Sunday, April 21, 2013

Making our mess His message

Last Sunday, Jenny and I decided to go back to church - we had not been since bringing Bailey home, except for the Easter service. We decided to try dropping Bailey off at the nursery to see how that would go. She did great!

Of course we (and by we, I mean God) picked this day to go after a few months away. Wouldn't you know it, our pastor's brother (and his wife) delivered the sermon, sharing the story of how the Lord grew their family through cancer, infertility, successful and unsuccessful IVF attempts, miscarriages, etc. - you get the point. The theme throughout their story was "Making our mess His message".

While there are many differences in our story, it is shocking how similar the emotions were as we navigated through treatments.  And it's amazing how quickly some of those same emotions can be stirred up. As a man, I'm GREAT at compartmentalizing, so infertility isn't on my mind it might be for Jenny.

You see, the pain from infertility doesn't go away. It's another one of those things that make you/us wonder what God is doing, and why. Why can't we experience the joys of physically having a child. Why do irresponsible 16 year olds all over the world get to experience it and we (so far) don't get to? Why do some couples just look at each other and somehow reproduce?? 

These questions suck. But they're a part of our story. We'll never exactly know why, and we're not giving up having faith that if God so chooses He'll bless us with the chance to have a biological child.

I do know that our story up to this point has resulted in Bailey coming home to us. Perhaps if we had tried more testing or invested more resources into other treatments, then we might've disrupted the plan for us to be united, or maybe we would've just delayed it months or years. We could have gotten in the way. Maybe we still did, but I'm confident that God was directing our thoughts and our steps throughout the process, no matter how much it hurt, and still hurts.

God planted the seed of wanting to adopt in our hearts early on in our relationship. We knew that our family makeup would include adoption. We just never knew when. It was a tough pill to swallow when we were unsuccessful, and it got even tougher as we began treatments. Jenny and I agreed that we'd exhaust our options up to a certain point (or by the time we had to declare bankruptcy, whichever came first!). Those treatments came and went, and as we were nearing the last treatment, I'd be lying if I said despair didn't set in a bit a lot.

I still remember the Sunday morning when Jenny took the pregnancy test and came out of the bathroom, obviously crushed. We both lost it regularly that day...of course we had to be at church in an hour to volunteer with the 2-3 year olds. OF COURSE WE DID.

I look back at those days and it still stings. The emotions never go away, they just lessen in time.  We had to grieve and move past the hurt and frustration so that our hearts would be ready for adoption.  We signed with an agency when we thought it was time and the rest is history. 

We are so incredibly blessed. I get to experience seeing a child not born of me light up like Christmas when I walk into the room. It is beautiful. I'm spoiled - I get to see this every day I'm home and it is quite possibly the most fulfilling thing I've ever had the joy of experiencing.  She is attaching well to us and we can not remember what life was like before her.

So, going back to the subject line "Making our mess His message" - this is the goal of our lives, why we share so openly this journey we're on. The good, the bad, the ugly. The clean and the messy. Infertility is a part of our journey. It's a part of our learning how to trust God when it doesn't go according to our plan. When it doesn't go how we want it to go in our narrow view of life. It is part of our story to Bailey and the growing of our family. It has played into our passion for adoption and for living lives that glorify God. I hope that we can use our story to point people to the truth and hope found in Christ. Not by our doing but by His. If I was left to navigate this life on my own (these last few years especially), I'd be a train wreck.

Only God knows what the future holds. Maybe we'll try some treatments again some day. Maybe we won't. Maybe we won't need to. Maybe we'll adopt 2 more kids. Or 3. Or 13. Our goal is to be open to what God has in store and to not get in the way. And on the journey, make our mess His message.


  1. What an amazing post! So beautiful. Whatever His plan Bailey was meant to be yours and you are very lucky parents. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your adoption story! My husband and I are adopting from DRC as well and are awaiting approval on our case from the US Embassy. We were hoping to have traveled by now but with the recent changes in the process we are still waiting...
    We received our referral for a little boy last May, he is now 14 mths old.
    We happened upon your Gotcha Day video and found your blog. Would love to hear more about your experience in DRC if your willing to share any advice with us.
    Also, we were surprised to see in your video that your from Castle Rock. It really is a small world because we live in Parker and my husband works for the Town of Castle Rock.

  3. atvmtngirl, we'd love to connect with you! Please email me at and we can chat.