we went with an agency, or if we went independently — and he did it without bias. He told us how difficult it would be, but also how rewarding it always is. He shared with us stories about families he has worked with in the past and what their experiences were like. He told us about his own family, and how much he loves his kids and grandkids.

Exhibit B - from where we sat.

Exhibit B – from where we sat.

We walked away from that meeting and I was sure of it in my heart…

We would pursue an Independent Domestic Adoption.

Jane

Third Place

The best scenario per my ‘life plan’ was that we would have biological children – our own “mini-me’s”. Adoption was a definite second place option in my mind, reserved for those unable to have children and/or those who had an inordinate amount of love for orphans. So, when the doctor flippantly revealed our results and told us the only options were a sperm donor or adoption, I had deep issues with both.

While Jane was relatively quick to come around to the idea of adoption, it definitely took me a much longer time to process that possibility. My parents had fostered dozens of children through my teen years, and to be brutally honest, my love for those in the social service system was not overflowing. I’d had the opportunity to live with a variety of very interesting kids with some serious issues and I clearly had a wall up to the possibility of adopting a foster child, or taking on a child that was the result of an unwanted pregnancy.

Yes, I realise how bad that sounds, but it’s the truth, and I want you to see where I was, so you can see where I have come to. Not so you can give me a virtual pat on the back and say “well done!” But so that anyone who is in our situation and thinks that adoption is an absolute no-go zone might consider otherwise.

I battled with the idea of adoption the first few weeks after the doctor’s meeting. In my head, he was giving us his second and third best options. Finding a sperm donor was second best, and if not that, then adoption. I won’t go into it now, but the sperm donor wasn’t even an option in our eyes, so that left us with just number three. God had chosen us for third place. Or had he?

You see, what God began to unveil to me over those crucial weeks was more of His heart for us. Each and every Christian has been adopted — adopted into God’s family. Our birth parents could not offer what He has to offer, and so He adopted us. He rescued us. He saved us. Adoption is built into the very central core of God and who He is. I love the way that our pastor phrased it,

“As a father of five biological children, I have seen God’s father heart as I have walked through being a father to each of them, just like how God fathers us. I have learned more and more about God’s father heart in each step. BUT, to have the opportunity to adopt a child into your family. That is not just like how God fathers us, that is how God fathers us. What better way to witness God’s love for us, and witness the pride and jealous heart He has for us, than to have adopted a child just as God has adopted us.”

Through countless conversations with both those who have adopted, those who we are close with us, and through prayer, God began to slowly break down my self-built wall, and adoption began to become a possibility in my heart. Was God giving us third place, or perhaps first?

Psalm 82:3 says that we are to “defend the cause of the weak and fatherless”. After hearing story after story of how countless women in our region end up contemplating an abortion after conceiving a child of which they don’t know who the father might be, it struck me. Is third place becoming a father to one of these children? Is third place fulfilling God’s mandate to defend the fatherless? Is third place standing in the gap and saying to a fatherless newborn, “I love you, my child.”?

Now hear me out, I am in no way belittling the God given gift of having biological children — and trust me, it is a gift. What I am saying, is that this is what God has challenged me with over the past few months in the lead up to our decision to adopt. Why does our culture view adoption of children, of pets, of orphans in Africa as an “awww that is SO good of you!”?

Having been given the opportunity to step into the exorbitant blessing of possibly adopting, I have come to realise I am not settling for third place. I am choosing God’s first place plan for our life. Switching my mindset from “I’m infertile, so we’re adopting” to “God’s miraculous plan for us is adoption” took many months, but I’m there. It was a journey of deep conversations, much prayer, and overwhelmingly powerful story after story of God’s heart for adoption.

Adoption wasn’t in my life plan, it wasn’t part of my perfect life situation. But when I am handed our son or daughter, and I get to look at my Jane in the eyes, no doubt with tears streaming down my face – I will definitely be in first place.

Arundel

Turning Towards Adoption

In this life, we don’t choose our struggles. During the first 3 years of infertility that we encountered, there were times when I would feel the hopelessness weighing down on me. And, honestly, I would sometimes find my heart asking that little 3-letter word that seemed so forbidden.

“Why?”

Why us? And why now? And why does it have to take so long? Why, God? Why the pain and why the heartache?

