I knew from a young age that I was going to be married one day and have lots of babies. This wasn’t just a thought, but a deep desire in my gut that I found to be a true calling from God. I had dreams of this day coming into fruition and never thought another road would be taken.
Three years after marrying my high school sweetheart, we decided we were ready for our first baby. After a longer than expected wait, our prayers were answered and we were graced with the most amazing baby girl we’d ever met. In fact, we loved her (and the thought of having more of her) so much that we decided to add on to our family a year later. We were quickly surprised with a positive pregnancy test! It was a beautiful miracle, but the elation didn’t last long. We found out at ten weeks that I’d miscarried. We were devastated. It took us seven more months until we finally got good news again. Our doctor was attentive and I was careful to do everything right, but even with perfect ultrasounds and monitoring we learned that I’d miscarried again at eleven weeks. My doctor was shocked but confident things were normal and I simply had a few bad draws. Little did we know we were entering the darkest years of our lives. Every time I would become pregnant, I would miscarry almost immediately and after two more pregnancies I stopped conceiving. We pursued medications and Intra-Uterine Inception (IUI) to no avail. I had doctor visits, procedures, and surgeries only to find normal results and no answers. I was eventually labeled with Unexplained Secondary Infertility.
In the midst of it all, when we were blessed with a pregnancy, it often happened alongside a close family member or best friend. We would lose our little one and watch the families around us gain one. It was overwhelming to experience the twisted emotions of death’s sickening ache yet joy of new life for others. We usually had due dates within days or weeks of them and I now have multiple family members and children of friends the same age as the babies we lost. It’s a constant reminder of what could have been and also a reminder of Where and in Whom my hope lies. I couldn’t put hope in another pregnancy or more children. I had to place my hope in a perfect God who may have a different plan for my life. I struggled with feeling the calling of motherhood (to multiple children) but being denied that very desire.
At the same time I had the beautiful reminder of God’s faithfulness in giving us our daughter who was growing just as lovely as could be. I struggled with the guilt of processing our losses while trying to give our daughter the best mommy possible. Often my guilt was a bigger burden than I could bear. I was eternally grateful for our living child, yet I also yearned for more and mourned the loss of many. I begged God to take my desire away but the intensity grew and we knew we weren’t done.
We eventually tried In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to conceive and stay pregnant. After our first attempt we were successfully pregnant with twins! My limited human mind thought all the years of heartache, longing, and prayer had paid off and this double blessing was my reward. Tragically we lost one baby at eight weeks and the other followed a week later. My soul plummeted to a numbness I’d never thought possible as I entered the lowest place I’d ever known. I couldn’t function. I was lonely and depressed. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel but I also knew I couldn’t give up. I continued to get pregnant with each attempt but miscarried every pregnancy until we were out of embryos and hope. By the end of our five-year battle we lost eight pregnancies and nine babies.
Throughout my life I had always trusted God and knew He was faithful with a perfect plan. These never-ending years, however, made me question things that I’m embarrassed to admit. How could a good God allow so much pain? What had I done to deserve these things? Hadn’t I done everything right? When would I be able to look from the mountaintop again? The valleys were too dark and deep for me to take another step. I found myself to be a person I didn’t like or recognize. There were times I didn’t even want to hope. Why hope when all you get is failure and misery? What’s the point of it all? If you don’t hope, you don’t get burned quite as deeply…or that’s what I assumed. While I wrestled with these thoughts, and truly struggled with trusting God as good, I knew from the bottom of my soul that He was in control. I didn’t understand the whys, but I knew somehow and someway He had everything in His hand.
We had finally reached our limit and after years of discussing adoption and praying about the right time, my husband and I decided to pursue it. We had started the process a few years earlier but neither of us had a peace at that time. Seven months into seemingly endless paperwork, interviews, classes, and home visits we were just about to be approved as a “waiting family” when my husband got a job offer across the country that we couldn’t refuse. It was painstakingly difficult for me to submit to this because it meant leaving our entire adoption process behind. We were so close to receiving our longed-for child, yet another barrier invaded. I had to let go of my hope and dream and follow my husband in obedience to God. It was by far the hardest step of submission I have ever taken.
It has taken years of hardship, years of healing, years of trusting to say I have true hope. A hope hard-fought for, that I cling to now with all my strength. I can’t hope in the exact desires of my heart because I’m human. I can’t see the whole picture or the perfect plan. Though it’s easy for me to think I know what’s best, I now can see how much I truly don’t. I’m seeing the other side of hope. Hoping in the Lord. Not hoping in circumstances. Bethany Dillon sings a song with a chorus that sings “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, whatever’s in front of me help me to sing Hallelujah.” I’ve faced so much loss and brokenness, but even now, my heart longs to sing Hallelujah. God, you are faithful. I praise You!
After landing 2,000 miles away from everything I’ve ever called home we started the adoption process for the third time. Four months later, a dear birthmom chose me and my husband to parent her baby as our own. This son of ours is now sleeping in my arms. I never saw our story happening this way. The beauty is, my heart is fully content in it! I hoped for something that would’ve been beautiful and miraculous in it’s own natural way, but I’ve now been given a whole new perspective of beauty and miracles. Adoption. God knew. God saw. I couldn’t see past the day I was living, but I hoped. I trusted. I bowed to His plan when everything in me was fighting against it. Psalm 27:13-14 says, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” Have hope, not in the things of this world, but in our loving Father who has a good and perfect plan.
By: Leah Calas