But my story wouldn't be complete without this epilogue.
During our years of infertility, Tom and I have been blessed to be friends with a couple carrying this same cross. But unlike Tom and I, they have carried their cross much longer.
You see, our friends have been carrying their cross for almost nineteen years. Nineteen years.
And over five years ago, they started the adoption process. Five years.
Tom and I started the adoption process the same time as they did. And together, we all waited for a baby. And then I got pregnant and had a baby. And they kept waiting. And then Tom and I were chosen for an adoption. And they kept waiting.
I know the pain it must have caused them to see us become parents twice while they still waited. Believe me, I know. But they never let their pain show. Instead, they shared in our joy. She took the time to make each baby a personalized cross-stitch. He bonded immediately to our boys and bounced them enthusiastically on his knee as they squealed with glee. They suggested we all go to the zoo together. They looked forward to fishing with the boys, and they offered to babysit. They watched as our two babies became toddlers and then preschoolers.
And they continued to wait for their dream to come true, too.
It broke my heart that nobody was selecting them for an adoption. They are so faith-filled, their lives so Christ-centered. I was and still am in awe of their trust in our Lord with their lives.
Each time we visited, we tried to remain hopeful and encouraging but as the years passed, I could see their hope starting to wane. This year, 2014, they said, would be the last year they would wait. They were getting older. I'm sure they felt like their dream of being parents was never going to come true.
Throughout it all, they never ceased to inspire me. I would like to say that if the tables had been turned and it'd been them, not us, having the baby and then adopting, that I would have been as joyful and gracious towards them as they have been to us. But I know better.
This past couple of months, I wrote my infertility story and called it the Lent of My Life because when I reflect upon my life, those were the days my faith was tested the most. I thought my cross was too heavy and I prayed daily to be relieved of it.
But my cross, heavy as it was, was not as heavy as theirs. And truth be told, I didn't carry my cross as well as they carried theirs.
Last Tuesday, my phone rang. It was my dear friend and she exclaimed, "remember that phone call we've been waiting for for over five years?"
Nineteen years they waited. They prayed. They loved in spite of their pain.
And now, their Lent is over. Because this past Thursday, as we all said goodbye to another Lent for another year, they said goodbye to their long Lent and hello to their newborn baby girl.
The stone was rolled away. And I am both honored and humbled to have been a witness to it all. And it is in their journey, and not my own, that I believe the greatest lesson is to be learned.
|Our dear friends, holding my baby almost four years ago.|
Today, they are holding their own. At last. Praise God.