In August, I attended a women’s conference back at Bethel in Redding, CA. It was an absolute joy to be reunited with my friends Cor and Morgan and get to meet some of their friends and experience some beautiful things alongside each other at the conference. One of the last nights there, a brave worship leader gave her testimony of struggling with infertility. She shared how God’s miraculous hand had invaded her life and made her a mother. I had heard her testimony before and so I just stood there in the auditorium feeling happy for her. I’m fine.
Cor is just so compassionate and loving and it wasn’t long before I felt her hand on my shoulder from the row above me. “Are you okay?” She whispered to me. “I’m fine,” I said and kissed her on the cheek as a thank you for being so thoughtful. She kept her hand on my shoulder as the worship song began. I began to feel the start of a bit of unraveling… I fought it as I was honestly so sick and tired of becoming unraveled about my infertility. She whispered, “He can tell that you are afraid to hope, Adge.” Dammit. I started to let a tear roll down my cheek and then that gave way to many, many more. Cor kept her hand steadily on my shoulder as I became unsteady and just cried about my circumstances for the hundredth time. After that session ended, Cor shared how she saw that Jesus had been walking next to me on this long path I’ve been on for the past five years. She saw Jesus and I coming up to a beach where the path ended and she felt that this time of questioning is coming to an end—soon I would know an answer. I sure hoped I would, as I was just tired of being in this weird place of striving for contentment and still having a daily barrage of questioning and hopes strewn about in my heart.
In October I went to Ethiopia with a group of folks for my friends’ non-profit, One Love. We got to work at a precious preschool in Addis Ababa and I got to see a whole new world. I felt like God whispered to me to keep looking around every corner. So I did. We visited one orphanage on this trip and I remember crying in the van when we pulled up. I couldn’t make myself get out right away. I kept waiting for Jesus to say something like, Okay, Adge, this is what you’ve been waiting for. It’s adoption. That’s the answer at the end of this journey together. He didn’t say that. I was disappointed as I thought this is the answer I would receive and the reason I went on this trip in the first place. Nope!
In late October, my friend Emilie Jimenez gave an incredible talk on God’s promises at my monthly women’s gathering at my house. One woman after another would stand up and read a promise over herself. I felt the Lord ask me to stand on one of my red kitchen stools in the back of the room and declare some of the promises He has given me. One of them was what Cor had spoken to me back in August: That this time of questioning would come to an end. That Jesus was leading me to an answer, soon. I needed to believe this. I needed to know it to be true. So I said it through tears with no answer in sight.
Weeks passed and the holidays approached. I had been feeling weird for the past week—extremely tired and my stomach felt off. I wondered if I had contracted something from my time in Ethiopia. I had a very tiny thought in the back of my mind while shopping with my daughter, Evie. Maybe I should buy a pregnancy test? No. With my trip to Ethiopia, Erin and I had maybe been together twice in October so there was just no way. Plus there was the reality that I’ve taken like twenty tests in the past five years and all I’ve ever seen was the blaring negative sign. I went down the feminine hygiene aisle at the grocery store and picked up the cheapest test because I already knew it would be negative.
In the afternoon, with kids running around the house, I decided, Screw it, I’ll take the test! I felt terrible. Super nauseated. I sat in my bathroom and stared at the white plastic test, which for the past five years had been a tangible piece of disappointment in my hands. The blue wave went from left to right across the test. I waited for it to broadcast the news that I was not pregnant, just like it had done for years. What the hell am I doing? This is so dumb. Pathetic. I diverted my eyes to our towel rack that held Evie’s pink horse towel and Finn’s green monster towel. I looked back down, but instead of seeing the commonplace negative sign, there was the impossible staring back at me—a plus sign, clear as day. I felt a wave of emotion and nausea wash over me. NO FREAKING WAY. NO WAY. NO…WAIT…IS THIS FOR REAL?
