What do you do when the thing you have dreamed of the longest starts to look like it is never going to happen? Do you simply say ok and move on? Do you keep going full force to make it happen and invest energy, hope, faith, finances, time, and all of your emotions in it? Do you give up in anger and stay bitter the rest of your life? Or do you throw your hands up to God and say “I hate this and I am sad and I still want this but you have to do what only you do and change my heart to align with yours and walk me through what this is supposed to look like!”
We will get back to the question in the first paragraph, but first let me introduce myself and a little bit about my story.
My name is Adrienne and I am married to the kindest and most selfless man, my Steven Stelly. We fell in love during my sophomore year of college after locking eyes at the summer camp we both worked at the summer before. We dated and married during my senior year of college. Both of us dreamed of having a big family and decided to start trying after one year of marriage. I knew pretty quickly into trying that it was going to be hard for us, I don’t even really know why; I just had a hunch after a few months of trying with no luck. To be honest the thick of our infertility journey is a blur to me. I think I have subconsciously blocked it out because it was so painful. What I can share is that I was diagnosed with PCOS, have recurrent ovarian cysts requiring surgery, we have MFI, and most recently a diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer.
Infertility was hard on our marriage. After a year of never seeing those two pink lines on a pregnancy test I was ready to do anything and everything to have a baby in my arms. My husband on the other hand was so patient, so trusting of the Lord, and full of faith that God didn’t want us to do fertility treatments. I was so mad. I didn’t care how God “wanted our family to happen” I just wanted a baby right now. After months of begging and convincing my husband he finally agreed we could try fertility meds. We did two rounds of Clomid and guess what, I should have trusted my husband’s peace of not doing fertility meds because my time with Clomid left me with 50 uterine polyps and I bled for 6 months and surgery was required to stop it.
I was SO mad yall. So mad at everything. Mad at God, mad at my body, mad at people who could just get pregnant, just so mad.
This is what it took to get me to a place of surrender.
Let’s reference back to the beginning of this blog post. My dream was dying, I wanted so badly to experience the miracle of pregnancy. But God reminded me, my longest dream wasn’t to be pregnant necessarily, my longest dream was to be a mom and I didn’t have to become pregnant to be a mom. I had options, I could move on and find joy elsewhere, I could keep trying, or I could ask God to change my heart and align it with His. It wasn’t pretty, but I chose the last option. I finally surrendered to God and begged him to change my heart’s desire if I wasn’t going to be able to become pregnant. Guess what yall, he was waiting for me to come to him and ask this of him and he was faithful to literally change my desire. Suddenly the pain of infertility wasn’t so painful. Suddenly my mind completely switched gears and I knew I could still become a mama, but in a different way, a way that was also a dream of mine.
Something VERY important to mention is that ever since I was a little girl I also dreamed of adopting. I’m serious! I did my big 5thgrade research project on adoption. My husband shared this dream and the idea of adoption and/or fostering was something we both agreed we wanted a part of our story long before we knew we would trudge through infertility.
It was really a night and day change in my heart. And I don’t mean that all of a sudden I didn’t want biological children, I still would be amazed and overjoyed if that happened for us, but all of a sudden I knew I would be ok if it didn’t ever happen. God put it on our hearts to drop everything and start the foster care licensing process. You know it’s meant to be when you and your spouse agree completely and 100% on something, because unlike doing fertility treatments, my husband and I were both in total agreement on this.
For time’s sake I will spare the details but God knew what he was doing and he had prepared our path to parenthood long before Steven and I were even a spark in our parent’s eyes. We became licensed within 4 months. One month before our license was official a baby girl was born and placed into foster care. Because of a mix up with CPS she was placed in a temporary home with a family that went to church with us. She should have been placed with an adoptive home due to family history, but again, there was a mix up. Well, I shouldn’t say mix up because there was my God intervening and preparing a way for us to become parents. If she would have gone straight to an adoptive home it wouldn’t have been us because we were still a month from being licensed. Through a lot of uncertainty, ups and downs, and scary moments that little baby girl ended up coming to us.
Our baby girl came home to us right before Christmas in 2016. She was the best Christmas gift I have and will ever receive to say the least. We journeyed through fostering her and a few scary moments where the possibility of her leaving came and went, but the Lord planned for us to be a forever family and she officially shared our last name in November 2017.
My dream came true. No I didn’t become pregnant. But I became a mama. That was the real dream; to become a parent. My journey led me to surrendering my hopes and dreams and asking God to do it His way. I am scared to think of the outcome if I wouldn’t have finally surrendered to Him.
Give your burdens to the Lord friends, he will redeem them.
Adrienne is the lady behind wellfedfamilia.com and @wellfedfamilia on Instagram. You can see her posting new recipes, sharing vulnerable thoughts on her journey through infertility, foster care, adoption, marriage, and cancer, as well as sharing tips for living a well fed life. Adrienne is married to her summer camp sweetheart, mama to a miracle, recently transplanted from Texas all the way to the top of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and currently getting licensed to become a foster parent again. She invites you to join in on the journey to a well fed life!