Today R2M brings you a unique story of four adoptions. I am amazed by God’s perfect timing and his willingness to reveal bits of his plan to encourage us along the way. I agree with you Sarah, this may be one of the greatest differences you make in your lifetime. We are all praying for movement in Haiti and for two precious babies to arrive soon! -Traci
A message from Sarah:
“It was another childless Mother’s Day and my husband did not understand why I was in tears after church. I reminded him what holiday it was and he figured it out. But it was still hard to watch him playing so wonderfully with other people’s children and not have any of his own. After a year of ‘trying’ unsuccessfully, we went through all of the infertility testing with no conclusive reason for not getting pregnant. So we started with treatments, first IUI’s, then IVF. The doctor told me I would be pregnant with twins after our first IVF, but two weeks later we received the call that my blood test was negative.
We started looking into adoption, but the cost seemed prohibitive so we wanted to do more research on agencies, countries, etc. It was at this time that we got a phone call from a friend who knew a friend delivering a baby in SIX WEEKS that was being placed for adoption. We had not started any paperwork at the time so we quickly got started on a home study and miraculously were finished in two weeks (FYI anything in Hawaii that happens fast is a miracle). God worked a number of miracles and allowed us to be at the hospital for our son’s birth and back in Hawaii just a few weeks after all of the inter-state paperwork went through.
It is so hard not knowing what God’s plan is for adding to your family, whether He would choose to use fertility treatments and doctors or adoption. Looking back has given us assurance that God clearly chose our son to be our firstborn. But we experienced LOTS of emotions getting to that place. Frustration that we were not getting a definitive reason for not being able to get pregnant. Anger and sometimes even bitterness while we watched unwed teens around us having babies. Sadness and loss when each IUI and IVF was unsuccessful. And even joy in hearing the teens in our youth group say, ‘We are your children!’ and knowing that God had a good and perfect plan for our family. We have learned about and experienced God’s Sovereignty as He continues to piece our family together.
Our son was approaching eighteen months when we moved back across the ocean. We prayed again for clarity of whether to pursue new doctors and infertility treatments or adoption. One day, my husband walked in the door from work and announced, ‘I think we should adopt again!’ I quickly gave him two dates of upcoming informational meetings for Bethany Christian Services that we attended- one for domestic adoption and one for international adoption. We talked and prayed about which route to pursue and God led us to domestic adoption. Starting ‘from scratch’ with an agency meant we had to be very clear about what ‘type’ of child we would be open to adopting… special needs or not, drug exposed or not, what mix of ethnicities we would be willing to adopt, an open or closed adoption, would we consider keeping the name the birth parents gave the child, etc. The list went on and on.
That Fall I was in a women’s Bible study about Joseph and had been overwhelmed by the story of God’s Sovereignty so as much as we were comfortable with, we said we were open to just about any adoption scenario. Two months after our paperwork was done we got a phone call about a baby girl having been born five days previously. The birth parents had chosen us and we could pick her up five days later! Once again, we saw so many places where only God could have orchestrated all the events that led to this second adoption. For a time we felt like we had the ‘perfect family’… a boy and a girl… two closed domestic adoptions, and surprisingly they were both Caucasian so they kind of looked like us! We still did not feel like a pregnancy was unthinkable so we pursued an infertility treatment here in Virginia. Once again, the doctors thought we had a very good chance of success, but yet again, we were left with a disappointing phone call from the lab. So we thought that was it….
Until I attended a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) conference where a number of speakers shared their family stories about international adoption and Jen Hatmaker even showed the video of meeting her children for the first time. That video left me sobbing! I called my husband and said, ‘I don’t think we are done yet!’ You see, he has had a heart for international adoption longer than I have. But he was also the one more convinced that we were ‘done’…. until he attended an evening service at church where Wayne Gruden spoke and encouraged people to think about what is the greatest difference we can make in our lifetime here on earth. My husband walked in the door that night and said, ‘We need to adopt two children internationally! That’s the greatest thing we can do in our lifetimes.’
We had already decided if we adopted a child that did not look like us, we would adopt another so neither would be the odd one out. There actually was a time we dreamt about adopting a child from each major part of the world, but I think God had different dreams for us! So at that point I knew we needed to pray a little longer and both be ready to dive in, because I go full speed ahead when it comes to getting things done (like homestudy paperwork!). After a month or two, we prayed that God would give us an ‘open door’ to make it obvious what to do next, but decided we would start taking the steps toward adopting two children internationally.
After filling out our paperwork, we felt like Haiti was a good fit for the age we wanted and the timeline for bringing them home. We saw God opening doors for us to keep moving forward. Over eighteen months later we are still waiting for a referral, but we are resting in the knowledge that God has our children picked specifically for our family and that He is good and faithful! It can be easy to get frustrated with the Haitian government for being SO slow, but we know that nothing can spoil God’s plan for our lives!
We ask that you pray with us for movement in Haiti and that we could bring home two babies soon! Our daughter who is now four and a half (she insists that we add the half part!), prays every night for her ‘Haitian babies.’ We are excited to see what God will do as we hope to expand our family from four to six. It is bound to be a wild ride! There is so much more to our story, but I tried to give the highlights… God has allowed me to cross paths with so many women going through similar scenarios. As my wise mother told me early on, ‘it’s not the ministry you might have chosen, but it’s the one God has given you.’ Even typing that brings me to tears thinking about God’s goodness in our family and the families we have had the privilege of walking with through the ups and downs of adding to their families!
Our theme verse has become Ephesians 3:20-21- “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” God has done abundantly more than we could have ever asked. I never dreamt that our story would be one of adoption, but that’s exactly what my story is as child of God! And I pray our children will know that truth as well- that God chose them specifically for our family and for His!”