I walked out of the bathroom in a stupor and walked down to Erin’s office. “Babe, you need to come upstairs.” “Is a toilet clogged? Did the kids clog the toilet?” Without answering him, he followed me upstairs, “Look!” I lifted up the test so he could see it and watched his brown eyes scan it, trying to process what he was staring at. “No way. That’s not right. Wait. Is that right? Is this okay? Is this safe?” I could see Erin was scared and I was too. I’m a huge risk for an ectopic pregnancy or if I’m able to carry a baby, I’m a huge risk for complications from my Asherman’s syndrome such as a placenta accreta. The labor nurse in me was flipping through pages of scenarios in my mind of what could be, what might be, and that this was serious. Honestly, I didn’t even know how to feel in this moment. I walked into our bedroom, sat on the bed and stared at the floor. Erin came in a few minutes later and said, “I don’t know how to celebrate this yet. You’ve been told you could have an ectopic pregnancy. This is a big deal. With the complications you could have, if we have to choose between you and the baby, we have to choose you. You have to choose you.” What should have been joyous was seriously intense. “Erin, I love you. I’ll talk to my doctor. We will figure this out. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Tim and Cor will be staying with us tonight. I think we should tell them and have them pray for us. This is overwhelming.” Erin nodded in agreement.
It was just days before Thanksgiving. Tim and Cor, and their precious kids, were visiting from California and would be hanging at our house. Throughout the rest of the day, I would hear Erin just start laughing. He’d look at me and I’d look at him and we’d both smile and we decided to let a little bit of hope creep into this unbelievable day. After dinner, we shared our news with our friends. Cor, who knew my history intimately, squealed with delight and through tears and ever so much compassion said, “I want to celebrate but I know you guys are holding a fragile space right now and I want to respect that. Can we pray? Adge, I feel like God is all over this for you.” I started crying, and shared with them how a few months ago over breakfast I had told Erin, “It would have been really nice to see what one more child would have looked like that came from us.” I honestly shared my fears and my confession that I hadn’t even thanked God for this yet because I was so scared. I felt very guarded, trying to protect both Erin and myself.
Our friends tangibly brought Jesus and His very presence into our kitchen that night. As they prayed over us, we shed tears, we let it out. The concerns, the fears, the hope, the dreams. I literally felt like pieces of scrap metal were falling off of me; pieces of scrap metal that I had put there to guard myself from pain and from feeling hope. I felt freedom finding its way into the situation. Their words and prayers would get us through the next six days until I could get in to see my OB for an ultrasound that would determine our future. The next morning, Tim showed me a Youtube video of Jenn Johnson singing:
“Some of you have lost faith for what seems like impossibility. But He said have faith, just believe. If you have lost hope for what seems to look like impossibility. He said press in…because you can’t press in enough. So go for it, have faith! There is more, there is more, there is more…because I have plans for you, cause I have plans for you…Look at my face, I have plans for you…no mountain is too high, no valley is too wide, cause I have plans for you! ‘Cause I have plans for you. Let faith and hope arise, for you are not barren. Let faith and hope arise, I have planted new life in you. Let faith and hope arise, because you are firmly planted. Because I hold you in my hands, in my hands.”
I listened to this throughout each day for the next six days. I was constantly shifting between wonderment/blessing and fear/guarding. Days later, I had to sing this worship song through angry tears and an anxiety attack as I started spotting the following Sunday night right before my night shift in labor and delivery began. I yelled in my car in the parking lot, “I knew it!!!I knew I couldn’t do this! I knew I wasn’t meant to carry another baby! God!!!! I knew it. I knew my body couldn’t carry this. Why is this happening? Why did you tease me? I can’t handle this.” I cried the hardest I may have cried in my life. Later that night I decided to take another pregnancy test in the bathroom at work, I said, Lord, if this is positive, I’ll choose to be grateful for these past few days that I was pregnant and that I get to have one last positive pregnancy test. I’ll try to be grateful. It was positive and I carried it in the pocket of my scrubs the rest of my shift.
