The following blog was written by Megan Ward. She is married to my husband's first cousin, Nathan..so in essence we are cousins. She was the third family member I called after my parents to share my news with..she was my hardest call. We shared unforgettably tender moments together in my salon chair, at our family reunions and our family holiday get togethers. We desired a family and both wanted the other to be pregnant every month. I asked her to share a piece of their journey in relation to us - however I strongly - STRONGLY - encourage you to read their blog entries of their adoption story. You will be moved, inspired, and encouraged by her writing. Follow her blogs - throughsilverlinings.blogspot.com
I will always remember the annual Ward family Labor Day reunion in 2010… I remember Jamie and I swapping disappointments and frustrations about our desires to begin our own families. I remember the sting of yet ANOTHER year of watching everyone else showing off their babies or pregnant bellies and yearning to be a part of it somehow. I remember feeling thankful to have someone who understood and whom I knew would understand how HUGE it would be to get a positive pregnancy test.
Even more I will remember Christmas 2010 when Jamie and I sat at the table in the quiet and deserted kitchen while our large family celebrated Christmas in the other room. With tears in both of our eyes we asked each other and God WHY & WHEN… why weren’t either one of us pregnant yet? When would it happen? What where we doing wrong? Wanting to start a family wasn’t a wrong thing to ask for… right? And we knew that we would both make great moms… it was what we were created to do… wasn’t it? SO many questions we bounced back and forth. Not really in self-pity, just open and honest. You could practically see our hearts laying there on the table with big missing pieces that seemingly could only be filled in one way. What was different this time was that in the midst of our questions and our tears, we grasped hands and took it to the only One who knew the answers. We prayed over each other and gave the upcoming year to our heavenly Father, who held our hearts’ deepest desires in His hands. When we finished praying I remember looking up into Jamie’s eyes… and feeling a peace, a reassurance come over me. And then an excitement to see what the year ahead held. Little did I know how God was already working and preparing…
Fast forward to the end of January… my phone rings and I answer it upon seeing it was Jamie. I am pretty sure that Jamie skipped all formalities (not like we are formal people anyways!) and all of sudden I am hearing her tell me that she is going to be a mommy… and that it is a boy… and that he was due in three weeks! She was talking fast and I am pretty sure I was only catching every other word...I knew she was nervous about telling me and was trying to do it as gently as she could in her excitement. And I loved her even more for it.
"May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests." Ps. 20:4-5
At first I was just SHOCKED. And then almost immediately came the sweet JOY and EXCITEMENT… I was literally shaking and was so in awe with the way God was working in Ben & Jamie’s life. Jamie was worried that I would be hurt… she is sweet that way… she even insisted that I should have a baby first, although I was never sure why she would think that. Anyways, I truly was over the moon excited for them and never once even thought that it should be me. In fact I was in a state of hopefulness because we were in the middle of what I was considering a very “hopeful” cycle with our fertility specialist and a new medication. And if we are being really honest here (and we are!) I have to also add here that adoption was not really on my radar…. I thought adoption was a great way to build a family and had nothing against it, but just didn’t see it personally for Nathan & me. I wanted to experience every bit of pregnancy, the good & the bad. And adoption just seemed like a long and tricky and possibly heartbreaking process. I just wanted to be “normal” and have a “normal baby, the normal way.”
The next three weeks seemed to drag by as we all waited for Baby Paxton to get here. I remember watching Jamie build this unique relationship with Lesa and thinking that it was not anything like I had ever seen, yet not surprising since God’s hand was very evidently on EVERY SINGLE detail of this adoption. I remember vividly the night Paxton was born… Nathan and I were celebrating Valentine’s Day a bit early by going to see a local Off Broadway performance of Beauty & the Beast. We knew that Lesa was in labor and Ben & Jamie were at the hospital with her. At intermission we pulled out our phones and I pulled up Facebook to see if there was any news and sure enough there he was… my heart melted and I couldn’t wait to snuggle him! But even more my heart leapt at the realization of how Jamie must be feeling in that moment. I wondered if it was the same as if she had given birth to him herself. If I was already feeling love for this sweet, precious baby boy I had yet to meet, how must she be feeling???
