We sat there together hand in hand. It had been a few weeks since our miscarriage, and it was time for our final follow up call with our fertility specialist. The one where he would offer his official recommendation as to how and when to proceed with treatment.
We had been dreading this call for a while, putting it off as long as we could. In a way, having the final follow up call seemed so final. As though our grieving and hurting and wondering should be over. And we knew he’d want to talk about how to move forward with treatments – except that our hearts weren’t ready to move on, or move forward.
He called us right on time, and I think I was trembling as I answered the phone. We hadn’t spoken to him since the night we found out that we would miscarry. He assured us the miscarriage wasn’t our fault. It wasn’t my fault, it was nothing that I did or did not do. It was just “mother nature’s way” and no one can know for sure why this pregnancy, our pregnancy didn’t thrive. It was just meant to be.
He recommended we try one last IUI (intrauterine insemination) and told us our odds of a successful pregnancy with IUI was only 5%. If our fourth and final IUI was unsuccessful he recommended we consider IVF.
In those moments it seemed like doors were being slammed in our faces. After spending several thousands of dollars on three IUI cycles, it seemed like a huge risk to try again with only a 5% chance of pregnancy. We’d already decided IVF was out of the picture for us. We just could not reconcile the cost of IVF with the risk of either not conceiving or experiencing another very costly miscarriage. As we hung up the phone we felt defeated. That night we decided it was time to take a break from fertility treatments, examine our hearts, take a hard look at our finances, and really, really seek the Lord’s will for growing our family.
We spent the summer researching different adoption scenarios. We have never felt called to international adoption, nor do we have the financial resources to fund one. If money were no option (meaning we could have afforded to adopt without any fund-raising, saving, or finding creative streams of revenue) our first choice would have been domestic infant adoption. And we know that if God had called us to adopt domestically or internationally He would have provided the funds to do it.
We have very dear friends who are foster-to-adopt parents, and we’ve watched their family grow and their ministry blossom over the past two years. This summer my husband and I spent many long hours researching, praying over, and talking about the possibility of us becoming foster parents. Some of you remember that we were kinship foster parents two years ago, and it didn’t really end all that well. We are still apprehensive at the thought, but our hearts are broken for the hundreds of thousands of children in the United States who are currently waiting to be adopted, and the thousands more who need a loving, but temporary home.
This summer was a time of healing for us. And a time of allowing our dreams to collide with God’s dreams. After our miscarriage I realized how very much I did not want to pursue more fertility treatments. Our odds of pregnancy were so small, and the cost was so great, and my heart wasn’t in it any more.
Doors were closing. Dreams were being reshaped – reborn to look more like His, and less like mine.
But Jesus isn’t worried about closed doors.
Remember in John 20, soon after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to ten of His disciples? The disciples were hiding out in a room, behind a closed and locked door, and Jesus appeared to them. Of course we don’t know how He got there. Did He walk through walls? Did He “teleport” from one location to the upper room? We can’t know that because the Bible doesn’t say. But we know that He did appear to them, and He offered peace.
In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them,“Peace to you!” – John 20:19
For us our closed door looked like the end of fertility treatments. It looked like exhausted financial resources and broken hearts.
But Jesus isn’t worried about closed doors.
At the end of the summer, in the midst of seeking Him and His will, and grieving and worshiping all at the same time, hope was conceived. A sweet baby conceived in love, without medical intervention – a true gift from God.
Because in any situation, including infertility, Jesus isn’t worried about closed doors.