When I was young, I dreamed of the day that I would get married and begin family. I honestly, never expected this to be so difficult for me. Since we married young, we thought we had lots of time to worry about having children. We spent the first few years enjoy life as just the two of us. When a few years turned into several we started to wonder what was going on.
We desperately wanted to start our family. I was sure there was nothing really wrong, but with the encouragement of my husband I decided to at least go see a fertility specialist. I will never forget that first visit — I remember it like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in his office. At one point during the appointment I started to apologize for being there and wasting his time. I was sure we didn’t need to be there. He stopped looked me right in the eyes and said, “Jenny, after seven years of passively trying and you haven’t hit the mark, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!”
Those words rang in my ears: YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. It was the first time that I woke up to the fact that this problem wasn’t going to go away on own. We spent the next few years in fertility treatments only to get the one result I begged God not to give me, a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. I desperately wanted to know what the problem was so we could “fix” it. Instead, we were left with no answer.
When we finally did become pregnant with the help of fertility treatments — we had our first miscarriage. We went from the unbelievable (getting pregnant), to the unthinkable (miscarriage). My hope shattered. How could God allow this to happen to me? How could he bring me such hope only to take it all away from me? What I didn’t know at the time was this was the first of many losses headed our way. After two more miscarriages we began to feel very hopeless. Our dream of becoming parents was starting to feel impossible.
I think one of the hardest things for me was that I knew God could heal me. He had the power to change our circumstance, but He was choosing not to. Why was the God that I believed could work miracles choosing not to? I worried whether I would survive this journey. Would my marriage survive this? Fear began to grip a hold of me. What else was I going to lose? Was God going to take something else away from me? With depression and fear sinking in, I didn’t know if I would ever find my way out.
It was a hard choice the day we decided to walk away from fertility treatments. We had to come to peace with the decision we would not have biological children. I surrendered to God and gave my journey back to Him. I admitted to God that I wanted to be a mommy more than anything. I wanted to know what it was like to love a child unconditionally, to raise them to be the best that God created them to be. I wanted a child too, but their arms around my neck, squeeze me and hear the words, I love you mommy. After several months of prayer and seeking God directions I knew one day I would hear those words. I began to believe that I would not carry a child, but one would be carried for me. We committed to move closer to His plan which we now believed was growing our family through adoption.
I wish I could tell you that now that we were stepping in the right direction the journey got so much easier. I wish I could say that I kept surrendering, never tried take back over, and the stork (God) delivered that baby the next morning. Moving toward adoption was the right move, but it brought along some of its own set of heartaches. I had no idea that the adoption process could be just as difficult as fertility treatments. At first we believed it was international adoption that God was calling us to. When all possible doors began to close towards international adoption we moved to domestic adoption. We looked into every possible lead.
Over a year into the adoption process we had two adoption losses behind us. This led us to an even more depressed place. How could this happen after everything else that we had been through? One of the best things about adoption is that in the end we were going to have a baby. Our agency said the only family they couldn’t place with a child was the family that chose to give up. If we didn’t give up at the end of our adoption journey we would have our child. Doing our best to stay strong and keep trusting God we decided even after more loss to keep moving forward in the adoption process.
Early in 2009, we met with another potential birth mom. The meeting was amazing and I left there knowing without a doubt that this was the one. After so much loss I really thought it would be hard to trust another potential adoption. God gave us a peace that passed all understanding and on March 9, 2009 Jayleena Grace was born. We had finally received our answered prayer, our first of many miracles.
We knew that we wanted Jaylee to have a sibling. Knowing that the adoption process would probably take longer than a year, when she was 18 months old we decided to start the adoption process again. We were hoping that by the time Jaylee was three we would have another child. God had a different plan for us. We were barely done with all the paperwork process when the agency called to tell us that we had been chosen by another birth mom. On January 4, 2011, before Jaylee turned two, Briella Jennae was born, our second miracle.
Although we had thought about adopting other children we felt like our family was complete. We had two beautiful girls and if we decided to adopt again it would not be for several years. Once again God had a different plan. This plan was probably the most shocking of all. After several years of fertility treatments I had come to accept that caring a child was not what God had planned for my life. I believed and was content with the fact that we were called to grow our family though adoption. I never imagined what God had in store next.
In August of 2012, I got the biggest shock of my life when I found out I was pregnant (without fertility treatments). We were so excited — we couldn’t believe that this would ever happen. We already felt so blessed to have the family that God had given us. It wasn’t long before the reality set it that pregnancies don’t end well for me and fear began to consume us all over again. I had very little faith that this pregnancy would be any different. At one point early in the pregnancy I really believed I was having another miscarriage. I began to get so angry at God. Was this a joke? I didn’t ask for this. Why would you give this to me only to take it away, again? I honestly didn’t know if I could survive another miscarriage. This part of my life was so far behind me. I didn’t want to go through this again. I begged God not to take me back down that road. I cried, I yelled, and once again I surrendered. Still not really knowing how this pregnancy would go, God gave me that same peace that passes all understanding.
Soon we started to see each month go by and the pregnancy was progressing great — the baby was growing and was healthy. It wasn’t without obstacles: I had several small complications and eventually ended up on bed rest, but God was faithful all the way. He kept reminding us that He was in control and the peace never left. There were moments of fear, but it always followed with a reminder from God to just keep trusting Him.
On April 19, 2013 Malia Davynn was born, our third miracle.
If you ask me now why we had to walk this journey I could certainly tell you why. During our journey God often brought me to a scripture in Ephesians 3. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
The journey was about more than just bringing us our children. It was a journey to mold us and shape us into the people God wanted us to be. We learned to trust more, love better, and live in a way that others might see Him. The journey brought us closer together as a couple. We learned to always communicate and to love unconditionally. I think the whole journey of life is meant to continually teach these things. Our journey though infertility, miscarriage, and adoption was just one path in the whole journey of life that God used to help get us one step closer to knowing Him better and loving Him more.
As for now we like to think our family may be complete but who knows what God still has in store for us. We have definitely learned not to put any limits on what God can do. Our miracles were several years in the making. It took a lot of patience, endurance, and trust to make it to the end. It is honestly one journey we would never change. Without the journey we would not have our miracles!
— Jenny Hill (Waking Up Infertile)
Photo credit: adapted from Betchaboy | Flickr