This blog was not born out of a defining moment in my life or my husband’s life; It was born when we made an intentional decision to turn our tragedy into Our Moments Defined.
I know many of you have done the same. Tragedy and heartache have come your way, but you’ve sought the Father and have redefined those moments.
Beth and I went to the same college, but we did not connect until our husbands both served in ministry nearby. Because of our shared experiences in adoptions, special needs, and ministry life, we became fast friends.
“You may never have children.”
This is what they told us two months before our wedding. James and I met while attending school at Lincoln Christian University. We fell in love, planned to marry, have a family, and jump into full-time ministry. Having a diagnosis of severe endometriosis and the removal of an ovary could have derailed all of our plans, but we didn’t let it. Without skipping a beat my wonderful husband responded to those words with “That’s alright, we’ll adopt!”
So we started our journey into marriage and family building with an uncertain view of the future. But really, when is the future ever certain or the path into it ever clear?
Long story short, we tried a few of the doctor’s recommendations as far as medication to treat the endometriosis and a second surgery 2 years after we were married. I remember being in recovery from that surgery and hearing the Doctor say, “If you don’t get pregnant in the next four months, your only option will be IVF.” As I lay there half out of it, I heard those words and they hurt. I could feel my heart breaking. I already knew we would not pursue IVF and we wanted so badly to have a family. The realization hit home a little bit harder that we would build our family through adoption. And while that is a wonderful God-honoring way to build a family I knew it would be hard.
My pain and my brokenness were very real. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. What I did know in the midst of all the brokenness is God. I know who God is and I know what he does. God is in control. He has been in control since the creation of the world and he will be in control until he comes again and makes all things new. God is trustworthy. I know that he will do what he says he will do. Because my God is in control, and because he has proven himself trustworthy I trust Him to take my brokenness, a closed womb, questions of what to do, what is right, how will I have a family, why me… He can take it all and mend it, heal it, use it for His glory. Time and again throughout Scripture and in the lives of those around me I have seen God’s healing power. This knowledge allows me to let God pick up the broken pieces of my life and bind them together. To create something new and beautiful.
So I did it. I gave my brokenness to God and said, “I trust you, Lord. Create something new.” And we began the adoption process. But there’s a funny thing about brokenness. Brokenness is like a broken glass on a kitchen floor. Sometimes you miss a piece when you’re cleaning and end up finding it with your bare foot. It comes out of the blue and it hurts! You see, you can give your brokenness to God but it’s quite common to find shards of brokenness coming out from dark corners every so often. We had been working on the adoption process for almost one year. There was one Saturday morning in particular. On March 27, 2010, I was so lost in my brokenness that I found myself face down on the floor in the sanctuary of our church. I was in tears, I was crying out to God. I felt like Hannah in 1st Samuel when she pled for a child from the Lord. Once again I gave it to him. I gave it all to him. The doubts, the frustrations, the fears overwhelmed me and yet I said, “Your will Lord.”
On April 3, 2010, at 9am our phone rang. It was the adoption agency we were going to list with in Florida. They had a baby girl who needed a mommy and a daddy. Abigail Ruth McMillion was born on April 1st and we had no idea. On April 3rd we packed our bags, jumped on a plane and headed to Florida, empty car seat in hand. At 11:00 that night, we walked into the hotel lobby and they placed this beautiful little girl in my arms and I fell completely head over heels for this little girl my body had not borne.
Two years later we wanted to adopt again. This time, we worked with the foster system. On April 19th Julius was placed with us and his adoption has now been finalized.
The Lord healed my brokenness, He answered our prayers. God heals our brokenness in so many ways. He is faithful. He is good. If he had not given us children through adoption, I have no doubt He would have healed my brokenness in other ways.
We have begun the adoption process once more to add a third child to our home. I don’t know where God is taking us, but I do know that He continues to grow beauty out of ashes in so many different ways. He continues to heal my brokenness because I surrender it to Him.