Jesus promised us, “In this world, you will have trouble.” As Christians, it is easy for us to decide in our hearts the type of trouble we are ready to come up against. During those times when the battle between my ‘why’ and my faith raged within me, I often wondered why we had to be living this trouble. Why couldn’t we have had another? Why did it have to be the very thing that we had been waiting for, praying for, dreaming of for years? Why did God choose for us to walk through this trouble when it seemed as though He had given us everything we needed to be parents….except for children?

I truly believe that there will be a day when I hold our sweet baby in my arms, gaze at their beautiful face, and I will be able to say, “this was why.”

Because God’s story is so much better than ours. His story is more adventurous, more passionate, more thrilling. It is deeper, truer and richer than what we could ever come up with.

And His story is always about redemption.

In order for there to be redemption, there must be heartache. There must be a tearing, a loss, a death. There must be separation and pain. When you are living through that pain, it feels like a nightmare. But, amazingly, the very nature of who God is doesn’t leave us in that nightmare.

You see, the difference between a nightmare and redemption is hope.

At the lowest moments in our journey, hope has been our anchor. Not a cheap, flaky, “I hope you feel better!” kind of hope; a raw, real, dirty hope that has been through the nastiest storms and comes out the other side in one piece. This anchor of hope has been what kept us from living a nightmare. Instead, we get to live a redemption story.

Where did that redemption come in?

Approximately 48 hours after Arundel and I sobbed our eyes out in misery at the dire news from our doctor. That was when my heart had turned. Do you ever just bawl and bawl your eyes out until it feels like something is out of your system? That’s what happened. Don’t get me wrong, the news still took a while to process emotionally and really wrap our heads around. But, the initial shock was wiped away with the buckets of tears, and I woke up 2 days later with hope in my heart, because I knew that the next step would be such a beautiful one.

I knew our next step was adoption.

It was as if someone had opened a door in my heart that I never knew was there. When that door opened, it was flung wide to reveal a place that was empty all this time and I never even knew it. God showed me that He had placed in my heart room for adoption. I hadn’t seen it before, but it was there. I am forever thankful that Jesus allowed me to immediately see how adoption was for us. I know that for most people, it is not an easy transition and not something that everyone can accept. I am in awe of the way that God prepares our hearts without us knowing it, and all while we are complaining that He isn’t doing anything about our pain.

He really is a good Father.

I didn’t have to go away and convince myself that I could love a child I didn’t carry. I didn’t have to search within myself for the guts to do it or for the courage to be vulnerable with our need. It was there, because God put it there from the very beginning. He knew we would be here. He knew I would need it. He knew that door in my heart would be opened, and He had already given me what I needed to be a Mother. I was just looking in the wrong place.

Jane

The Unveiling of God’s Story

You’d expect for the week after the doctor’s diagnosis to have been very difficult. You’d be absolutely right. It was a very hard and emotional week for both of us. For my bride, it was coming to the realisation that her dream of pregnancy, and having our very own babies wouldn’t be in our future. For me, it was knowing that I was the reason our dreams would be unfulfilled.

We could have allowed ourselves to spiral into a whirlwind of self-pity. We could have become angry towards God. Jane had every right to be furious at me.

But, none of that happened. Don’t get me wrong, we were devastated. Speaking to our family in person and to our family in England on Skype, we were in floods of tears. It seemed as though our dreams were drifting into the distance and we had no way of catching them.

Self-pity was a route we could have easily gone down, inviting everyone to feel sorry for us, becoming inward focused and and and… Unfortunately that rarely accomplishes anything decent. We’re both pretty driven people, and when someone throws a barrier up and says something is impossible, we’re the type to say, ‘absolutely not! After all with God all things are possible! Right?’

We could have gotten angry at God. We could have been mad. Torn our bibles up and thrown them out. We could have decided that God is not a good God because he took from us the one thing we had been praying for religiously every night since our wedding night. If He loved us, surely He would allow us to get pregnant and have biological babies, correct? We could have turned all our attention to being mad at God, or we could have just turned around and seen the amazing plan that God was orchestrating right behind our backs all along.

