A Family We Never Imagined
Our engagement was an absolutely magical time. We had both found the one that God had given to spend the rest of our lives with, and we were so full of hopes and dreams. Like every other couple we discussed our plans for the future, and for us that involved children. We both wanted a house full of them. This is God’s plan, we thought. God is good and He loves us!
But about five months after the wedding, we lost Theresa’s father to a heart attack. Before we had a chance to recover, my father was diagnosed with cancer. We were in shock. The following years were full of difficult and terrifying moments, but we made it through, and the cancer went into remission. We were finally able to heal, and with that we began to hope and dream for a family again. We knew it would all work out, because God is good and He loves us.
The first couple months that we failed to get pregnant, it didn’t really concern us. But as we approached half a year with no success, we started to panic. All around us our friends, cousins, and coworkers were getting pregnant left and right. So we turned to fertility specialists, and after a few tries, Theresa was finally pregnant. Our son Ethan was born nine weeks early, and spent the first several weeks of his life in the intensive care unit. We had never been more terrified, but at the end of it all, we came home with our healthy baby boy. Then when we decided it was time for Ethan to become a big brother, we got pregnant on the first try! But our joy was met with sorrow a few months later when we learned that the pregnancy was miscarrying. We were heartbroken. But we would try again. God is good, and He loves us.
We went through four rounds of IVF over the next three years. Each time that it didn’t work, we were heartbroken. The miscarriages and increasing debt began to take their toll on our friends and family. Ethan was getting older and was beginning to ask questions. He didn’t understand why all of his friends got to have brothers and sisters, but we wouldn’t give him one. During that time we entered some of our darkest moments, where we began to wonder. Does God actually love us? Maybe God doesn’t want us to have the family we imagined. That’s when we turned to adoption.
Over the next year, there were many ups and downs. Birthmothers kept making us a top two or three finalist, but we weren’t being chosen. The hope we had felt at the beginning of the process began to fade, and was replaced with frustration and bitterness. We got so close—even getting to hold a baby boy that was promised to us—but our world seemed to fall apart as he was taken away from us in the finals moments of the adoption process. God didn’t love us like He loved other people. We felt sure of that. He didn’t want us to be happy like He wanted other people to be happy. He had picked His favorites, and we weren’t on the list.
It seemed like we were running out of options as our hearts grew more and more bitter. But watching Ethan lose his hopes of becoming an older brother was something we couldn’t bear, so we persevered. Even though it hurt, we chose to open up our hearts to our Community Group at Radiant Church. There we would cry, vent, and celebrate with friends who prayed for us. They reminded us of God’s faithfulness; that He is good, and that He loves us.
In March of 2017, we learned that another birth mother wanted to meet us. We tried not to get our hopes up, but the meeting took place and we prayed that this was the one. On June 14, 2017, we received the phone call that it was done. We were officially legal guardians of a beautiful baby boy, and the family we always dreamt of would finally be complete! But it wasn’t without loss. The years of IVF and adoption costs were catching up to us, and our bank account was being drained. We sold our vehicles, downgraded our lifestyle, and cut costs everywhere we could, but it started to seem like it wouldn’t be enough. Just when it seemed as though all hope was lost, there was a knock on the door, and a pair of perfect strangers handed us a check for $10,000. They told us that God had given them this money to give to us, and in that moment all our prayers were answered.
As we look back on our story, we can see the plans that God had for us. His plans led to a better life than our dreams would have, and his timing led to a greater joy than our timing would have. He wove together a beautiful tapestry that was more intricate and perfect than we could ever comprehend. Because after all, God really is good, and He really does love us.
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