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Be Brave

August 18, 2019

Written by Kristin Pierce, Guest Blogger

My husband and I have always known we wanted to have a family. I remember our first Christmas together, when a family member asked “So when are you all going to start a family?” I remembered looking forward to that time with eager anticipation, but also realizing that maybe our family and it’s growth wouldn’t be easy. I had no idea the journey God had planned for us. 

Our journey to parenthood was rather uneventful. One week in January 2015, both my sister and a good friend told me they were both pregnant (and due within days of each other). “We are the ONLY ones not pregnant! Everyone is moving on without us,” I thought. We knew we wanted to start a family in the near future, but didn’t feel “ready.” I know now that you are never ready; there are always reasons to not try if you look for them. Then, one rainy Saturday morning in May 2015, I took a positive pregnancy test. Life forever changed for the better from that moment.

In January 2016, after 39 weeks of praying and anticipation,  I was induced and we were able to meet our perfect son, Camden that I’d been feeling kick for the past 9 months. In the weeks and months that passed after that, our sweet Camden grew and developed from a newborn to a baby to a toddler. 
I LOVED (and still love) being a mom! I vividly remember feeling so enamored with my new sweet son. I gushed to my sister-in-law “I want to have 100 babies!” I knew I wanted to parent more kids and for Camden to have a sibling. After adjusting to being parents, we entered a season of contentment with our little family. 

When Camden was about a year, we started thinking about having another baby. We were excited to see how God would move and bless our family. After several months of trying, on a cold December day, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive! Jacob and I were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to meet our baby in August. We decided to wait until I went to the doctor in early January to tell our families.

On New Years Eve, I started showing signs of miscarriage. We were crushed. We prayed. We wept. We called my doctor and she told me I could either let it play out or go to the ER. Because the doctor didn’t reopen for a few days and we wanted closure, we decided to go get it checked out. We took Camden to my parent’s house and sped to the ER. We got confirmation of what we dreaded…I was having a miscarriage. We were devastated. I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum, meaning a fertilized egg implanted and a sac formed, but the baby never grew after that. I remember sitting in the ER with Jacob…heartbroken and eating our free hamburger (or the world’s most expensive hamburger considering our ER bills, depending on how you look at it) and saying “Is this God calling us to adopt?”

Adoption is something that had been on our hearts as a couple for years. We prayed about it but never seriously pursued it, and weren’t sure how that passion might play out in our lives.  We decided to pray about it as we grieved, and ultimately decided that we would try again. Although we were heartbroken, I am thankful for God’s timing, because that evening, when we picked Camden up from my parents house, was the last time that I saw my dad before he passed away from flu complications. My last memory of him is him giving me a big hug. He gave the best hugs and, although it was to comfort me, I’m so grateful that is my last memory of him.

 As we navigated through the grief of the loss of our baby and the loss of dad, I found comfort in knowing that dad was holding our baby in heaven, and that made me smile. We continued to be open to growing our family and were excited to learn that I was pregnant again in April and due on Christmas day! We handled this pregnancy completely differently and told our families so that they could be praying for us. I dealt with a lot of fear this pregnancy, having lost not long before. I prayed and felt Him so clearly saying “you might not meet this baby on earth, either, but I am still with you and I am still good.” 

Things appeared to be going well until I was 8 weeks and, again, began showing signs of a miscarriage. I frantically called my doctor and they worked me in that afternoon. The sonogram showed that there was a baby, but it’s heartbeat was very slow and the baby was measuring small (about 6 weeks gestationally). The baby did not appear to be developing normally. The doctor told us to go home and come back tomorrow. My symptoms got worse and I miscarried the next day. 

We felt completely sick with grief. How could this happen? Again! We cried and we prayed. We felt confident this time that God’s plan for our family was not for us to grow our family through pregnancy but through adoption. As we continued thinking and praying about adoption, a supernatural peace came over both Jacob and me. I felt more like myself than I had since we started trying to have a baby. 

It seemed like adoption was suddenly everywhere… the new show we started watching on HGTV had adopted children, students and clients were talking about it. God was so clear with us, and, although we were sad for the loss of our baby, we felt humbled and honored to follow God’s will for our life and pursue adoption. We realized quickly that God’s ways and plans are much superior to ours. We spoke with an adoption consulting agency on the phone and continued praying. As we stepped out in obedience, God began providing financially for us through new jobs for both Jacob and me. God was so clear with us, and we were so grateful.