Shortly after the meeting, I began to think how mad Jane would be at me. She would see that I was the only problem in this situation. Not in my gorgeous girl’s eyes. We’re one, and so as she immediately recognized, this was not my problem to deal with. This was something that belonged to both of us, and something that we got to walk through together. It wasn’t me that had the problem with infertility, we were walking that road together. Sure, medically speaking I was the one with the issue, but spiritually speaking, this was our issue. And somehow, our amazing God was able to reveal that to her the instant we heard the words from the doctor’s mouth.

I never felt any resentment, any anger, any disappointment aimed at me. Sure, we resented the situation, we were angry at the problem, and disappointed with the reality of it. But we walked through it together, not in retaliation to each other, blaming for this or that. It was quite a beautiful journey.

The day after we found out, I was in the middle of teaching and realised there was no way I could make it through the day. We needed to be together, and to spend quality time processing this. We dropped everything headed to the family vacation house so that we could find some space to be quiet and process our thoughts.  So ensued the most amazing weekend away together. We stayed up to the early hours of the morning, at first crying, then talking, and by the end of it laughing hysterically as we began to unveil the story that God was writing for us. It was one of the most precious, valuable and beautiful moments in our marriage. We were in more unity than we had ever experienced. Isn’t it amazing how the pain that rips our hearts apart can sew us together closer than anything else can?

This is a story that we look forward to sharing with you. A story of beauty from ashes. A story of how God brought our family together from nothing. A story of a child being rescued and adopted into our new family.

Arundel

Passing Comment or Life Changing Moment?

I had a pretty good grip on what life was meant to look like.

1. Be born    2. Go to school    3. Get married    4. Get a job    5. Have kids    6. Raise kids    7. Retire    8. Die

I’d absolutely aced the first one, the second one I did an average job at, the third one I hit it out of the park, the fourth one was coming together nicely and the fifth one…..

Sitting in the infertility specialists office reviewing the results of my analysis, I heard the doctor make a quick passing comment, a comment that demolished my expectations for five and six. “So really there’s not much we can do, testosterone supplements won’t make any difference, IVF won’t work. Adoption is your only option really.” No! That’s not how it’s meant to go. We were meant to be married, have our own kids that look like mini versions of us, that grow up with our mannerisms and and and…

I’m a plan man. I have a to-do list for every day, and an overall list for the week, I work through it systematically. I write annual goals and I achieve them. I had a plan for my life and I was getting through the stages relatively well. Then for a doctor to turn around and say “your sperm count is 0.0000002% of what it should be and there is no fix for that.”

What had the doctor just said? There’s no way he could be right. The test results must have got mixed up. There’s a way to fix my problem. I’ll get healed and we’ll be pregnant in a couple months, we’ll be back on track with my life plan because God is a good God, and I know he’ll heal me, right? Then God uttered two words. But. God. Perfect, that means I’ll be healed! No. At least not yet.

Some times the but God is actually not our plan finally being realised, but it’s God’s first plan coming into place.

If you do a quick search online, you’ll find thousands more pages devoted to female infertility rather than male. It’s a rarely talked of subject, perhaps because the cure is unknown. There’s plenty of solutions to female infertility that will usually work, but if testosterone levels are normal in a man, there’s really nothing more that they can do. Researching these pages looking for the one that had the answer to your problem seemed like a maze going around in circles. I wouldn’t have minded if my bride was infertile, we can totally figure something out. But me? I was not going to be the reason we would not have our own biological kids. But I was.

Infertility sucks. There’s no way of making it seem better than it is, there’s nothing good about it. But we’re writing this blog to show that there is indeed good that can come from it. God’s story and plan for our life didn’t stop at the doctor’s passing comment. Instead, it is opening us up to the world of adoption and the pursuit of our children with God and each other.

We’ll spend more time digging into the process that we worked through as a couple, but the week following the most devastating news of our life was the best week of our marriage yet. I’m guessing, though, that the first days we get to hold our baby in our arms will make that doctor’s meeting seem like a distant memory.

