Creation of our Family- May 24, 2014

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Our first set of twins would have been due on January 9. Last April, we believed that by Christmas our first children would have been born. Since Thanksgiving, I have faced a daily battle with sorrow as I think of those little babies we never got to snuggle or rock to sleep.

            We have been struggling to discern what is next. A number of people have asked for an update, and writing this blog post has been weighing on my heart. Friends, we still sit with many questions lingering. Are there steps we should take to grieve our losses? Should we plan for one last IVF attempt with the last two embryos? Or is the next step to pursue adoption locally? In the midst of pain, we have seen glimmers of hope and light moving us along. Adoption is such a beautiful possibility, one that has grabbed our hearts. I resonate so deeply with God's heart on adoption. He longs to "set the lonely in families." (Psalm 68:6) 

“It’s not over until God says so. So I count it all joy. You make all things new. It’s not over.” (It's not over, by Isreal and New Breed) Strength. Faith. Courage. As I remember God’s faithfulness to me through my life, I will find the strength to stand upon his promises. I will believe and hope for what I have not yet seen. I will face each moment with courage as we decide what is next.

In making these decisions, there is a constant sadness and a gnawing sense that we actually must continue to wait. We cannot move forward until we have sorted out some concrete things: income through fulfilling work, benefits to take care of ourselves and our future family, and housing big enough for a house study!

And so we wait. How fitting to be in a season of waiting during advent. Advent is the season in which we remember the long wait for the birth of the Savior so many years ago. We celebrate the peace, hope, joy, and love that Jesus’s birth brought into a very dark world. As I think back, I see that Jesus was born into messiness, waiting, and confusion. The parallels are striking: Joseph and Mary were waiting for their baby’s birth when they were homeless, away from family, and confused about what life would look like for them once they became parents. They, and a whole nation of people, waited for what was to come.    

O Come, o come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

Back then, the times were dark as they waited. The times seem dark as we wait for God to move in our lives.

             “A change is coming for me, if I stay strong and believe.” (Israel and New Breed) Yes. I truly do believe that. Although I do not know what is next, and I have no idea when or how we will become parents, I choose to believe. Just as we wait during advent, we will choose to rest in this season of waiting for our children.

God's confirmation. Romans 12:12
Why do I keep on believing that we will be parents someday, when the diagnosis of infertility looms large? God has confirmed it so many times. Even a couple of weeks ago, when I attended a women’s Christmas dinner at Freedom in Christ Church, the message was about waiting and the speaker talked about adoption and orphans in Mozambique. I wept. And then I won a door prize: a Willowtree figurine of a mother holding a toddler-aged child in a loving embrace. My heart whispered, thank you, God, for that confirmation.

            In Romans 12:12, God says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” The other night, Josh and I had a time of devotions together and he brought this verse. In the midst of infertility these three commands have been hard to live out at times. But our strength is being renewed day by day, as we continue to trust in God and take him at his Word. I met with the speaker from that women’s event this week. God has woven into our hearts so many of the same passions and the sweet time of prayer lifted my eyes back to Jesus, reminding me that He is in control even now. She encouraged me to REMEMBER God’s faithfulness in the past.

Moments passed through my heart. God healing my concussion in Mexico in 1997. The Holy Spirit’s amazing gift of the ability to speak Portuguese upon my arrival in Sao Paulo in 2004. The calling to be a voice for voiceless human trafficking survivors back in Maputo in 2009. God’s provision for my every need while in the mission fields of Honduras, Trinidad, Brazil, Liberia, Malawi, Kenya, Mozambique, and Bolivia. The family that God has given me in every single place I have ever lived. Meeting and marrying my loving, supportive husband. And now, this time. The faithful, prayerful friends and family who have stuck with us during this season of working with human trafficking survivors, losing our babies, and transitioning to a new chapter. Praise God for all of them, and for all of you. 

My heart is full as I reflect on those times of God’s faithfulness, and so many more. God truly is good. We will right now choose to be JOYFUL in hope, knowing that what is not yet seen will one day come to pass. We will choose to be PATIENT in this present affliction, resting in God’s comfort and peace. And we will choose to be FAITHFUL in prayer, praying until something happens in one or more of our areas of need. I encourage you to do the same thing: REMEMBER God’s faithfulness to you. And then choose to live our Romans 12:12 where you are at right now. 

And so I will end where I started. We are grieving the loss of our babies, who would have been born now. We struggle. We weep. But we know that “it’s not over until God says so.” And so we rejoice in that hope. And we wait to see that hope fulfilled. 

O Come, o come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

            God will come. He will act. We know that. May you consider the waiting and the darkness as you celebrate the joy of hopes fulfilled. Merry Christmas. Thank you, again, for all of the love, prayers, and support this year.