Mother's at Heart
I recently had the opportunity to attend North Metro’s Mother’s at Heart event – an outdoor gathering to honor women experiencing infertility or loss. With Mother’s Day approaching we know that it can be a difficult holiday for some. I wanted to share the message that I shared with them to encourage you or someone you might know going through this journey.
I want to start by sharing about my involvement with North Metro’s Infertility and Loss Support Group and why I’m here. God pressed it on my heart to reach out and share my story with the group in the summer of last year. After meeting the wonderful women in the group, I decided to keep returning each month to help encourage other women experiencing heartache and loss. You see, years ago when I went through my season of loss and heartbreak, I didn’t have a group like this. But by the grace of God I did have a friend Amy who was walking a similar journey to mine. But, before I share too much about her, let me give you a brief introduction to my story.
In 2009 my husband and I declared after being married for a few years that we were ready to start our family. As with most couples we naively thought the process would come quickly and smoothly for us. But it didn’t. Month after month nothing was happening. So reluctantly after the 12 month mark we made an appointment for infertility testing. Test after test, procedure after procedure led us to the all-inclusive and ever-healing diagnosis of Unexplained Infertility. (So helpful.) We progressed our treatment to IUI’s (intrauterine insemination), including a surgery to remove stage 3 endometrial tissue. After months of progressively stronger medication and no success we were asked to sit down with our doctor where he told us the heartbreaking news, “There’s 10% of my couples that I can’t help. You are part of my 10%”. Devastated we closed the door to any further infertility treatment and in time began our pursuit of adoption. What began as a very educational pursuit on the topic quickly turned to seeing God’s heart and redemptive work through adoption. After countless forms and multiple home studies we were approved. We put our “Yes” on the table multiple times for various adoption opportunities and were never picked. I stopped counting how many times we pursued various cases presented to us. But I never stopped praying, although after years and years even my same prayers felt boring and stale. Finally, God gave us our “Yes” in return to a sweet couple in Florida. We traveled to meet them a few times before birth of their baby to begin developing a relationship with them. At the time of birth, they changed their mind and decided not to pursue their adoption plan. Although we knew that was certainly their right, we returned home to an empty nursery with hearts completely shattered. But God in His goodness carried us through. We put our “Yes” back on the table, this time only with cases considered in the adoption world as “Stork Drops” where the birthmother makes her adoption plan and signs revocation paperwork (annulment of her adoption plan) before being matched with the family. As I prayed desperately and fervently that summer my prayer was that our child would arrive before my birthday. Two days before my birthday that call we finally got “The Call”. Our miracle daughter had been born and we were chosen to be her parents. Our hearts overflowed with joy and amazement of God’s goodness and faithfulness to form our family. Now our daughter Olivia is 5 and continues to be the light of our lives.
After 3 blissful years of being parents the unexpected happened. I became pregnant. We had a successful 8 weeks appointment followed by a devastating 12-week appointment where they could not find a heartbeat. We won’t understand this side of heaven by God chose to allow us to begin a life only to have her gain her wings, but we continue to trust and know that God was with us in that pain and we will see her again.
It took 8 years to become a family with our sweet Olivia. During those 8 years I had a love/hate relationship with Mother’s Day. Most years all I wanted to do was to lock myself inside and wait for the day to pass. But as the years crawled by, God began to teach me valuable spiritual lessons that helped sustain and carry me through not just Mother’s Day, but every day. God gently reminded me of who I was in Him - a daughter of the King. He showed me that He could be trusted and that He had a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11). That He would be faithful to honor the call of my heart. That although on Mother’s Day I wasn’t yet a physical mother, I was indeed a Mother at Heart, expectantly waiting for my miracle. And God gave me Amy, my dear friend that I mentioned earlier. We found each other through an online adoption support group and our companionship through the hard years of waiting proved to be valuable beyond measure. We could lift each other up and encourage each other when we felt down. We learned that the journey to motherhood, when it becomes painful, is not meant to be traveled alone. We are meant to carry each other burdens. My prayer is that you can find a place or person that you can lock arms with and pray together as you carry through this journey.
If you’re walking the road of infertility or loss know as well that my prayer for you is that you would know that I see your pain, I’m praying for you and most importantly God sees you, loves you and wants to carry you through. Cling to his promises, continue to bring your heartache to him and don’t give up.
PS - Here’s a wonderful worship song to encourage you: