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Our Path to Adoption

Monday, July 9, 2018

This is a lengthy post, but stick with it!  This is also told from my point of view.  Dustin's story is his own and maybe one day he'll share it.

I have always dreamed of being a mother.  Always.

In fact, as a child I played with baby dolls more than anything.  I once went to school on career day dressed as a mom, and it probably helped that I had a little sister that I could boss around 😜

So when Dustin and I first got married, we agreed to just enjoy our first year of marriage without any talk of babies.  On our first anniversary when we brought it up, we both agreed that we weren't ready yet.  And less than two months later when I brought up that I might have changed my mind and was ready for kids, Dustin instantly agreed he was, too.  We were giddy at the thought that in a year, we could be holding a newborn baby!  So easy, right?!  We had no idea what the next three years would hold for us.  How was I to know that my body--MY body--was broken?  How was I to know that my heart would ache so deeply for someone I've never met and that my arms would ache so strongly to hold a baby?

But if we would have easily gotten pregnant three years ago, would I have known the sweetness of Jesus like I do now?  Would I have rested in His grace and mercy?  Would I have experienced true and lasting joy that's only found in Christ? 

 I'm sure I would have said those things back then, but the reality is I probably wouldn't have really known those things.  It was through the suffering of infertility and childlessness that God gave me the best gift He could ever have given me--Himself.  Psalm 34:8 says, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!"  It was only through my suffering that I was really able to taste and see God's goodness in my life.  Picture taking a bite of something so wonderful and deliciously sweet that you close your eyes and savor that bite.  That is what God has blessed me with.  HE has been the sweetness in my life.  HE is my strength.  HE is my joy.  HE is my sustainer.  HE is my everything.

For those of you who are going through any sort of suffering right now--whether it's childlessness, the yearning of marriage, an incurable sickness, etc.--I pray that you find that true and lasting joy is found only in Christ.  And when you do that, your perspective changes so much.

Okay, now onto how we came to the decision to pursue adoption.  Right before we decided to pursue fertility treatments (this was January 2017), we both prayed for wisdom and clarity  in the decision between adoption and fertility treatments.  I prayed Isaiah 26: 3 multiple times a day: "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts  in you."  Ultimately not only did we both feel a peace over fertility treatments, but we both wanted to make sure that going through that process would be both edifying and glorifying to the Lord.  However, we both agreed that adoption was in our future...just after we had a biological baby first.

Right before I went through the 2nd transfer in December 2017, I started to feel like God was throwing anything adoption related in my path.  Basically everywhere I looked on social media, there was an adoption related story or post.  And I want to say around that time my favorite blogger started a private Facebook adoption group that I requested to join because remember, Dustin and I had agreed almost a year before that adoption was in our future.

Fast forward a little...we didn't get pregnant in December and I really, REALLY started to feel the pull toward adoption.  (I never mentioned any of this to Dustin and kept it all inside.)  But we couldn't.  We still had one more transfer to go through, so I tried not to read anything about adoption, but it was everywhere!  Before our last transfer in April 2018, my bff, and I registered to go to The Gospel Coalition Women's Conference and while I was registering, I had to pick out three workshops I wanted to attend.  I struggled between the workshop on catechizing your children and the workshop on adoption.  I ended up choosing adoption....you'll see how this is important later on.

When Dustin and I got the call on April 20th that we were pregnant, I immediately unfollowed and deleted anything adoption related.  (This is where I could throw in a mini-sermon on how I really am like the Israelites in the Old Testament.)  Because we were finally going to have a baby, I felt like I didn't need to look at anything else adoption related.  It's like I was telling God, "Nope, not yet God because we're having a biological baby first."  I even almost changed my conference workshop from adoption to catechizing your children because I obviously didn't need the one on adoption. 😉

And then on May 16th, we got the news that we had lost our baby.  That grief was unlike anything I had ever experienced.  And as time went on and doing life got a little bit easier, my heart started to strongly feel like adoption was where God was leading us.   So strongly that the thought of doing another round of fertility treatments made me physically sick.  So I mustered up the courage to tell Dustin how I was feeling because I was afraid that he would think that in my grief, I still wanted a baby so badly that I would resort to any method--thus, making a baby my idol.  And in God's goodness, Dustin felt the same way that I did about adoption!!  Praise Him for that!  And thank the Lord that I didn't cancel my conference workshop on adoption because one month after losing our sweet baby, I was sitting in a room listening to an adoptive couple share the beauty of the gospel in adoption.   

So, that's our story in a nutshell, and that is why we are pursuing domestic infant adoption.  I tell you that so you don't think that because we couldn't have a baby that we're resorting to adoption and that it's our second choice.  No, adoption has always been in the cards for us. I love this story because you can see God's sovereignty written over every single detail.  Yes, there has been grief in letting go of my dream of carrying my own children in a pregnancy, but there is so much hope and joy found in letting go of that dream and accepting that adoption is how God wants us to build our family.  There have been times where I've wondered why God had us go through infertility for so long, but then I remind myself that if we wouldn't have gone through that, so many Christ-centered conversations with friends and strangers may never have happened.  Because of my suffering, I have been able to point so many people to God's goodness in my life.  I don't take that for granted.

And I'm sorry to constantly talk about our fundraising, but we so desperately need your help to reach our goal financially.  It would be awesome to go into this adoption debt-free!  You can donate through PayPal through this link: paypal.me/DustinShaneyfelt



THANK YOU!!

You can read all of my posts on infertility here.


13 comments:

  1. I for one never thought it was a second choice. Adoption is a huge decision and I knew it would have been one that was well thought out. Im so happy for you and I love love your trust in God through it all!

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  2. I love that y'all are adopting! That sweet little baby is going to be so blessed to have you and Dustin as parents. And you and Dustin will be blessed by that sweet little baby, too! Adoption is such an amazing thing! You are always in my prayers!

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  3. This post needs to go viral because you all are walking testaments to God's Grace and inspiration and paths that you'd never thought you'd cross. I'm soooo proud of you both and this story affects so many....thank you or telling it!! HUGS!

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  4. Such an amazing story! I never would have thought that you chose adoption as a second choice. It’s so awesome to see how God’s plan turns out. I’m so glad you are listening and obeying his guidance! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story when the time comes!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! Looking forward to following along with your entire journey as I always have. I wouldn't be here today without adoption as my mother & her twin sister were domestically adopted, it is a wonderful thing! Many prayers to you!!

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  6. I was so excited when I saw this post title pop up in my reader this morning!

    This post was so encouraging to read and I'm definitely going to bookmark it -- love your attitude, your faith, and your hearts during a time that would make many turn away from God but instead you ran towards him.

    PS Sorry to be super annoying but would you mind letting me know if I'm still a no-reply blogger? Tried fixing it again this morning.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story, Sarah! You should follow Nicole V. Cole’s blog. Her family went through infertility and then started the adoption process and got pregnant. She’s a great resource and writer.

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  8. I would never think that this was a second choice for you and Dustin. Your positivity throughout your journey is truly inspiring! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  9. What a beautiful story! I would never think you chose adoption as a second choice - God always has a plan for us and sometimes the story he’s crafting for us doesn’t make sense until we get there. Loved reading the road you guys walked to come to such a beautiful place. I know there is a birth mama praying for you and Dustin right now.

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  10. This is awesome! I have been following you and your journey since 2015.God is good and I'm excited for you and Dustin and can't wait to see you two as parents!! :)

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  11. What a story!!! You both are inspiring and you are going to be outstanding parents!

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  12. Love that you shared your story. SO happy for you guys again!

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  13. I'm so glad you've shared this story! Best wishes =)

    xx,
    Meredith
    LATEST POST | INSTAGRAM

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