My name is Nicole. Right now you don’t know me and might not understand why you’re reading this but maybe you’re reading this because someone thought this would speak to you somehow. I wanted to share part of my story with you. I sincerely pray God uses it to give you something that you need. I don’t know what that something is, but I felt compelled to share a portion of my story with you so I’m trusting God will use it to love you and remind you that He sees you and everything and everyone precious to you.
Valentine’s Day has been less than romantic for my husband Josh and I more than once. Our first Valentine’s Day was just a few months after we exchanged our vows. That day Josh’s dad went to be with the Lord. God used his dad to teach me a lot of things in a short amount of time. My heart broke for many reasons that day. Fast forward a few years and we land on Valentine’s 2011. That was the day my heart exploded.
I believe the enemy doesn’t care enough about us to put much effort into messing with us, he just needs us to trip over the ripples of lies as he tosses a stone of doubt into the calm cool waters of our mind. Valentine’s 2011 felt like he threw a boulder in and all the water was meant to come screaming out. That day I found out I would have a less than .01% chance of conceiving a child. The one thing I’ve never thought to doubt was being a mother. I’ve been praying for my children – for their hopes, dreams, protection, everything since I was a little girl. It was a given, a promise. I knew God had promised me children! I knew that! There was no question.
Yet, here I sit on Valentine’s Day face to face with a doctor telling me that I had less than a .01% chance of conceiving and that the odds were so low we shouldn’t even look into fertility options. I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest, soaked in gasoline and ignited with a match on the center of the doctor’s desk; to just watch it burn, helplessly. We drove, for only God knows how long processing but not really speaking. What do you say? I felt like I had been discarded over the side of the Grand Canyon, like a crushed used Coke can. No value. Nothing to give. Face to face with the fear that God was a liar. If God lied about this, what else had He lied about? It was a huge weight. I didn’t process all or any of it well.
I heard: I’d never be a Mommy.
What was actually said: It is unlikely I’d ever conceive.
There is a huge, HUGE discrepancy between the statements. The second one has a hidden hope. Nowhere does it convey motherhood would evade me.
I wrestled with the entire thought and what it would mean if it were true, I’d never be a Mommy. It was with me when I woke up and when I went to bed and often while I tossed and turned through the night. God was a liar and nothing He promised would come true. This was an optional conclusion. As it ran over me I became disgusted. It just couldn’t be true. One evening God asked me to stand and worship him. I pretty much told him he had to be kidding me. He began to remind me of truth that I knew about warfare and why the enemy meddles in things – luckily the Lord knows me much better than I know myself and there was no way I would give ground to the enemy in that moment. I couldn’t rationalize what was going on but I knew truth and in that moment the only thing that mattered was that I held ground as the enemy approached. I stood and I worshiped. I wept ugly tears. I was exhausted and I didn’t have the kind of joy one would expect to have during typical worship. This was different. What I didn’t know was that this was war and we were taking ground.
The fabric I had clung to with all of His promises stitched in just for me – it did burn up. All of it was consumed in the flame. And up from the ashes something new came. The truth hadn’t changed. But the stitching was a heck of a lot stronger. In that fire I felt like I was consumed as well. Eventually, I believe I came back stronger with much more fight. That’s how I felt. I began remembering the promise of many things and children being some of those promises but also that I wanted to adopt; and that that desire had been placed in me as a child. I thought I’d do it my way and have a biological child and then adopt. God decided His way was better.
Journeying through adoption in the hopes of placement is not for everyone. I believe we are all called to care for orphans and widows – how that is lived out can vary as much as the hearts God created. For us, God led us to Graceful Adoptions. They have a group of precious women who understand, from various angles the journey through adoption. It was important for my husband and I to know that the agency we worked with had experienced adoption firsthand in their own lives and could speak from that experience. It proved to be exactly where God wanted us to be. They became our partner in fulfilling His promise.
Our son Sam! Just typing his name and my eyes overflow with liquid hope! He is a promise fulfilled! A hope set in my heart long from before his first tiny heartbeat! The story of Sam coming to us and our coming to him is so much bigger than just this…
Prior to placement, way before! Way before we began our first home study paperwork we wrote a prayer petition for our first child. We asked for a boy. We asked that he be healthy. We asked for many things, God loves the details! For Josh he specifically asked that our son look like him, even though it would be impossible. I specifically asked that our son know my voice, as if I’d carried him for 9 months, even though it’d be impossible.
These last couple months I’ve relived moments of when I was hearing God’s faithful promises of our son’s soon arrival. God doesn’t make sense, does He?! We hadn’t been matched and God was right up in my face more than encouraging me to make preparations for his arrival! I looked crazy collecting items and painting a baby room I hadn’t intended to paint until we were matched and in the third trimester! Who knew God would have you do something to look crazy and unnecessary and way over the top at the time. Who knew, in the big picture, God makes sense!
God promised I’d be a Momma. He was true to His word. My thoughts on how He fulfills His promises to me cannot compare to the joy of having him choose the way he does it! I remember every moment – hearing the voicemail from Graceful Adoptions telling me our son had been born, calling Josh (not how I had hoped to tell him, but how it happened), and seeing Sam for the very first time. After driving more than 12 hours I walked into Graceful Adoptions’ office, Karen Nissly, Graceful Adoptions’ owner, was holding him and introduced me to my son as she handed him to me. It was like all of heaven and earth wanted to pause to catch the moment we saw each other for the first time! I could of sworn you could see tiny particles of something at a standstill in mid air. It was a sight to see! To finally wrap my arms around this sweet little boy, to hold our promise.
Having a son that looks like Josh and a child who knew my voice as if I carried him seemed like impossible requests. Neither of these are evidence of preferring biological children but after meeting Sam I think they were placed on our heart so we could say GOD DID IT! Sam looks just like his daddy and has responded to me and looked for me from the first moment I held him.
Beloved – Asked of God
I don’t know the details of your story. I will never claim to understand all that has led you to this moment. But I KNOW without any doubt that God sees you and knows where your baby is! As mommas and mommas in waiting we are created to bring life and healing and protection to our babies. It’s part of how we are stitched together. This place of waiting is awful right now, I know. But one of my favorite promises is: what we sow in tears of sorrow will be reaped in shouts of joy! Joy is coming and it may seem to be harder before joy comes, but it really is the darkest and most silent before promises are fulfilled.
You’re not alone! His promises are true!
Nicole & Josh