Brett and Linda struggled with the challenge of infertility for over five years when they decided that adoption was the path on which God was leading them. Brett readily admits that trying to conceive was a trial, filled with much disappointment and grief, but one which he believes had a God-ordained purpose.
Early attempts to conceive, with no results, left both Brett and Linda frustrated over not being able to attain a goal they had come to expect as a married couple. Over time, Linda’s frustration turned into anger, despair, and helplessness as she realized that she might never become pregnant. Linda says, “No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make it happen. I was mad at God, but did not turn away from Him as I had in my earlier Christian walk when I didn’t get my way.” Although Linda fought with God she always drew to Him for comfort. Prior loss issues had taught her to rely heavily on Him. She was willing to trust Him with the infertility, clinging to Jeremiah 29:11 for strength: “’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’”
Linda confesses that the desire for a family was extremely difficult to relinquish to God. Since every month brought renewed hope, Linda struggled to continually lay her desires at Jesus’ feet. She reports that, “at the same time I was trying to relinquish, we were trying to get pregnant. It was like I had glue on my hands, as I tried desperately to submit my will to the Father.”
Over time, Brett and Linda realized that what had been their dream was not God’s dream for them. It was such a painful period in their lives. They still ache when they think about it. It was a huge loss, accompanied by a real period of grieving.
However, Linda shares that the Lord spoke directly to her when she was probably at her lowest point. She relates the following story.
One Saturday morning, I was talking on the phone with my mother who lives in Mississippi. Not wanting to worry her, I had never been transparent with Mother about the intensity of my pain, until today. I knew she was praying for us, but I simply could not shield my tears from her any longer. As I wept over the phone, I remember saying to her, “Mother, I’ve done everything I know to do…I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do…I just don’t know what else I’m supposed to do…!”
The next day after church, Mother called me. I thought that was odd since we had just spoken the day before. She said she had something to share with me. That morning, Mother had gone to church as she always does and she was chatting with an old family friend, Irene, after Sunday School. Irene knew nothing about our struggle to have a family. That morning Irene asked about me. Mother said, “Well, it’s funny that you would ask about Linda. She and her husband are really struggling to have a family and Linda is very sad.” Irene then said, “I had a dream about Linda last night. She was very sad and tearful and kept saying, ‘I’ve done everything I know to do…I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do…I just don’t know what else I’m supposed to do!’ I said in the dream, ‘Linda, just trust God, let go and trust God,’ and then Linda said, ‘Oh, I have and I will…’” And that was the end of Irene’s dream.
Well, needless to say, I knew God had spoken to me. I knew He had not abandoned me. About a month after that incident with Irene, Brett and I began to tentatively get information on adoption. I say tentatively, because if birthing our family was not God’s plan (and I had thought surely it was), then I thought that adopting our children might not be His plan either. Perhaps He wanted us childless for a reason only He knew. But as is always the case, when one gets on the same page with God, things begin to happen. And happen they did! Alec was in our arms within four months of our first adoption inquiry. The Lord obviously blew the doors wide open, and Brett and I both took that as affirmation that we were in the deep channels of His will.
Brett and Linda believe that God turned their loss into gain by providing them with the incredible privilege of experiencing adoption—not once, but twice! They share the following:
Just as I am sure it is hard for others to put into words the birthing experience, it is hard for us to put into words the adoption experience. It reached far into the deepest level of our souls. Not to mention that the Lord blew the doors open for us—there was no obstacle anywhere. We didn’t have the money, but the Lord sent us money. We thought we would have to wait forever, but we waited less than three months! Then, when we began pursuing our second adoption, the Lord did the same thing.
We are the proud parents of two beautiful boys. I can’t imagine them not being our sons. The Lord sent us many small confirmations along the way to let us know that He had always intended Alec and Clay to be our sons. For example, Brett and I, unknowingly, used the same names for our boys that both the birth mothers had used. Alec’s birth mother had named him Taylor Alexander, we used Matthew Alec. Clay’s birth mother had used Stephen John, we used Stephen Clay. There are tons of names out there. We don’t think our choice was coincidental.
I (Linda) must say that one of the enormous gains of being called to adoption is a deeply personal understanding that God has adopted me as His daughter. As a Christian, I had always understood that fact, but I never felt that fact with the intensity that I do now. I am the adopted daughter of God Almighty and nothing will ever sever that bond. Our boys will grow up understanding the incredible love involved in being adopted by their earthly parents, which only foreshadows a far greater love beckoning them to the highest privilege as adopted sons of their heavenly Father.
Still, Brett and Linda admit that there have been adjustments along the way. “The major adjustment was aligning our way of thinking to God’s way of thinking and moving,” say Brett and Linda. “Once that process was finally done, we would have to say there has been no real adjusting at all regarding infertility. We simply moved forward in the incredible joy of having our two beautiful boys. However, we must say that the whole adoption process almost seemed like an ‘out of body’ experience at times. Especially the day we brought Alec home, and, to a lesser extent, the day we brought Clay home. It was incredibly emotional, and indeed miraculous, and yet so surrealistic,” the couple concludes.
Linda shares that “looking back on our experience I only wish I could have relinquished earlier. But as I said before, my hands had glue on them! However in all honesty, I don’t know if that was possible. It was a journey that we had to take to bring us to the crossroads to receive Alec and Clay. Had we gotten there earlier and pursued adoption earlier, neither Alec nor Clay would have been there! I would relive every ounce of pain a hundred times over to be their mother.”
Linda continues, “I encourage couples to remain steadfast in their trust in God. Yes, you are on unemotional roller coaster, but at the end of today always know that you are His child and He hasn’t left you hanging in the wind. He will unfold His plan for you in His time. In your anger and frustration, always run to Him. He is your only comfort.”
One topic my new release, Laughing with Lily, deals with is adoption. With many twists and turns and surprises along the way, this novel would make a great Mother's Day gift!