Friday, March 27, 2015

Story for Gateway Church

On December 3, 2011, I took a very important test. The results of this test would affect how my life would look like for not just years, but for the whole of the rest of my life.

Praise God -- I got exactly the test result I had wanted.

We were going to have a baby.

let me back up a bit. About 4 years earlier, I had taken another pregnancy test and had the same result. But that time, I wasn't ready to be a mom. In fact, my initial response to getting pregnant was that "we were going to have a boy, and when he is 16, he's going to get a girl pregnant and we'll have a teenage pregnancy on our hands. then what are we going to do?" yes, those were my exact words. What can I say? Hormones.

Our first pregnancy was unplanned, and if I can say it, unwanted. At least by me.

All 9 months I had morning -- I mean, all day morning sickness. We almost lost the baby at 8 weeks when I hemorrhaged. I had threatened pre-term labor at 28 weeks, and again at 32. At 36 weeks, I developed a life-threatening condition. Maddy's heart rate dropped for 8 minutes. We did a quick C-section in hopes of saving both of our lives. It worked.

My unplanned baby was the best, most amazing blessing in my life.

Due to complications, we decided not to get pregnant again, but to pursue adoption. When our daughter was almost 3, we got licensed for foster care.

Just a few weeks later -- I got the positive pregnancy test. Unplanned. but this time so wanted.

You couldn't wipe that smile off my face.

Weeks later, I was in the ER with severe pain. The tech couldn't find the baby in my womb. Even still, I clung to hope. We had a scare with Maddy, and everything was fine. Surely God would swoop in and save this baby too right?

But God's not that predictable. Our daughter, Olivia, had implanted in my fallopian tubes. My tube ruptured, she died. And I was lost in grief.

I had never before understood what sorrow was until I knew my much-loved baby would not be joining our family in this world. What cute things would she have said? What would she have looked like? I knew she was in heaven, but I didn't want to wait 80 years and then die just to meet her. I longed for her to be in my arms.

My dear sister sent us an acorn to plant in her memory. But that darned acorn wouldn't grow. I had been faithfully watering it for 3 months, and nothing. I was this close to calling 1-800-FLOWERS to inform them that they sent me a dead seed to commemorate a dead daughter. I was less than impressed.

After our loss, I struggled to get pregnant again. Other people's fertility was everywhere I looked. Why had God forgotten me? Why did he choose not to give us our baby? Didn't she -- didn't we -- matter?

Our loss of Olivia sparked a horrible season of grief that resulted in 3 more miscarriages, unexplained infertility, and a hoped-for, but failed adoptive placement. It seemed that God had either forgotten about us entirely, or had purposely singled me out for on overload of loss. I didn't know which scenario was worse.

My prayers felt unanswered. They felt unheard. My hopes felt in vain. I was lost in my storm.

And then God did a miracle.

We began to babysit a foster baby named Leyla. Later, we were asked to be her adoptive parents. We couldn't have been more thrilled.

The day after she moved in, I searched my blog for where I was at in my life when she was born. I stumbled across this picture, taken March 3, 2012.

That was Leyla's Birthday.
The day that Leyla was born was the exact day our little acorn sprouted.

You see, God had not forgotten me. While my story is one of loss . . . our loss of babies, and Leyla's loss of her biological family . . . God is the God of redemption. And while I emotionally raged against Him, as I charged him with not caring, and for singling me out for pain -- He had already prepared our daughter Leyla to join our family.



Perhaps you too have had a storm. One so big that it made you question whether you matter edto God. Whether He cared. And whether your faith would see you through. I cannot tell you that storms do not hurt. My storm of grief, loss and infertility brought me to me knees. The loss, the pain, have scarred my soul. But God is still a God of faithfulness. There is no storm so great, no loss so severe, that he will not see you through.

Now when I question God's faithfulness, I have a very real reminder that He has not, nor ever will leave me. I hope that My story, Leyla's Story, will remind you in your storm that you are not alone.

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