One snowy day last winter I talked to Kelly for the first time while my kids were outside sledding with their grandpa. Like only God can, He instantly connected my heart to this sweet couple as I prayed with Kelly. Right away, she felt like a long-time friend, not someone I’d just met who was considering Christian Adoption Consultants.
I will never get over the awe of what God has done in Obbie and Kelly’s story. It’s a story of infertility and miscarriage, cancer and healing, faith and strength, oh…and TWINS! But most of all, to me, it’s a story of the grace and worth of God alone-the only One who enables someone to walk in valley and praise Him still.
Kelly was kind to share some of their adoption story with us. Grab some tissues and get ready to see God’s hand of love!
I (Kelly) was born with a very rare form of childhood cancer. The doctors told my parents I had less than 10% chance to live. In His great power, God healed my body of the cancerous tumor. And when it returned 8 months later, He healed me again. Due to the treatments my body endured at such an early age (chemotherapy and surgery), we always knew that my fertility could be severely diminished. And this possibility became increasingly likely and eventually confirmed after I reached adulthood. In a sense, I believe the Lord, in His kindness, was preparing my heart for what was to unfold.
After an emergency appendectomy at 15 years old, my surgeon informed me that the likelihood of bearing children was very slim. In that moment I remember thinking about adoption. Even then I can see how the Lord was growing my heart for something more beautiful than I could ever dream. God had a plan. It was HIS plan. And it was so much better than mine. Over the past 5 years my body has endured a mini-stroke, open-heart surgery and two more cancer surgeries. During these difficult times my fertility always came into question. Before and after every one of these surgeries adoption always came to my mind. And in even in the unknown, I felt a sense of peace from the Lord.
Almost a year after my 4th cancer surgery, we both received surprisingly incredible news: I was pregnant! But tragedy seemed to strike as quickly as the news had come in. Only a few weeks after receiving the news that I was pregnant, I miscarried. We were devastated. Even in our pain, we could feel His presence. It was difficult to trust God in the darkness. It still is sometimes. But, even then, we trusted He had a plan. He had not brought us this far to leave us on our own. God was up to something. He was preparing us for something more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
Shortly after the miscarriage, Obbie and I started praying about when the Lord would have us begin the adoption process. Then, God stepped in and provided clarity and confirmation through a variety of circumstances and conversations. We were reminded that earthly adoption is a beautiful depiction of the Gospel and the heart of our heavenly Father. You see, we were once orphans. We were once fatherless. But through Christ, we have been spiritually adopted and welcomed into the family of God. The Bible tells us that God is a “Father to the fatherless” and that “He sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:5-6). Although we could have gone down the fertility treatment route, we felt the Lord nudging us in a different direction.
The pain, the tears, the suffering, the scars, the cancer, the unknowns-they have not been wasted. God has been refining us, growing us, humbling us, sanctifying us and preparing us all along. I can’t get over how God good is. Sometimes I cry while I am holding my babies because God is just so faithful!
Oh my heart! I love this couple! And God continues to walk with them in the good and the hard. They started with CAC in February, were matched with an expectant mama due with twins in May, their beautiful babies were born in June, and then in August their house was destroyed in the devastating flood in Louisiana. And still they are praising their faithful Father, trusting Him for all that they need.
Obbie and Kelly, your lives testify to the faithfulness of God and of His beauty, worth, and grace. You’ve looked to Jesus in every trial and declared again and again that He is worthy of your lives. It’s been an honor to walk alongside you in your adoption journey.
(Photo Credit: Emily Fuller. Lyrics by Fernando Ortega.)