(This post was inspired as I did a lesson in “Walking by Faith: Lessons Learned in the Dark” by Jennifer Rothschild. I’m doing this Bible study with some women at church. And while faith is a broad subject, hearing lessons from a blind woman has offered many practical analogies that have spoken to me.)
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. … For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land … and land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing. …” –Moses to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:2, 7
It took the Israelites 40 years (and two attempts) to make it to their Promised Land. The faced obstacles + complained along the way. Yet they learned God is faithful — to his people + his promises. Through the wilderness, they were refined. Then when their journey ended, God was still with them. Always.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” –Moses to Joshua and the Israelites in Deuteronomy 31:8
So our journey wasn’t 40 years, but the time we spent trying to conceive was like a wilderness journey for us. The medicine that helped me ovulate worked well enough that my cycles became regular. But it made me emotionally crazy. And we still weren’t getting pregnant. I had an exploratory surgery that revealed my tubes were blocked, thanks to my new diagnosis of endometriosis. More of the same medicine, hoping that with one unblocked tube, the process could work. More emotions. Still no pregnancy. Another procedure later revealed both tubes were unblocked. We considered it a hopeful sign. But, still, something wasn’t working.
We visisted a reproductive endocrinologist in Nashville. He did more tests, which meant more blood work, and spoke truths about the miracle of conception. That’s what I still remember: To conceive a baby is a very perfect process in that everything in the woman has to be right while everything in the man has to be right too. At the same time. Any imperfections in our complicated bodies could disrupt the process. It reminded me that new life is a miracle.
He was encouraging in that he didn’t provide us false hope. Not that nobody meant to, but their hopefulness was based on their knowing our desire to have a baby. While I appreciated that kind of support, I really was a place in my journey that I needed the specialist’s practical truth, which turned out to be: “I believe your best chance to become pregnant is through in-vitro fertilization.”
At that moment, I felt a peace in my heart.
Not peace I wanted to do in-vitro, but because of what Greg + I had decided before the appointment: If the doctor said in-vitro, we were going to pursue adoption. So hearing the doctor say “in-vitro” was like God guiding us down a new path.
There still was uncertainty, but we had peace. We didn’t know how/when we’d meet a birth mother. We hardly knew anything about the adoption process. We didn’t know how we’d have the money to pay for the process. But we trusted our Guide.
And he led us to our Promised Land. To our daughter.
As always – I admire you for sharing something so personal. There were even a few posts I hadn’t read from way back when. I loved the one about the birth mother – and the Catherine connection – made me cry. I think all your writing will be so helpful to Cate when (and if) she becomes interested in her birth mother. And of course – praying that there will be another adoption story for you to tell.