The next day we had the honor of meeting Baby Pax for the first time… and looking back, this is where God really began to do a huge work on my heart. Holding Paxton was sweet and he stole my heart but what really did it was watching Jamie & Ben with him. I had visited many friends over the years when they had babies and watched the excitement and happiness over the new baby… but this GLOW that Jamie had was indescribable. JOY was radiating off of her and even though there were visitors in the room and Paxton was being passed around, her eyes barely left him for a second. There was no doubt in my mind the amount of love she had for this baby boy that didn’t grow in her belly, but in her heart. Little did I know that I would be picturing the joy on her face OFTEN in the months to come… and how HUGE of an impact that little visit to the hospital would be in my own life.
"I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27
Less than a week after Paxton was born, we found out that we were not pregnant as we had hoped and that we had hit a dead end once again. On top of that, we couldn’t go farther financially and emotionally we were done. One thing became abundantly clear to us… the road we were on was not working for us. After more than a week of a roller coaster of emotions and sorting through the disappointment and anger and pain we realized that it wasn’t God that had been turning a deaf ear to our heart’s desires, it was us who had been covering our ears and eyes, refusing to hear or see what God and where God was trying to lead us. After talking to our doctor we agreed to do one more month of medicine and then take a break. Halfway through that month at my weekly ultrasound it was clear that there was no need to go any further because my body was not responding one bit to the medicine and I would not even ovulate that month. While disappointed, we knew this was God being merciful and sparing us what the month would inevitably hold… it was with this realization that our prayer changed from “Lord, please make us pregnant” to “Lord, please open our hearts to what you have for our lives.”
While we continued to pray that prayer daily, we still struggled with wondering if we would ever have a child of our own to love. We spent our time enjoying each other and enjoying all the kids that had been placed in our lives by family and friends. Maybe that is how it would always be. But Nathan began to bring up adoption a lot… especially as he saw Ben and his interaction with Paxton. I kept reminding him of all the reasons NOT to adopt… after all, Paxton’s adoption seemed ideal and once in a lifetime.
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Ps. 27:13-14
We continued to pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and for our hearts to be content in this waiting time. And God was faithful in providing that rest and that peace of letting go of the fertility treatments and temperature taking and the timing of certain things. During this time we were provided with many opportunities to love on Paxton. Ben and Jamie even trusted us to keep him overnight. After those snuggle times with Pax, adoption would always be a topic of conversation between Nathan & I. For the most part my heart was still held fear of the idea, but it was beginning to soften.
Meanwhile, at church we were in the middle of a series titled “One Small Idea Deep Inside of You Could Change Your Life Forever”… in that series we were learning about true surrender, relying on scripture, being expectant in prayer, and intentional in obedience. Our hearts were open and thirsty for God’s promise of faithfulness. Over the next weeks our hearts became fully softened and excitement built as we actually began to HEAR what God had been whispering into our hearts and minds… ADOPTION.
“I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in.” Malachi 3:10
April 6th, 2011 we sent in our pre-application for domestic infant adoption to Bethany Christian Services and began the adoption process. Unknown to us, that same month a 14 year girl became pregnant and was faced with the biggest decision of her life. And God in His infinite faithfulness wrapped His arms around her and led her to BCS in her 5th month of pregnancy. God’s plan for our family was quickly unfolding into something beautiful that only HE could orchestrate.
On November 21st, we got OUR PHONE CALL. The one that changed OUR lives. The one that told us that WE would become parents to a baby boy before Christmas. And on December 21st, Logan Christopher was born and we experienced what Ben & Jamie experienced earlier that year…. that complete love and joy that comes with knowing that God not only heard our prayers but that acted in a way to answer those prayers that was above and beyond what we could have ever imagined. God you are faithful.
"But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done' in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints." Ps. 52:8-9
Following insert from Jamie: Megan is a talented and heart felt writer. AGAIN, I encourage you to read Nathan and Megan's Adoption Story, as well as see their little man, Logan - on her own blog: throughsilverlinings.blogspot.com! Be blessed!