I don’t know how I made it through that night but soon I was in the OB’s office, sitting next to my husband at 10am the next morning. I was running on an hour of sleep and my eyes were swollen from crying on/off throughout the night. “What are we doing here?” I asked Erin as we scanned the waiting room full of pregnant bellies and newborns. The ultrasound tech, Sue, called my name to come back. I looked at her straight in the eyes. After scanning me for years, she knew my history and knew how impossible it was for my womb to hold a baby. She simply said, “Well, let’s see what we see, Adrienne.” We walked back into the ultrasound room. She put the warm gel on the ultrasound wand and placed it low on my tummy. I stared stone-faced at the screen waiting… Waiting to see if was an ectopic pregnancy or if life had been lost with the spotting the night before. Waiting to see a miracle and what I thought was impossible, my next biological baby. Which one will it be, Lord?
I closed my eyes and Sue said, “Well, look at that heartbeat.” I looked at the screen on the wall and could see the tiniest heartbeat, beating strong and rhythmically. Erin began to weep. “Is the baby in her uterus?!” “Yes, it is. No etopic pregnancy here. You look to be about 7-8 weeks, Adrienne.” “What?” I gasped. For the past 7-8 weeks, Jesus had been knitting together the impossible without me even asking for it or knowing about it. I hugged Erin and we both were shedding huge tears. Sue said, “Adrienne, I’ve known you all this time so I feel I’ve got to give you a hug. Congratulations!” Relief flooded our hearts and the joy of this miracle began to take root. I have a small subchorionic hemorrhage that had caused the spotting, no one seemed to be concerned about and I was told it will most likely resolve in the next few months. As I write this, I am trying to daily keep faith that this baby will grow and be healthy and be in my arms this summer. I would be lying if I told you I don’t daily struggle with anxiety, disbelief, and fear. I do. For five years, I haven’t believed this was possible. I was told I was barren, broken, and beyond repair—that my uterus doesn’t hold a space to support a miracle. I didn’t think miracles would be in MY story. I easily have believed in them for others, just not for myself. For the past two years, I’ve focused my hope on adoption as a way to grow our family. I prayed about it and thought about it daily. I stared at every child in Ethiopia that I came across wondering, Is this the way?
But, now I can see the breadcrumbs of hope that Jesus has left me over the past five years. The five stockings I bought when I dreamed about our future family, the three seeds Cor’s daughter gave me this past spring when I visited Redding for the first time, the prophetic words spoken over my life about being pregnant with hope, the vivid dream about a baby girl named Charlotte Bethesda and how the scripture from John 5:1-9 became a mysterious promise in my spirit. The day I took the first positive test, I looked at the story in John about Bethesda again. The man who got healed in that scripture was 38 years old when he was healed. Can you guess how old I am? Yep, 38! God had been speaking hope into my dream for the past five years in both small and big ways. I’m choosing to believe, to hope, to celebrate, and to let joy come in!
I felt Him whisper to me, Adge, your miracle is going to create ripples in the wave of the impossible becoming possible. Your miracle will bring breakthrough to those around you. This is a story worth telling! I’m going to dream about those ripples in the wave for the next seven months. I never in my wildest dream thought I would be able to carry a biological baby again, to be able to be a walking miracle, yet here I am. An ordinary girl, with a dream I couldn’t seem to shake even in my most logical of moods. I now know our God in a new way—He is the God of miracles and has freely given me one. If He has done this for me, as surely as this baby that is planted firmly in my womb, He is willing to do it again for you or that dear sister or friend who is wanting this. I’ll believe for your miracle right alongside of you, no matter how long your waiting has been or will be. If you need to hear me say these words audibly, call me at 303-960-8360, seriously! I am in agreement that the God of the wind and seas creates those ripples in the wave of the impossible becoming possible.
* To follow some of my 'breadcrumbs,' feel free to go back and read my article, 'Three Stockings,' which I posted in March 2017
Colorado Springs, CO
Adge is an adventurer by heart, climbing 14ers (mountains over 14,000 ft high) and simply being in the wilderness refills her cup. She married a man who shares that passion with her, Erin, and together they have three children, Everleigh, Finnley, and Bodie. Adge has a huge heart for women. She works as a labor & delivery nurse, loves one-on-one conversations, and lattes with intricate foam designs!