Oh the journey. Again, words are hard to find to describe what is going on inside of us, our hearts, our faith, and in our lives. So as always, this is going to take just a few posts to really explain. But two words keep coming to mind:
What this has meant for the Sterks in the past few years:
Oh the pure joy of finding out that we were going to be parents back in September 2012. We will never forget that day! We knew the day that we were to find out if IVF worked and if our gestational carrier was pregnant. I had to work that morning and asked if I could be done at 1:00 so that we could go to our carrier’s house and wait with her. We were hoping to hear before, but nothing. So off to her house we went. Unfortunately it was the same day Dan lost his job, but for that moment in time, we were not going to let that overshadow the news that was maybe to come. We waited for what seemed like a lifetime, talking, laughing anxiously, wondering what it would feel like if the tests came back positive. Then our carrier’s phone rang. It was the fertility center, announcing that she was pregnant. Mouths opened wide, as we all screamed inside, listening as closely as our blown minds could, as the nurse described the results. At that point, all we cared about was a positive pregnancy test. God blessed us with parenthood that day.
As many of you know, God called those two little ones home 3 short weeks later. In those 3 weeks, we discussed what it would be like to be a parent. To have twins. To have a bond with our carrier and her family, that was unexplainable. Maybe a few nerves, but our excitement squashed them all. We finally knew what it felt like to have the privilege of being parents. That memory and those feelings etched in our hearts forever. Those memories we prayed, would come true again someday.
We just knew though, that since I was 17 (14 years ago), that the possibility of me having our own children just wasn’t very high. The risks, too great. The decline in health it would cause and the possibility of even death. Risks that we just felt weren’t worth my life at that point. As Dan often said, he would rather mourn what he couldn’t have (biological children), than lose what he had (me). Biological children just weren’t possible.
Fast forward 1 1/2 years. We have learned over the years to never put God in a box. Thinking that God is going to act in a certain way, and doubting that He can do something, only hinders us in every way and makes God look even less sovereign and mighty. Look at the gestational carrier process – talk about God thinking outside the box! That is why we have learned that contentment is the answer. It still allows God to work in the grand scheme, while we live day to day in His presence and our present circumstances. In May, God firmly showed us who is boss as He miraculously healed my heart over the past how many months (since my last heart appointment) to the point of being able to have our own children. Not perfect, but healthy enough to even carry a child. Again, utter shock, yet utter rejoicing.
The possibility of having our own children again? The memories so fresh of our last two. The ability to even try to have our OWN? To allow God to possibly KNIT TOGETHER? A dream that I held onto so lightly because in my wavering faith, I doubted this would ever come to fruition.
We decided to wait one month to try and conceive. You may think we were crazy for waiting, but it would’ve been days after we found out that my heart was healthy enough to carry. We wanted to celebrate and take time to soak it in. To celebrate being KNIT TOGETHER in a completely different way as a couple. Again, call us crazy, but we have waited 8 years and we thought, let’s celebrate this time in our life and enjoy the process. We prayed the day we found out, that God would bless us with another little one of our own.
Many told us to not stress while trying to conceive. We were FAR from stressed as this was the first time we didn’t have to worry ABOUT getting pregnant. Seems kind of opposite, right? It truly was a stress reliever! No worries about death. About what would happen if I did get pregnant (only just a few risks). We were free and it was the most freeing feeling. We were FREE to conceive. To allow God to KNIT TOGETHER if it was His will. So June we tried.
The waiting period sure is a tough one though. Wow, did I want to take 100 pregnancy tests! I did take 3. The first one was WAY too early, but I thought it would be fun to take one, so I did. Why not? Who thought that taking a pregnancy test would be so much fun? I couldn’t WAIT to wake up in the morning. In fact, Saturday night, I couldn’t sleep because I knew the second test was right around the corner. I woke up way too often, but I knew that Sunday, July 6 would be a good day to take the test, even though it would be a few days early. My nerves, emotions, and excitement were firing on all ends. I waited the recommended time, and what I saw was a faint line. I right away ran into the bedroom and woke Dan up. I whispered…
“I think I’m pregnant!”
