Throughout the course of our marriage, we have discussed adoption. It was a topic that we discussed before getting engaged then revisited during our premarital counseling. As we struggled with infertility, it was something we mentioned time and time again.
From Mandy: Adoption has always had a special place in my heart. I have admired people who have adopted and closely followed several stories of those who've walked this journey. Since the loss of our baby last spring, I've read countless stories of women who struggled with infertility. In many of those cases, that struggle led to adoption - like my sweet friends, Kristin and Casey, who've shared their journey to Sweet P. Or Nicole and Tyler, whom I've never met personally but have followed their adoption story from day one.
In early December, as we approached what would have been the due date of our first child, I really felt God impressing adoption more and more on my heart. It was everywhere around me, weaving it's way into my daily thoughts. On Facebook, a friend shared these sweet children in China who were about to age out of the system and needed adoptive families right away. Our favorite television show, Chicago Fire, aired several episodes where one of the main characters began vying to become a foster parent for a little boy. At the same time, Nicole and Tyler were sharing the match/birth of their beautiful new son on Instagram. Then, Kristin posted that her little family was chosen to be on the cover of Holt International's magazine which led me to their website and some early research. And let's not forget that one day my Mom and I were having lunch together and she told me that she'd been praying if Ethan and I couldn't conceive that we'd consider adoption...
It was just there, all around me! I began talking to Ethan about it. Our conversations were never long and never in depth. However, since I'd already done some reading online, I felt it was time to reach out and contact a few friends who had adopted and seek more information. I was delighted to find out that several of these women were more than willing to share with me and thus began a flurry of Instagram, Facebook and text messages. At that point, I really started praying that if this was the avenue God wanted us to pursue, that He would give both Ethan and I a peace about it.
The week before Christmas, Ethan and I went out to dinner together. With a new year soon arriving and me ready to put the dismay of the present year behind me, I brought up the subject of our infertility and the possibility of adoption. We talked about considering more fertility treatments and the costs associated with them. I, however, was not ready to go through that again. Instead, I felt the road would be better walked knowing we would have a child in the end, through adoption.
That night we decided we were going to do this, we were going to start a family through adoption. It felt so right in my heart. Since that night, I haven't once questioned God's will for us to adopt. I've had such an incredible peace about the decision and I feel like He has finally given me "why" we lost our baby. Had we not lost our baby, we may have never pursued adopting a child. Instead, God has impressed on my heart that He doesn't need us to create a baby when He has one already in mind for us. We simply needed to step out in faith and allow Him to lead us to our child.
I want to adopt, to start a family, simply because of the family I was blessed with growing up. My parents and their Christian influence, my sweet sister who I love dearly... I want that for Ethan and I. I want to nurture and cherish a little one, I want to teach them about God's love and plan of salvation. I want to watch God work in their heart and life as they grow. I feel called to do this - to be a wife and mother. I know God wants us to be fruitful and multiply and spread His love around the world and I can't think of any better way.
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