Arundel

We Never Thought It’d Be Us

From the time I was about 12 years old, my dreams for my life revolved around family and the roles of wife and mother. I have the best Mom who devoted her life to my sister, brother and I. Now, when I say she devoted her life to us, I don’t just mean that she was a stay-at-home-Mom (although she was). She was so much more than that. She was our teacher, our playmate, our friend. She was on our side and watching out for our hearts. She was the one to send us outside to play and bring us inside to snuggle. She showed us how to love each other and our amazing Dad, too. She was helping us grow in every single way possible – emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It was no wonder as soon as I understood the concept of “what I want to be when I grow up”, I immediately chose “Mother”. (Well, maybe I chose secretary first. Then I quickly raised my expectations).

With motherly instincts set loose on the kids I used to babysit at the ripe age of 12, my teenage years only confirmed my aspirations. I always loved being able to take care of little ones. My first job was at a daycare. I chose to work in an in-house preschool as one of my high school electives, and another  was peer tutoring for 2nd and 4th grade classes. I loved kids.

When I was 19, I became an Aunt for the first time. And my heart fell in love with my sweet nephew. I was in Turkey at the time and had little communication with family – but you better believe that black and white computer printed picture of my nephew travelled the globe with me as one of my most prized possessions.

A year later, Arundel and I were married and we were insanely happy. Between the two of us, we had 4 nephews/nieces and 2 more on the way. We loved seeing our siblings become parents and we especially loved the role we got to play in their children’s lives.

Being only 20 years old, we weren’t expecting to have kids right away. But, we did feel passionately that we wanted to let God build our family. We wanted to let go of the (perceived) “control” and be open to our good God having HIS way in our life.

What if that meant we started having kids at 20 years old? So be it.

What if that meant we had 6 kids all close in age? So be it.

What if that meant we would have to stay in our teeny little 450-square foot apartment and live off of one part-time salary? So be it.

We were ready. We would do whatever we had to because we knew that God was in control of our future.

But, what if that meant that we would give up our expectations, lay them at the feet of Jesus, and truly allow Him to have HIS way in our life?

What if that meant He never allowed us to get pregnant?

So be it?


That was definitely not our first reaction.

We stopped using contraception in November 2011, just 4 months after we were married. A few weeks went by, and then we started counting. 1 day late, 2 days late. 3 days late. We were convinced. This was IT. Laying in bed one night, I couldn’t get it off my mind. I told Arundel, “We have to go get a test.” “Honey, it’s so late and we are already in bed. Do you really want to go now?” I couldn’t wait any longer. We jumped out of bed and drove to the grocery store. When we got back to our little home, we actually took pictures of ourselves before taking the test. Because we were so sure that this was when we would find out we were having a baby.

Well, as I’m sure you can guess, we didn’t get two pink lines that night. Or the next month, or the next. Months became years and suddenly we found ourselves 2 1/2 years into our marriage and each month was a disappointment. Each month was hope deferred. Each new niece and nephew brought overwhelming joy and misplaced pain. Maybe we hadn’t started our marriage thinking we wanted to be pregnant right away, but that changed very quickly and our hearts were put through the ringer over and over again.

In March 2014, we felt like God told us it was time to go see a doctor. We hadn’t done any medical research into why we were not getting pregnant yet, and we knew we needed to find answers. After 7 months and several doctor’s appointments, we got the final word.

You won’t be having kids. There’s just no way. Fertility treatments don’t work in your case. And IVF is not an option. We don’t know why it is the way it is, and there is nothing we can do about it.


Even typing those words today and I find myself holding my breath, and letting out a big sigh once they are out there.

Arundel and I were devastated. We didn’t even know how to respond when the Doctor told us. He was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing and moved on quickly. He offered no space for us to process, no words of consolation. It was just the cold, hard facts. And it sunk down into our hearts, like a cold, hard mass.

As we drove home (to our new house – with 3 bedrooms waiting for our babies), we were in shock. We were both quiet, tears leaking down our faces without pomp. As I leaned on Arundel’s shoulder and we cried together, he so bravely said through broken voice, “All I keep hearing are two words: But God.”

BUT.

GOD.

These two words became our vision statement, mantra, whatever you want to call it. They represent the HOPE we have in Jesus. Not just a hope that someday, someway, we might amazingly find ourselves pregnant, but an all-incompassing hope that affirms the truth that HIS way is the BEST way. That He has purpose in our pain. That He has not and will not leave us. And, that He has children for us.


With those two words, the cold, hard mass of disappointment and hopelessness began to fade.

Jane