•By Nicole Cole, Guest Blogger
I’m Nicole, wife to Tyler and new mama to Campbell and Crawford. My two babes born 10 weeks apart. Campbell joined our family by adoption and Crawford grew in my belly. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not immensely grateful to be a mama to not one… but TWO incredible tiny humans! I’m so excited to share a little of our story today. It’s my deepest desire that you will walk away encouraged no matter your season of life.
In the summer of 2014 we started talking about getting pregnant. (Side note: I try to never say “start a family” because that’s something that always hurt for me to hear. We were already a family! Having babies wouldn’t make us a family…the day we got married we became a family. I hope that encourages any of you who are waiting!) Over the next couple of months we started actively trying to conceive. Early on we had the talk about what we would do if we couldn’t get pregnant. Honestly, this thought was completely foreign to me. I really didn’t know anyone personally who struggled to conceive so it seemed so far fetched that we would even discuss it. But, I feel as though this was God’s way of giving us complete peace over our journey very early on and I’m so thankful for that. We decided together that we would pursue very minimal fertility treatments and we would definitely pursue adoption.
Fast forward a little over a year and we had a few rounds of testing. Because of a previous surgery of mine my abdominal area is absolutely covered in scar tissue. We were told that it wasn’t impossible for us to conceive naturally, but it would be a lot harder because of my scar tissue. The next several months after that we decided to go on Clomid for a few cycles. During this time I felt God call us to adoption. I felt the call so strongly and knew that it was something that would be in our near future. My husband wasn’t quite to this point yet so we continued on Clomid and we kept praying about adoption separately.
My body and mind did not respond well to Clomid and one month we decided that if we didn’t get pregnant we would quit all treatments. That next month, my period came. It was probably one of the hardest and best months for me. I took some time away from social media for 6 weeks and dug deep into prayer. It was during this time that I felt the Lord confirming adoption. Within those weeks God was working in my husband’s heart as well and on February 16, 2016 we sent the first email to our adoption consultant!
Over the next few months we dove head first into the adoption process. We quickly started fundraising, did our home study, and worked to get all our ducks in a row so that our profile could be active as soon as possible! Pregnancy was no longer something we were pursuing and the Lord gave us both such closure as we moved into adoption. On May 18, 2016 we got quite the surprise. One line quickly turned to two on a pregnancy test. We were pregnant! We were both surprised but excited and our first conversation was about our adoption. We both we’re 100% certain that we were to continue pursuing adoption. We also knew that it was very likely that we would match by the end of 2016 and with a due date in January, it was incredibly likely our babies would be only a few months apart.
Fast forward to September when we matched with a little boy! He was born on September 18th and we hopped on a plane with all our baby gear anxious to meet our son. I’ll never forget sitting in a hotel lobby in south Florida as our adoption agency worker sat across from us and told us how our son’s first mom had changed her mind and decided not to place. We were going to leave that hotel without a baby. We were both absolutely crushed. I’ve never in my life hurt so deeply. We were confused and grieving and unsure of what the next few months would hold for us.
Within the next few weeks we got a call about another baby. We were hesitant to say yes, but ultimately both felt like we needed to put our yes on the table despite being afraid of another failed match. That was the sweetest “yes” we’ve ever said. On October 23rd, 2016 I became a mama to a tiny 4 pound 11 ounce Hispanic boy who has completely captured our hearts in every single way. And then 10 weeks later, his sister came. Our sweet Crawford Elaine! And just like that, we are parents to two tiny humans. I can’t imagine our lives without either of our babies. Our story isn’t one that I anticipated in any way, but oh how sweet it is!
There are two phrases I’ve heard a thousand times as people have heard our story, “See, you relaxed and it happened!” and “Whenever someone adopts they end up getting pregnant!” Both of these phrases couldn’t be further from the truth and it came incredibly hurtful to hear. The month we conceived was probably the most stressful month we had personally, professionally, and in our adoption. But even if we had the best month of our lives…it still doesn’t change the fact that “relaxing” doesn’t make a baby. It hurts me to know that this comment puts blame on the parents and usually, the mama who so desperately wants to get pregnant. Without realizing it, someone making this comment has just said, “If you would do something differently, you could get pregnant…it’s your fault this isn’t happening.” If you’ve said these words before, I want to compassionately urge you never to say them again. So many times friends and family members mean well but their words still sting. If you know someone struggling to conceive or someone who has conceived after a hard road of infertility, please speak words of encouragement and love over them! It’s truly the best thing that you can do.
If you’re someone who is struggling to conceive, I urge you to respond in grace as you educate! Something that has been so important to me in our journey is to use every single situation to educate others. Instead of always being offended, I can use my words to educate those who might say hurtful words unintentionally. Use your situation to teach others about the language they use and what is helpful and harmful to you as you struggle!
Adoption is also not the cure to infertility. There are many, many families who will adopt and never conceive. Saying “this happens to everyone” is not only false but incredibly hurtful. Adoption should never be viewed as a “fix” for infertility. Adoption has been an incredible blessing in our lives and we cannot imagine life without our sweet son! He is our son. Period. He is not our “adopted son,” even though, yes, he is adopted. He is our son just like our daughter is our daughter. His story just looks differently than hers and we will always, always celebrate their uniqueness in our family! Adoption is hard but it’s been such a treasure in our lives and in our family. Friend who is struggling, I hope that you read this story and see God’s plan unfolding. If we would have conceived naturally right away we wouldn’t have our sweet Campbell. Every single day we struggled was worth it the day he made me a mama. If we would have conceived right away, we wouldn’t have the exact baby that is our biological daughter. She was worth the struggle. Mama who is waiting, God is writing a story for your family that you cannot comprehend. It’s my prayer that you would know that you’re loved by a God who doesn’t make mistakes. By a God who is never late. By a God who understands your pain deeply and who wants to use your waiting for good. Our story is not our story apart from the redemptive work of Jesus and the cross. Because of Jesus we have hope beyond babies and our family. I have hope of a perfect eternity.
If you want to know more about Nicole’s relationship with Jesus or her adoption process or just to chat please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.