From Ashes to Beauty: My Story of Infertility and Adoption
Adoption was never on my radar growing up. Sure, I thought it was a wonderful thing—for someone else. I just never envisioned myself entering that world.
And if I’m being brutally honest, the reason was because it scared me to death. I was afraid of the unknowns. The upsets. The potential heartbreak. I just couldn’t go there.
And yet here I sit today. The brand new mom to two precious boys, adopted from Ukraine, ages ten and six. Two of the greatest gifts in my life.
A Perfect Beginning
Rewind with me in time. The date is June 18, 2011. I’m standing at the altar on my wedding day saying yes to the man of my dreams. As the sun sets on our beautiful dream day, I distinctly remember thinking, wow, my life is perfect. Literally perfect.
At this point in time things did seem pretty perfect. I was young, healthy, married to an amazing man, financially stable, and surrounded by loving friends and family. What could go wrong?
We were excited to start a family of our own, and we were hoping to get pregnant within the first few years. It didn’t take long for our dreams to become our reality when I saw those double blue lines shortly after our two-year anniversary.
But sadly, my joy was all too quickly crushed when my pregnancy ended in a miscarriage two weeks later. Devastated and shocked, we slowly moved forward, seeking to trust God. And then it happened again. Six months later my second pregnancy ended in miscarriage as well.
Our dream life was turning into a small nightmare. God, what are you doing? My prayers were laced with confusion, pain, and tears. The next five years were filled with dozens of doctor’s visits and the diagnosis of unexplained infertility.
Then shockingly, after our eight year wedding anniversary, we conceived again out of the blue. But our dreams came crashing down when we lost the baby at 11 weeks.
As we worked through our grief, the thought of adoption lingered in the background. Maybe this was the path God had for us after all?
Adoption in a new light
One warm Texas day in March of 2020, I picked up a book by Russell Moore called, Adopted for Life. As I read this book, the fear that had gripped my heart for so many years slowly melted away.
Yes, adoption was hard and challenging, but it was also beautiful, compelling, and redemptive. My eyes were being opened to see adoption in a whole new light.
The author talked about the parallels that adoption has with the gospel. How adoption is one of the most beautiful pictures we have of what God has done for us. Just as Christ came to our world, rescued us, renamed us, and adopted us into his own family, we have the opportunity to do the same for others.
As we fight for orphans, bring them into our families, and give them our own name, we mirror our great Redeemer.
We rescue the vulnerable, just as Christ has rescued us.
My heart was overcome with gratitude and awe. I silently prayed, Lord, if you want us to adopt, please guide us down the right path. Show us what to do. My heart is wide open. Lead me wherever you want.
Over the next few weeks, my husband and I prayed every day about the possibility of pursuing adoption. Then, one morning, we both looked at each other and just knew. We were going to adopt. And even more, we were both excited about adopting more than one child!
We loved the idea of international adoption, and Ukraine quickly became our top country of choice due to their quick adoption process and some personal family connections there. After partnering with an adoption agency, the journey officially began.
Our life was consumed with stacks on stacks of paperwork (dossier anyone?) which dominated our evenings and weekends.
The days and months flew by, however, and before we knew it we were headed to Ukraine for our first trip! With my heart pounding, we walked into our appointment at the Ministry of Social Policy in Kyiv, Ukraine to be matched with our children for the first time.
And that’s when we laid eyes on our precious sons. Two adorable brothers, living in an orphanage, waiting for a family in eastern Ukraine. Tears filled my eyes. Within 24 hours we were on an overnight train headed to meet them for the first time.
As we waited nervously in the orphanage director’s office, the door suddenly burst open as two smiling boys came running over to us. Wrapping their little arms around us, they squeezed us tightly in the sweetest and most unexpected hug.
There was no turning back! Five weeks later and one additional trip back to Ukraine, we stood in court and made it official. Standing before a Ukrainian judge with our children standing next to us, we verbally spoke the words into existence that would legalize the adoption forever.
One moment they were orphans, and the next moment they were our sons.
A mysterious and beautiful miracle
What a breathtaking picture of the gospel. My heart could not have been fuller. As I write these words today, it’s been seven months since the adoption was finalized.
I’m sitting on my couch in southern Texas, and can’t help but smile. My floor is covered in Nerf bullets and Legos, and my two Ukrainian sons are running around the living room playing tag speaking half-Russian and half-English to each other.
What a beautiful, unexpected life. Although this wasn’t my original “plan” for motherhood, it’s better than anything I could have imagined.
God has graciously exchanged my ashes for beauty.
Adoption is a mysterious and beautiful miracle, one that enriches our understanding of the gospel and changes our lives forever.
No matter where you are on your own journey of parenthood, let’s celebrate the unique beauty and wonder of adoption together. Whether that looks like cheering a friend or family member on, or inviting others into your own story, let’s be intentional to celebrate the gift of adoption around us.
How has adoption made an impact on your life, or the life of someone you love?
This article first appeared here.