So...I guess I'm doing it this way because there's so much more to our story, His story, than an announcement and although I want to be sensitive to those struggling with infertility, I feel like God wants me to share our story because it's His story and it's pretty amazing...who knew? Ashamedly, I sure didn't. I doubted. I was angry. I fought the process. I threw tantrums. And He was still faithful. Regardless of my faithless-ness, He was faithful.
I never wanted this to be our story. I never woke up one day and said "Dave, let's wait on having biological kids and do foster care instead." If I had had it my way, we would have been pregnant right away and had a much different life, I'm assuming, than we have now. But guys, this story, His story, is so much better than any story I could have written. It's messy but beautiful. It's hard but life-giving. And I can't believe I would ever say something like this (that sounds kind of cliché-ish), but I'm truly thankful He wrote our story this way and I wouldn't trade it for my story any day. I think about who we would have missed out on if we had our way. Those kids. That mom. Those friends. Those little blessings along the way. Those moments of knowing you are exactly where God wants you to be. It's just amazing at how good He is. And you know what? He would still be good if this isn't how our story turned out. I know that's easy for me to say sitting here, with 2 (what???) babies in my tummy, but I now truly KNOW that His plans are good. And our "good" is not always His "good." But I have experienced His "good" over my "good" and I can tell you that I wouldn't trade it for my "good." And so I have to believe that regardless of what happens, even with these 2 tiny humans in my tummy, that His good is for my good.
Ok, so most of you probably know our story, His story, but for those that don't know the whole story, here is a recap...
2010 - started trying to have kids...tried for about a year, my dr had no explanation as to why we couldn't get pregnant...tried some rounds of medication
2011 - studying James at the time...James 1:27 - "Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Hmmm...maybe God is trying to tell us to do something while we wait on biological kids...attended a Tapestry conference, had dinner with some friends...realized the need for foster parents...began the process of becoming foster parents
|Clearly we needed kids.|
These kids are my faves. Forever.
2013 - first placement went home in May; studying Nehemiah at the time...Nehemiah 1:11 "...I was cupbearer to the king." I know, that makes no sense. But the point is that God put Nehemiah in this specific position to the king and God also gave Nehemiah a heart for his people who were suffering. Nehemiah knew at that point that he was the one who was supposed to and had the ability to do something about it. Towards the end of our first foster placement, I was sitting at Bible study at our church and our women's pastor made an announcement that there was a community group looking to help out a single mom. I was like "yes! perfect! I know a single mom that is about to need a ton of help when she gets her kids back!" so a couple of frustrating email exchanges led me to realize this group was wanting a "Saturday project" not a 6 month+ investment. I was mad about this because hello, she needed relationships/mentors/financial assistance/etc and here our church was only wanting to come fix a washer and dryer or repaint the house some Saturday...not the true need. And if our church isn't stepping up and doing things like this, then who? Oh wait, maybe me? Surely not me though because come on, I did foster her kids for 11 months...isn't that enough? Then I remember Nehemiah...maybe God put ME in this position and gave ME a heart for this mom for a reason. Ugh. I didn't want to realize it. It would mean putting "our family" on hold and not fostering or getting potential adoptive placements for an indefinite amount of time. But we did, mainly because I have a better half who is way more gracious and patient than I am. So...we moved her in along with the kids 2.5 months later.
Aug 2013-Feb 2014 - hardest 7 months of my life. but y'all...also the BEST. this mom, she's great. she's a fighter. she wants to do right. she's precious. she's made in God's image. she makes mistakes like we all do. she needs forgiveness, like I SURELY do. she taught me so much. God taught me so much. Stuff about myself that I didn't really want to know. We both made mistakes. I wanted to be full of grace and I was not. I wanted "thank you's" and appreciation and I didn't get them when I needed them. I wanted her to see our sacrifice and maybe even feel the pain of it too. Ugly stuff y'all. And I'm supposed to be the mature, adult here. But there was a lot of beauty in our mess too. I love going back and looking at pictures during that time. The smile she had on her face. The adventures. The tv shows we watched after the kids went to bed (FNL will always be "our" show...such greatness). The talks. The changes we saw in her. So yes it was good but hard...the kind of hard that stretches you and makes you grow and makes you become a better version of you....the kind that draws you closer to Him. I'm so thankful for her. In the end, she left and it was hard and not exactly the fairytale I wanted it to be, but it was real and imperfect and we all learned a lot in those 7 months. And by God's grace we still have an awesome relationship with her and I can't imagine my life without her.
