A year ago today we experienced the end of a chapter in our life. It was not the end of the story, as the book is not yet finished; just a big chapter. As a result of previous heart condition, with ongoing complications, Kristin is not able to carry children of our own. Through the blessing of an amazing friend, Brenda, we were able to experience the joy and anticipation of being expectant parents. Brenda had felt God leading her to offer to carry our babies for us. We were so excited about this opportunity and were looking forward to the day that we would get to see a picture through an ultrasound of our two little babies that doctors had implanted into Brenda. A year ago today ,marks the day that “our plans” came to an abrupt end.
We went into the ultrasound knowing that Brenda may have miscarried already, but we were going into it hopeful for the best. Even though our prayers were not answered the way we may have liked to have seen them answered, little did we realize how much we had fallen in love with our two little ones already, and how much of our hearts they had already captured. It’s hard to believe that we could love someone so much even though we had never met them.
Through out this past year we have learned:
- God is always good even at times when it doesn’t “feel” like it.
- It really is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.
- If you allow God to be the author, He will write one amazing story in your life.
- Death has a way of bringing out the deepest sorrow, yet the deepest gratitude.
- We have always had a special place in our hearts for couples who could not have kids of their own, hence God laying it on our hearts to allow our embryos to be adopted. That compassion we had has grown even more as our experience has opened our eyes to even more people who have experienced the pain of losing a baby, or can not have one of their own.
- Being open about our pain and suffering has allowed others to comfort us in our grief. If we had been silent about everything we were going through, we would have missed out on the blessing of being a part of the family of God.
- At times when it feels like the world is caving in, it is your faith in God that will hold you together.
- In the end, we did not create enough embryos so that other couples going through fertility issues could adopt them. This was something that weighed heavy on us this past year. We kept asking ourselves “had we been obedient to God?” As we were going through this whole process, I kept reading over the story of Abraham and Isaac. In the story, God was asking Abraham to do something that seemed impossible. He wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. We kept focusing on God leading and asking Abraham to go through with this. We had not considered how the story ended though. Abraham had every intention of sacrificing Isaac, up until the point that God instructed him not to. Abraham did not to sacrifice Isaac in the end, yet he was still considered to be obedient. We had every intention of allowing our embryos to be adopted even to the point of losing my job over it. However, like Abraham, when it came down to the last possible moment, we heard God say no. So we realized that even though we did not create enough embryos to be adopted, we were still obedient to the leading of God.
- Allowing family and friends to embrace you in your deepest pain is a glimpse of the unconditional love God has for us.
- Even though our babies are in Heaven, they will always be a part of our greater story.
- Not a day goes by that we don’t long to be with them, but we long for the day we will be reunited with them.
- We have learned the joy of being expectant parents
- We have learned to be content and patient in the stage of life God has us in.
- Many questioned what a process like this would do to our friendship with Brenda and her husband if it did not work. What people failed to see was that our friendship from the start was not based on Brenda carrying a baby for us. That was something that came as a result of the friendship. Today our friendship is stronger than it was before and we have a bond that has stood the test of trials, grief, and pain. Though we have many miles that separate us now physically, there will forever be a bond that no highway or giant lake can sever.
These are the verses that have given me much comfort:
Hebrews 10:22-23: Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Philippians 3: 20-21 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
We want to close with sharing the best picture we have of our two little ones. To better understand this picture, we have to give you a little background story. One night at dinner at Dan’s parent’s house, we asked our niece and nephews what we should name our two babies. Levi was really into owls at the time and suggested that we name one of them Hootie. We asked him what we should name the other and he said Hootie. From that point on they were known as Hootie 1 and Hootie 2. Then a few days after we found out about the miscarriage, we were talking about how we didn’t have any ultrasound pictures or anything to remember them by. After family dinner that night, Levi gave Dan two paper owls and Dan asked Levi what their names were. Levi said rather matter-of-factly, “Well, that is Hootie 1 and Hootie 2.” Then and there we knew that we had our picture to remember our two little ones by. So we framed them and put them on our piano with the rest of our family pictures.