About 6 weeks after we announced we were adopting (the week our adoption fundraiser t-shirts came in), I realized I was late. “Surely not,” I thought. You see, after our loss in May and decision to adopt, I passionately felt that I DID NOT want to be pregnant again, EVER. The week went on, and still nothing. I bought a pregnancy test. I waited until Friday afternoon, when I was home alone to take the test.

I’ll never forget how quickly that pregnancy test turned positive. Those two lines appeared faster than I thought they could. I’ve never felt more fear in my life. I remember saying out loud, “God, I don’t know what you’re doing here. “ I panicked. I didn’t want to be pregnant again. Ever. Yet here I was, against all odds. I called my husband (and made sure he was sitting down). We were both in disbelief. I think God has a funny sense of humor.

The day I took the test was the day was the day that the “Be Brave” shirts came in the mail. I sat at home so overwhelmed and scared, as friend after friend texted me pictures that said “Be Brave.” God knew that was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment— to be brave and trust Him. Being completely honest, while adoption is hard, it felt like the safer choice after recurrent losses. It would require courage that could only be found through Him to ride out this pregnancy, no matter which direction it went. 

I called my doctor the following Monday. The nurse was shocked to hear that it was me and my news. I went in the following day for bloodwork. The nurse explained that, if my HCG numbers were under 10,000, I would come back on Thursday for repeat blood work. But,  if they were over 10,000, they would perform a sonogram. The next day was Wednesday. I was at work and anticipating the call all day long. Late in the afternoon, the nurse called. My numbers were over 20,000, so she told me that they would do a sonogram on Thursday.

I wasn’t planning to tell anyone for a long time, but I had plans with my mom and sister the next day. I told them both and my sister told me that she was also pregnant. While I was happy for her, my heart sank, knowing that it would be difficult to watch her raise a baby due at the same time as the one I had lost.I was shaking as the doctor entered the examination room. She began to perform the sonogram. I tried not to look at the screen. She quickly found baby, measuring exactly 6 weeks. There was no heartbeat yet (this can be common at that point), so I set an appointment to come back on Monday. On Monday, the baby had grown substantially, measuring 7 weeks and had a healthy, strong heartbeat.

Although I felt overjoyed, I also was consumed by fear. What if we lose again? I honestly didn’t think I could handle it emotionally. I was seeing a counselor at the time after a bout with postpartum anxiety. As I told her our story, I remember her saying “You know God will carry you through it either way. He’s carried you through a pregnancy and given you a healthy baby, and He’s carried you through your miscarriages. Find comfort in that.” It was easier said than done, but I spent a lot of time praying for His will to be done, not mine. 

With each passing appointment, God eased my fears. The baby was growing and developing. We soon learned that she was a girl. We chose to name her Caris, meaning ‘grace and kindness,’ as we felt she was God’s grace to us in this season. As we prayed for her and my pregnancy, my husband and I continued to pray about adoption. We felt God clearly continuing to lead us down that path, but not until after our family had adjusted. We made it to both due dates for the babies I lost (August 10 and December 25).  Each one felt like a milestone in my pregnancy.

I continued to grieve, but felt so humbled and blessed to be able to do something I didn’t think I’d ever do again– grow another baby. On March 18, 2019, our sweet rainbow baby arrived! She is the most laid back and happy baby- a perfect addition to our little family, and further confirmation that adoption is still in our future. The love I feel for Caris is different than that I feel for our son, as I think is normal when you have multiple children. I appreciate the beauty of the journey in a different way and am so tangibly able to see that our prayers didn’t go to waste. God was never saying “no,” He was simply saying “Not yet. My plans for your family are bigger and more beautiful than you can even imagine.”

Our faith has been stretched, but the promise and faithfulness He’s shown us through our sweet rainbow baby are greater than we could have ever asked or imagined. The road to get us here, to grow our family, has been anything but easy. It’s had many tears and many doubts. We’ve experienced our highest highs and our lowest lows. It’s been immensely different than we expected, but it has been so beautiful.  

We continue to pray that our family can be a blessing to a birth mom who maybe feels overwhelmed and who has more love for her unborn baby that she can even fathom. We are so grateful to be able to see how God is using our heartache for good through His continued call to adopt. We know that if He hadn’t led us through the journey of infertility, we would have missed out on knowing Him more deeply, His provision of our rainbow girl in addition to His call to adopt have allowed us to truly taste and see His goodness. 

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:1, 3

If you’d like to connect with Kristin, find her on Instagram, Facebook or her website!

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