When I was sixteen I heard a radio program put on by Focus on the Family. (Don’t ask what a teenager was doing listening to Dr. James Dobson, I don’t have the answer for that.) I don’t remember the context, I just remember the statement: If you are going to be anti-abortion then you must be actively pro-adoption. Period. And I was vehemently anti-abortion, that I knew.
My dad had spent some time defending pro-life picketers when they inevitably got sued. He brought them and their message home and I understood from a very early age what abortion was and God’s love for life. I was anti-abortion, that much I knew.
I don’t know how to explain how a calm logical if, then statement could strike such a powerful chord in a sixteen year old heart, but God spoke to me in that one sentence. I was called to be actively pro-adoption. So much so that my high school boyfriend and I got into a fight about our imaginary future and if he would be comfortable with adoption. So much so that when that relationship ran it’s course (as so many High School relationships do) and my husband and I started getting serious far sooner than anyone had anticipated, I asked him about adoption. How comfortable was he with idea of adopting some of his future children?
I remember telling him that I just wasn’t comfortable with fertility drugs, that while that seems to be the path the Lord has for some, if I couldn’t get pregnant I didn’t want to figure out what was wrong. I wanted to adopt. I told him that even if I could get pregnant I felt called to be the mom of a baby who did not grow in my body, but had been planted in my heart when I was sixteen years old. He listened to my reasoning and shrugged his shoulders “makes sense to me.” Adoption was officially in “the plan.”
When we ditched the birth control five years into our marriage we both openly talked about how it would make sense for God to make us infertile. We agreed to see what happened for 6 months and then run as fast as we could to qualify for adoption in the United States. That was mid-May. By August I was pregnant. With a beautiful baby girl we were commissioned to parent in our arms, we began thinking about the next step. Eventually, not any time soon of course, but eventually we thought the next one would come through a domestic adoption. But we weren’t ready to be the parents of more than one for at least another 2 years at the very minimum.
7 months after Juliet was born I got pregnant. We found out days after my husband resigned from his job to begin PhD school in the fall. And I was confused. Lord, why now? Why, when I so desperately wanted to adopt. When this was a terrible time for any new babies, but especially ones that would grow in my body. And what about those twins I was promised? When are they coming?
Meanwhile my one friend was praying for a baby girl that she did not expect to be adopting right now. She always assumed she would have all her biological ones and then do the adoption thing. My other friend was raising money for a 6 year old boy in Russia that she didn’t know she wanted until God whispered in her heart
“he is your son.” All three of our babies came home within 8 weeks of each other. Two on the same day.
I have friends and relatives who are trying desperately to get pregnant. People who would make great parents. I don’t understand it, and I am sure I could not understand their pain. But my heart aches for them. I wish I knew how to convey that to them.
I wish I knew why God makes the choices He does. Especially when it comes to babies. But I know that His plan is good. Callie and I had a joint baby shower where I remarked that I did not know of a single baby who had received more prayer than hers. She remarked that on this side it seems so hard to imagine the heartbreak that was her two failed placements. I only remember doubting the Lord because I wrote about it. Of course I have always wanted this baby. Of course this is the perfect time. Of course this was the perfect way.