Did you know that it is officially “Infertility Awareness Week”? In honor of that fact, I decided it would be fun to share with you all the story I submitted for a contest with the Fertility Center of West Michigan. It is a 100% true story, my story. I had to leave out many of the details, but you will get the gist.
We literally had one opportunity to get pregnant in June of 2005, and low and behold, we learned on July 2 that we were pregnant with our firstborn, a daughter. Since we seemingly had no problem getting pregnant the first time, we were quickly puzzled when the reality that building our family may not happen in our way or in our timeframe.
When our daughter was about a year and a half, we started trying for another child. Like many people, we wanted our children close together in age. Every month that ticked by felt like time running away from us and we were powerless to stop it. After a year of trying, we sought medical assistance with Dr. Dodds and the Fertility Center.
We were hesitant to seek medical assistance for fear of trying to “play God.” Were we trying to make something happen, trying to take control? Would God bless it if we got pregnant this way? Many other questions wrestled around in our heads, but we received an encouraging word from a friend that has forever had an impact. He said, “Since we know that it is the heart of God to bless us with children, I would do anything (morally) to make it happen.” Hearing these words gave us the encouragement to keep moving forward without doubting whether or not God was with us. He was and IS with us. We were seeking life (a child) where there had been death (an empty womb).
God is the life-giver, and he sometimes uses medicine to make that happen. We are so grateful he has.
In the summer of 2007, we thought the dream of owning a home on enough land to keep our horses would be realized. We found a dilapidated home on 5 acres at a price we could afford. The house was in terrible shape, but we were willing to put in the work and we knew enough people who would be willing to get their hands dirty with us. On the day we were set to close on the house, the bank backed out. The month we had originally found the house was the month we began trying for another baby.
As a full year ticked on, we kept fighting for this house that we were so sure was ours. We almost had it a total of 3 times, only to have it slip through our fingers for good in the summer of 2008. We found ourselves with no “dream house on land” and we were still waiting for another addition to our family. We decided to leave our current home on the market in hopes that one day we would have our own “Promised Land,” like God’s people in the Bible. We felt a call to leave what we knew and loved (our current house) and set out for a place that God had just for us (a home on land).
That same summer, I heard a quote on the radio from the movie “Facing the Giants.” The quote was about 2 farmers that asked God for rain. One farmer asked God and then went out and planted his field. The other was waiting for the rain before he would plant. The message was, “Which farmer trusted God to bring the rain?” As I listened to this story that I had heard before, I started crying as I sensed God was telling me to “prepare my fields” for what I had asked for, a baby. I was drying my eyes and asking God how exactly I was supposed to prepare for a baby, when I pulled up behind a car that had a bumper sticker I have never seen before. It read, “Woman, behold your son,” and had an ultrasound picture of a baby on it! Again, the tears began flowing. I knew in my heart that God was telling me that I would have a son.
Later that week, I was really feeling like the name of our son would be Joshua. My husband knew nothing about this feeling I had, when one day, he came home from work and said, “What do you think of the name, Joshua?” I about fell out of my chair, but managed to ask him, “Why?” He explained that he felt like it was the name we needed to call our son. Mind you, we still were not pregnant. Yet, somehow we knew that we would have a son and his name would be Joshua.
In the spring of 2009, nearly a year after the conversation about the name, after the last possible person we knew announced they were pregnant, we found out we were pregnant! Shortly after celebrating and eagerly anticipating our new arrival, we decided to take our house off the market and prepare for our child in our current home. The night before we had planned to call our realtor, he called us. He explained that the one person who had ever come through our house (in 2 years) wanted to come the next day (the day we planned to take it off the market), and she wanted to put an offer on it.
Suddenly, after 2 years of trying for a child and 2 years of trying to sell our house, we had sold our house and were pregnant with a baby that the ultrasound confirmed was a baby boy! We moved in with my mom as we searched diligently for any home on land we could possibly afford. None were out there. We low-balled owners at $75,000 below their asking price in hopes that someone would be able to meet us at our budget.
We resigned ourselves to the fact that we just might have to wait a little longer for our “Promised Land.” However, one day I chose a different route into town from my mom’s house and noticed a faded “For Sale” sign at the end of a driveway. The sign said, “For sale by owner, barn, 10 acres.” I had to pull over to read the phone number because it was so faded. I called right away (while standing at the end of the driveway) and learned that they wanted to sell the house for EXACTLY our price.
We later learned that they had been trying to sell the house for 2 years – the exact amount of time we had begun our journey of looking for a house with land and trying to have another child! The house turned out to be 100 times better than the house we originally hoped for and as we studied the story of the Israelites entering the promised land, we learned that Moses did not get to lead God’s people into the promised land. It was Joshua.
Our Joshua was born 5 days after we got the horses to our house and were finally settled in our “Promised Land.” The whole time I was pregnant with him, the word, “Joy” was on my mind. I felt like somehow this precious little life and the word “joy” were closely tied together. Sure enough, this kid is the most joyful little boy you have ever met. He smiled at an early 4 weeks old and has never stopped. God even gave him two dimples that add to it! His goal in life has always been to make people laugh.
“The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy” (Psalm 65:8).
We are currently waiting and hoping for another special addition to our family. Remembering how God has a special story written for each person and each family, helps us as we wait for the next chapter of ours to be written…