I am so thrilled and honored to be sharing this couple’s story and exciting announcement!
As a little girl, you dream of one day marrying prince charming, living out your ideal career, traveling and exploring the world, the big house and white-picket fence… Then, of course, you have toys scattered throughout the house, fingerprints on the glass, dirty footprints on the floor, the smell of baby lotion (or probably more so dirty diapers) that all come along with the sounds of baby giggles and cries. Those dreams and assumptions of how I had my life planned out soon turned into a bad dream.
In 2014, after knowing that God had placed a special desire in our hearts to become parents, we embarked on the journey. Planning out when the best time of year would be to conceive considering I teach school and would have the summer off for maternity leave. We began walking through baby stores and sections, ‘oooing’ and ‘ahhhing’ over sweet little shoes, onesies, bibs, nursery decorations, you name it. We even began making a few small purchases confident that we would fulfill our calling, our plan, our purpose. After trying to conceive for 6 months with no success, my OBGYN put me on fertility medicine. I wasn’t worried, I just knew it would happened. Then the next 3 month came and went….fertility meds, positive ovulation tests, yet no baby. At this point frustration began to set in.
We found ourselves in January of 2015. A new year, surely by Christmas we’d have a baby, right? We were referred to a local fertility doctor for further guidance and investigation into what could be hindering our hopes and dreams of completing our family. The doctor suggested an HSG (___________) to ensure no blockages throughout my reproductive system. Sure enough…all clear! As odd as it seems, I was a little disappointed by the news. I was so hoping for something, nothing major, but minor to bring answers to our struggles for the past several months. We were advised to begin treatment, so then came an IUI in February followed by another IUI in March. Doctor’s appointments after doctor’s appointments…Blood drawn, shots, ultrasounds….day after day, month after month. ‘NOT PREGNANT’ burned in my memory time and time again. We began questioning God. His purpose for our lives. Had we misunderstood, misheard the path which we had been called?
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
These two verses continuously began crossing our path. It seemed as though God was simply saying, ‘Wait. I already have it all planned out for you. Your best interest in mind. Be patient and allow my plan to come to fruition.’
Okay, okay, God. I’ll ‘wait’. While trusting and having faith was one of the most difficult things to do and understand during this time, we knew we had to push through. We were tired. We were physically, emotionally, and financially stressed.
We began praying harder than ever. We had received confirmation of our path and our calling…our timing wasn’t His timing. This wasn’t our battle to fight…
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14
After taking some time off all of the medicines, relaxing, eliminating some stress and pressure, and trying some natural herbs and supplements, I was convinced nothing was seriously wrong with me. This was simply my body crying out for help. I tried everything from vitamins, baby Asprin, Maca Root Powder, to red clover and raspberry teas.
We sought out a second opinion in July who was a God send. His office took us in like family, walk us through the next several months, but most of all, prayed for us. He adjusted some of my medication and we then began IUI #3 in August of that year….FAILED. September rolled around with IUI #4…FAILED.
‘Why God?’ ‘What have I done to deserve this punishment?’ ‘What is the purpose of this long, dark road?’ ‘Do you even hear me?’
My faith was being tested. I desired to remain strong, keep the faith, and remember his perfect plan, but that was tested by the day, the hour, the minute. A struggle that I was battling constantly. I felt like I had been forgotten. All those hopes and dreams as a little girl were never going to happen for me. I had the prince charming, I had the career, I had a family who are my biggest fans, and friends who are my sisters. But there was still a void in my heart…a hole…an empty feeling that ached. My heart was longing for the baby who I had only held in my dreams. A baby who I was grieving the loss of month after month.
In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me. –Psalm 120:1
October of 2015 led to a laparoscopy, to investigate and see if there was a deeper, underlying cause for this ‘unexplained infertility’ battle. I was genuinely praying for an answer. At this point, if I woke up from surgery and heard, ‘Everything looks textbook perfect,’ one more time, I was going to scream. No, it is not ‘textbook’ perfect. SOMETHING is going on. Thankfully, we did receive a diagnosis of endometriosis. Thankful? Well, yes. A glimpse of hope, something to encourage us to continue our journey when we were completely broken and surrounded by darkness. It felt like we were getting some sort of answer to the emotional and physical roller coaster we had been on for the past year and a half.
The diagnosis was temporarily resolved through the surgery, and we were cleared to pursue this child. November came with our 5th IUI. We knew that our ‘problem’ had been resolved. This may actually be month! Nope. Knowing we were nearing the end of our rope of options aside from IVF, we agreed to live out this journey with no regrets or ‘what ifs’.