His eyes got wide, I showed him the test, and we were trying to decipher first if this was real, but also if the line was dark enough. After our initial joy and giddiness, we decided that Monday, July 7 would be a much better read. So Sunday we spent dreaming – just a little. That just MAYBE I WAS pregnant. We spent the night just us two, fishing, laying on our boat’s deck, dreaming what it would be like to have a little child to fish with. To teach them how to fish. To teach them about life. To walk life together. It is one of the most treasured moments of my life that I will never forget.
Monday morning rolls around and of course I woke up a little early. I right away decided to take the test (as they recommend anyways), and
CLEAR AS DAY…I WAS PREGNANT!
This time I decided to wait until Dan woke up. When I heard him awake, I rushed into the room and said “Good Morning Baby Daddy!”
His face was priceless. The cutest smile, the light in his eyes, the joy of seeing the test – the room filled with cheers of joy, hugs, fighting back tears, the golfing cheer of the arm and leg at one time, and of course, staring at the results.
Could this REALLY be true? Is there REALLY life KNIT TOGETHER within?
I seriously walked into the bathroom at least 10x to reread the test. I wish I was joking, but I am not. Dan too, kept checking to “just make sure.” We sat on the couch and just talked about every dream we had. How God brought us to this point. How we never imagined this, yet Dan always felt like he would someday have his own. But really, our minds just couldn’t conceive this idea – for too many years it was inconceivable.
To think of the journey. To think of the roads God has driven us down, to get us to this point. We just couldn’t be more thankful. We couldn’t be more in awe. To explain a joy that only God can give, human words can’t explain. How DO you explain a joy that comes from an inconceivable God? A God who is rejoicing with us and was waiting to give us this gift. A gift that we and so many others have prayed for for so many years. A gift 14 years in the making.
And then we asked each other…well now what?
We knew we had to call our parents. We just couldn’t wait. We had to share the news with them because they have been through it ALL with us! Tears and screams of joy filled our phone lines. We just never dreamed of making that phone call.
To say the words “I AM PREGNANT”.
I can’t even begin to tell you what joy those words bring. What inspiration for my faith. What love I have for a little one growing inside. And here we sit, doing the what we thought was the impossible – saying those very words. We sat and read Psalm 139 – reflecting on how GOD is the knitter of life. How HE knew this child would be, even before we were even born. He knew this child would be a gift like no other. A life KNIT TOGETHER by the very hands of God.
Because I thought I was going crazy, I decided to get a confirmation from my doctor on Tuesday. I truly sometimes thought this was just a dream. I again, checked the pregnancy test OVER and OVER. Lo and behold, the first words out of the doctor’s mouth were “You are pregnant! Congratulations!” I could have cried. She asked if it was our first time trying and I said “well, yes, but…” I wanted to share with her our journey because it is GOD’S story and I want to share it. I found out after telling the WHOLE story in a very reader’s digest version, that she too, was a believer. I told her I just couldn’t tell that story without talking about God, as we both teared up. I left that office celebrating at the top of my lungs in the car! I was glad to find out I wasn’t going crazy and imagining things!
Yes, they say wait until you are 3ish months along to tell people, but this is our perspective: if God has created life within me, we are going to celebrate this life, no matter how young this child is. Even if just a few weeks old, this child is part of our family, as our other two Hooties are as well. If God wants to call this little one home, then He will do what He sees fit. What He sees as part of HIS perfect plan. But right now, we will celebrate this little life to the fullest.
March 2015 can’t come soon enough! We know the lil Hooties are rejoicing with their heavenly Father too. I can’t imagine the party up in heaven right now!
It is just unfathomable to us what God is doing in our life. All PRAISE, GLORY, and HONOR to HIM ALONE. Only GOD can do the unfathomable. Only GOD can rescue fallen dreams and make them whole again. Only GOD can create life, grow life, and sustain life. And we pray that God will sustain this child’s life for years and years to come.
FOR THIS CHILD WE PRAYED! ALL THANKS BE TO GOD!