|Yes I made her come to the gym with me.|
|Apparently we watched Devious Maids.|
|Cooked her first lasagna.|
|Cannot imagine missing out on this.|
2014 - decided to switch agencies which meant more paperwork, homestudy update, blah blah blah....more TIME. meanwhile we are still "trying" to get pregnant off and off with things like ovulation kits, acupuncture, etc. we were FINALLY back on the list by august and enter 3 year old boy and 6 year old girl. again, with the intention of rooting for and getting to know birth family. we were led to believe this would be a relatively "easy" case, not lasting too long, kids would be returned fairly quickly. HA.
Our minion who makes me laugh and cry...our super girl
who is guarded and a drama queen all at the same time.
2015 - roller coaster of a case continues...will we adopt, will we not? are these our forever kids, are they not? should we advocate for parents, should we not? kids are wonderful/hard/typical foster kids. they are completely opposite our first placement, but also the same. we love them dearly, and they love their family dearly. it's a hard case, we don't know who to root for sometimes, but we are thankful that ultimately it's not up to a caseworker or a judge or the parents. we rest in the fact that God is in control and knows what's GOOD for these kids...which may not be what we think is "good." meanwhile, beginning of 2015, we start seeing a fertility specialist. not knowing exactly how far we wanted to pursue "treatment"...if anything we maybe just wanted to get an explanation to 5 years of infertility. in march I had a laparoscopy where they basically clean out all my baby making parts, which apparently had cysts and whatnot in/on them. in june we did a course of super ovulation and IUI treatment and BAM....TWINS!! ahhhhh! so grateful. so thankful. I can't even put it into words.
So here is our "announcement picture" that I've debated posting on facebook, but decided that it's more than just a facebook post that needs to be said....
Lord willing, the twins (boy and girl...eeeek!!) will be here in March and we are waiting to see if we will also have a certain minion and Elsa with us too! We could know about that in December or it could be February before a decision is made.
And guys I just want to make sure I am super clear on this. This is all God's doing. All God's timing. Everything is His. I don't believe that He just decided to give us babies because we fulfilled our "calling" of foster parents first. Or because we might possibly adopt these kids. Or because we got treatment. It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him. I think He gave us this "waiting" because He wanted us to do something with it. We studied the parable of the talents this week in church (Matthew 25:14-30) and in Bible study this morning our speaker challenged us to think of these "talents," which were given to each servant according to their own abilities, as trials. We tend to think of these "talents" as things God has blessed us with, or gifts. But if we look with an eternal perspective at "blessings" and "gifts" maybe sometimes they come in the form of a trial. Maybe infertility was our "talent." And this is just the story that He wrote for us. It's not everyone's story that deals with infertility. One of the many frustrations of infertility is when someone tells you "just do ____ and then you'll get pregnant." or "oh I know a friend who did _____ and then got pregnant." That is not what I'm saying. I am not saying everyone who is infertile should go do foster care first and then God will give you babies. God has a different story for everyone. Maybe what I'm saying is that God gives us "stuff," some we see as good and some we see as not good, but it is good in God's eyes and it's for our good and His glory. And if we invest these things in the kingdom, God produces fruit and it is beautiful. And the fruit may not even seem "good" to us all the time....maybe it's just growing your relationship with Him, which is not always fun. But it's for His glory and for His purposes.
Thanks for reading this incredibly, long, overdue post. We are excited, thrilled, nervous, scared, etc....but mainly just celebrating. Thanks for celebrating with us.