We found ourselves kneeling in the nursery every night. Calling out. Begging. Pleading. Our hearts were longing for this baby.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. –Philippians 4:6
December brought about a double IUI, #6 and #7th. I was confident. We had proved how bad we wanted this baby. We had prayed specifically for this child. We had also prayed once again, ‘Remove this desire and calling within our hearts, if this doesn’t align with YOUR plan.’ IUI #6 and #7 both failed… My body had failed me… All the while, the calling was still planted deep in our hearts.
In January 2016, one more year had passed us by. One more year we had remained ‘Simmons, Party of 2.’ Here we sit at a crossroads. $8,325 later with no baby, not even close to one…no clear cut, definite answers.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
What now, God? You’ve called us. We followed. We prayed. We trusted. We weathered this storm of life. We did everything you asked. Did we became weak along the way? Absolutely. But we pushed through and remained faithful to the best of our ability.
The hopeful emotions of trusting God would fulfill his promises, yet that hope dashed month after month. We didn’t feel led to take the path of IVF, but since August of the previous year, we had a little desire…wondering…pondering about the avenue of ADOPTION. What might that look like for us, our family? Could that be our calling? Surely not. Had we missed our purpose?
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! Luke 1:45
We KNEW without a doubt that God had molded and shaped our hearts to be parents. He had given us this desire and if we really believe the Bible, we knew His plan would grant this to our family in some way.
Yet as a woman, I had to grieve the loss of a child I had desired so much to have. I had to accept the reality, that aside from a miracle from God, I would never become a biological mother. I would never see the words ‘PREGNANT’ on a pregnancy test, nor would I feel a baby kick in my womb, watch my belly grow, hear my baby’s first cry, or experience the miracle of childbirth.
After coping and dealing with this new path which we were being led, we finally attended an adoption informational meeting at a local agency. Getting a lot of details about the process and returning home with a mountain of paperwork to complete. But one thing we returned home with that evening that I had never expected…was a peace in our hearts. We knew in that moment, this was indeed our calling, our path. He already has the most special, perfect baby picked out just for our family.
Through this peace and reflecting on how far we had come, I realized this truth. God had heard every prayer that was prayed. He was waiting on us. Waiting for us to lay down the burden, not share the burden. Accept His plan for our family, not ours. Allow Him to prove that he is faithful to keep his promises. We were simply being called to step out on faith….true faith. Not knowing what would lie ahead but just trusting. Trusting when we didn’t feel like trusting any more. Trusting through heartache, anger, and frustration.
That following week, we continued to receive confirmation through sermons, songs, verses, and people that God was actually working in our lives. When in our darkest moments, most vulnerable moments, we actually found a renewed strength. God loves us so much that he was willing to send his son, Jesus, to die on the cross and adopt us, you and me, into his family of believers. It is through this unconditional love that we have opened our hearts to use as an example of what love should look like. We do not have to have our biological child to become parents. Better yet, we will one show unconditional love and sacrifice things in our current life to make it possible to choose this child and this child choose us.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. — Ephesians 1:4-5
Our prayer throughout this entire journey has been, ‘God, use our journey and struggles in some way.’ He had indeed heard our prayer. Becoming vulnerable and openly sharing our journey before the ‘happy, perfect ending’ was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make along this journey. We were exposing our failure, defeat, high’s and low’s, joyful times, and extreme sadness. I never imagined that people would actually care, rather than be more critical. BUT how would God ever use us or our testimony if we were not willing to be open? Through the vulnerability of this journey, we have actually gained strength. The truth is, we are struggle throughout life with something. We often tend to fight our battles along, but when we look around there are actually people around us fighting the same battles or willing to help you fight. What we always see is the outter appearance of people, we don’t see their heart and struggles which are there.
We are beyond blessed and humbled by the out pour of love, support, questions, encouragement, prayers, and people who know first-hand the path which we are walking, have meant more and given us sustained strength to continue fighting through this storm. If we can make even a small difference and bring awareness to the struggles of infertility, it has been worth every step of the way.
We have yet to reach the rainbow at the end of our storm nor do I have all those childhood dreams fulfilled, but we are remaining faithful, declaring and claiming, that we will grow our family one day. We are beyond excited to know that we are going to provide a home where this baby will fill a void in our lives, as well as, us in his/her. We are eager to hold, love, kiss, play, spoil, travel, experience all the ‘firsts’ of this baby’s life. We are waiting with arms wide open. And then, in that moment, Itsy Bitsy will make us a complete family.
To See this couples exciting announcement see our post Announcement. You can Follow Megan and Ray’s story here: http://simmonspartyof2.weebly.com and to see more of Logan Kilgore Photography, you can visit them Here. Please comment and show your love for Megan and Ray below!
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