My infertility once defined me. Every negative pregnancy test became a reminder of what my body couldn’t do. Baby shower invites would come in the mail and my heart would be overwhelmed with bitterness, jealousy, and a reminder of the brokenness I felt in my soul. A stroll through the maternity aisle at Target felt like walking onto a stage before a mocking crowd, as if a giant spotlight was shining on my empty tummy, reminding me that I was somehow less of woman because of my barrenness.
My entire life I was told the likelihood of having biological children would be very slim due to the cancer treatments I received as a baby. Even so, after we were married I was still optimistic and hopeful that somehow God would heal my body and make it do what He created it do. After all, my God is a God of miracles. I’d seen this to be true in my own life, as He healed my body of cancer more than once.
After a few years of struggling with infertility, to our surprise, a positive pregnancy test appeared. Obbie and I celebrated for days, and a small warmth filled our home. However, the baby announcement was never made. Tragedy struck as quickly as the news came in, and we were only able to keep our little one on this earth for a moment. A few weeks after learning I was pregnant, I miscarried. The weight of that loss dragged me to the bed for hours everyday. I was completely overwhelmed with sadness. My tears bathed the pillow every night, and my eyes were swollen most days from crying. Every ounce of my body was grieving. I felt hopeless. And all of those feelings of brokenness came flooding back over me as heavily and quickly as my tears hit the pillow.
The death of our unborn child felt much to me like being stuck in winter. Although some days were easier than others, certain events and dates would trigger memories and tears would follow. Anger and sadness came in ebbs and flows. But, I continued talking about the loss with God, my husband and close friends. Coming to terms with the death of our baby and the finality of my infertility hasn’t been an easy journey. But, it’s one our heavenly Father has been lovingly walking me through every step of the way. Grace gives me strength to trust Him through the pain, knowing that He is a good Father, who loves me even when I can’t quite make my way through the storm. Although most days I failed to see Him-the Son was always there. And eventually He melted the ice away and replaced my barrenness with hope- not hope in a positive pregnancy test or a child, but hope in Jesus Christ.
A doctor would tell you that I’m infertile, that statistically my chances of getting pregnant are impossible. But, I see it quite differently. God healed me. He just healed me in a different way than expected. God healed my heart to be at peace with my circumstances. Though my heart is content that doesn’t equate to immunity from sadness over our loss or my infertility, but it doesn’t consume my thoughts or define me like it once did.
As healing continued taking place in our hearts, we were continually seeking God about how He wanted to grow our family. We always knew that adoption would be a part of our story some day. However, we didn’t realize thatday? was just around the corner. We signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants and shortly after our paths connected with a brave birth mom who chose us to be the parents of her children.Their birth mom lovingly carried the twins for 9 months in her womb, while God was growing unconditional love for them in our hearts. If any part of our story had unfolded differently or been altered just slightly, Roman and Ruby wouldn’t be our son and daughter. And I can’t imagine our life without them.
For women struggling with infertility or loss you are not defined by a statistic. Perhaps a doctor told you the chances of getting pregnant are slim to none. I understand the magnitude of that loss and the feelings that come with it. But, I also know that our joy can’t be completed from a positive pregnancy test, a child or anything found on this earth. Your body isn’t broken, but Christ’s body was broken for you. An empty womb is not the end of your story, but a Risen King from an empty grave is the beginning. Christ came to this earth so we could havelife in abundance? (John 10:10). This fullness is explicitly and solely found in Christ alone.
Last night both the twins awoke at the same time, and I lifted each one out of their crib. I rocked them to sleep in the brown leather recliner beside their cribs. One in each arm. As their sweet chunky cheeks rested on my shoulders, they fell asleep with one hand each on my chest. I grinned as I looked down at my son and daughter. Tears of gratefulness filled my eyes as I thought about just how much I love being their mama. As I sat there rocking our little sweeties to sleep, I thought back on our journey to becoming our family of four. I can assure you that there was nothing barren about the women rocking her sweet little ones to sleep last night. Her heart is full. She found her hope in Christ.