Thursday, January 13, 2011

Biblical Infertility and About Moving On

James and I have been working diligently on our Bible in 90 Days reading program. It really is so awesome to discuss obscure Biblical facts with my husband, and to wonder aloud together about all kinds of things that happened way back when. I love reading verses about how people straight wore the Lord out, and how He calls them stiff-necked because of their grumbling and wants to eliminate them from the Earth (but then He doesn't because He's moved with compassion and is faithful to honor His promises).

A couple of interesting things I've noted throughout the earliest portion of the Old Testament is the frequency of infertility, as well as the regular mention of barrenness and miscarriage. Honestly, it's quite astonishing to me how much barrenness is addressed in the Old Testament. I knew of the famous infertile -- Sarah, Hannah, Rachel -- but even passing passages talk about those wombs being closed, these other wombs being newly opened, and so on. I know that we're fearfully and wonderfully made being knit together in our mother's womb by the Lord, so I totally know He controls all that there is to control when it comes to the perpetuation of the human race. It just surprises me that the issue of fertility (or the lack thereof) is something so regarded by God that it's mentioned time and again.

Something else I noticed was a lineage of infertility. God made a promise to Abraham to make him a great nation, saying that his infertile wife Sarah (who'd already gone through menopause) would bear him a son through which a family would grow, outnumbered only by the stars in the sky. Sure enough, God did what He promised and Sarah conceived and bore Issac. When Isaac was forty, he married Rebekah who was also barren. Isaac prayed for Rebekah for TWENTY YEARS, and she bore Jacob and Esau when Isaac was sixty years old (Gen. 25:21, 26). Jacob loved and married Rachel, who was also infertile (Gen. 30:1) and it wasn't until Jacob had many children by his other wife Leah and their servants that "God remembered Rachel and... opened her womb" (v. 22). God promised a great nation, but even the formation of the population of the great nation came out of great struggle.

I know these scriptures have been there all along -- I guess they just stand out to me now because of my personal history with infertility and miscarriage. Because we feel presently pressed to pursue a new family member, they just jump off the page. In light of my own infertility and history of miscarriage, we're sticking our toes in the water with regards to adoption. We have a conference conference call tomorrow with an adoption firm in California, and bleh -- I feel totally nervous. We're not committing to this firm just yet, but there's a possibility we will. We're still praying.

As I mentioned before, we've already looked at a number of options, we've made some calls, we've corresponded. So far, process of elimination has worked this time. I wish we had more clear direction about which way to move, but so far, we try a door and either shut it again or have it shut for us. I'm a little a lot jealous of the very specific directions the God of the Old Testament was known for doling out. It was like a flow chart of if/then statements -- it was unreal. What I wouldn't get for a little of that! Instead, we're operating by checking the peace gauge, hoping for God's peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). If we have peace, move forward. If our hearts are troubled, step away.

We had such peace about moving forward with those twins that we began to invest our joy -- which is, I think, what frustrates me the most about that whole deal falling apart. Every update was exciting, and when we got the call that delivery was eminent, I could hardly contain myself what with the thrill and the nerves. I still cannot for one minute blame the birthmom for choosing to keep her babies -- being on the relinquishment side is unfathomable to me -- but to have made the choice to trust, to admit my physical failings, and to have asked for her consideration, only to be denied, is painful. To know now that, even with only one baby home, the reality of parenthood is already overwhelming her to the point of regret -- that's heart wrenching. I'm sad for her that she's hanging on to a decision she's unhappy with. I'm sad that those beautiful babies seem to be burdens and not blessings. Selfishly, I'm sad that I put my heart out there, that I cracked open its hard shell just a bit and became vulnerable -- I'm not a fan of the residual ache.

Even with this loss, we're excited about adoption. For a second, I thought about putting on the brakes, but we both really have peace about moving forward -- at least, for now. From what we've heard, many successful adoptive matches come through relationships already in place, meaning this friend knows that person whose teenage daughter is approaching delivery, and they trust us because you trust us. I mention that because I'd love it if our friends and family would keep us in mind if an opportunity were mentioned. We're impartial to sex, and we're not necessarily partial to race. It would be amazing if we were matched with baby who had some measure of Filipino ancestry, but other than that, we're totally open.

A new adoption option was presented to us when a friend mentioned the firm they used to adopt their son, one that specializes in the kind of adoption we're hoping for -- domestic newborn adoption. I perused their website, read some reviews, requested an information packet, and had one short phone call with someone at the firm. We have a conference call scheduled for tomorrow, but even that is really just for gathering more information, and I imagine they'll be interviewing us as much as we're interviewing them. We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, we'd love it if you'd pray both with and for us. As for how you can pray specifically, we need DIRECTION. We don't necessarily have to do something that makes sense to everyone, we just need to know the right path for us. We want to be good stewards of our time, our money, and our hearts. Selfishly, I'd rather not have another adoption loss. I'd personally rather never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER match with a birth mom than match with someone again and have them change their mind. Even that, though, is a risk we're willing to take.

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  • Randi

    Praying for you and James. I can't imagine how hard it is because you must feel like so much of it is out of your hands ... and I know your personality (like mine) probably doesn't love that.

    Praying that God blesses your family abundantly.

  • Kym@stringbean17

    Have you talked with Tracie Loux from Christian Adoption Associates?
    That is who we worked with, as well as Lainie at Adoption Choices of me or comment on my blog to email if you want to talk more about our experience. :)
    I know how hard this walk is, but adoption is redemption....and such a picture of God's unfailing love for us! And I know you get that!

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