Wednesday, you met my friend Linda. She is the first in our series of sisters stories.
You read how God worked an incredible miracle in her life to provide her and her husband the child they had so prayed for and had gone through such heartache to find.
As Cole grew, they knew they wanted Cole to have a sibling. They were concerned about the impact a second adoption could have on Cole because of some hard adoption experiences of friends whose birthmothers had changed their minds. But they couldn’t afford another donor cycle.
As they were sorting through what to do, Linda talked to an old friend in South Africa who was going through the same struggles. Her friend shared that they had chosen to do a donor IVF cycle in South Africa and Linda was stunned at the difference in cost. Her friend said, “Come over! You can have a South African-American baby!”
Cole had never visited Linda’s home country. Together with her husband, Linda decided to make the trip. American sperm were fed-exed to the South African fertility doctor and Linda started the hormone course with her fertility doctor here in the U.S. The family had a beautiful vacation to see her hometown and her family and friends and, in the middle of it, they stopped in for the IVF transfer.
As they sat in the clinic waiting room, they had already decided to have one embryo transferred. The doctor sat with them and said that given her history, the time and expense of this trip, and that this was their last fertility treatment, they should transfer two embryos. He left them to talk. Linda looked at her husband and asked, “Which would be worse, twins or no more children,” fully expecting him to say “Twins!” Instead, he replied, “No more children would be FAR worse. We can survive twins.”
And so, the doctor transferred two embryos, they completed their vacation, and headed back to the U.S.
At the first scan, the doctor saw only one heartbeat. Linda shared that instead of feeling elated she was crestfallen. She felt like she had lost a soul.
But then she had another appointment.
And there were two heartbeats.
The pregnancy was not easy. Because Linda had never been pregnant, she had started to believe that she couldn’t carry a baby, much less two. The fear told her that she couldn’t deliver these babies alive.
That’s what fear does. When you have been through such a savage struggle and you find that you have moved beyond it, all the forces of darkness tell you that you haven’t. That you can’t. That the struggle will define you. But the struggle does not define you. It does not write your story’s ending.
At thirty-seven weeks, Linda heard her daughter’s cries as she delivered him and began to cry herself. Her cries were quickly followed by the cries of her brother. She couldn’t believe it. They were both here. Beautiful and perfect and miraculous.
Linda remarked on a conversation she once had with an adoptive mother. She’d asked, “When did you get over not being pregnant?” The mother had replied, “I never really got over it, I have a small part of me that is still sad.” Linda says she had the exact opposite experience:
The second I held Cole, I was over being pregnant. God gave me everything I ever needed right there in that moment. I did end up becoming pregnant. But I could have taken it or left it. For me, it was about the miracles God delivered, literally, and not the means of delivery.
Even though none of the three children are biologically theirs, Linda says that people constantly remark when they are out, We sure can pick out whose are yours!
God certainly could. He picked out whose were theirs. He knew it all along. As we wrapped up our conversation, Linda shared,
These are the three we were meant to have.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory…
Elise Daly Parker says
What a beautiful story. God’s will be done! He just always knows what He’s doing.
Thanks Elise – yes, He does!
SO beautiful! I love that you shared Linda’s story, friend…isn’t God incredible? Blessings to her sweet family! 🙂
Than you Mel – and ye, incredible!