“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
I let go of the six words that were always on my mind.
“God, please let us become pregnant” was replaced with questions about what adoption would mean for us. This came after 22 months of trying to conceive. A doctor who knew far more than we did told us our best odds of getting pregnant would come with in-vitro fertilization – which was our self-imposed boundary to let go of trying to become parents biologically. We thanked him for the information and headed home.
And we headed into a new adventure that would change me.
We had absolutely no idea what throwing ourselves into adoption would mean, but for the first time in my life I was experiencing the peace that passes all understanding. And I had yet to learn about a teenage girl who was just a couple months into her unexpected pregnancy.
My husband Greg is an attorney so we told some attorney friends about our desire to adopt. We told some doctors, our family, and friends. I needed an emotional break from making appointments and telling professionals about diabetes, endometriosis, and probable polycystic ovarian syndrome, so we didn’t research adoption agencies.
Even so, about two months after we stopped trying, God opened a door. On Christmas Eve, my sister Cassie shared what she knew about a college freshman who was interested in making an adoption plan, possibly with us. Let’s call her Mandy.
The hope alone was the best Christmas present ever.
Three days after Cassie spoke hope into our life, I talked with Mandy’s mom on the phone. She believed Greg and I were the answer to her prayers and her own daughter’s hopes. But her daughter was carrying the baby we discussed, so we had to hand the proverbial ball to her. She needed to sort through plans of her own before getting back to us when she was certain of how she wanted to proceed.
Three weeks really isn’t that long, but it sure feels like an eternity while waiting for life-changing news that is in someone else’s hands. Yes, another reminder I wasn’t in control.
My phone finally rang with an out-of-state area code I recognized during the evening of Wednesday, January 17, 2007. Mandy and I quickly realized we were on the same page with wanting to pursue this adoption plan. That was good news enough, but Mandy continued, “And I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning. I’ll have another ultrasound done, if you want to see the baby.”
We wanted to be there, of course.
On January 18, 2007, we drove to the 258 miles to Bloomington, Indiana, to meet Mandy and see our daughter. In the waiting room at the doctor’s office, we had our first conversations with Mandy, who is 5-foot-10 with a sweet face. Her dark hair was mostly straight but seemed to want to flip as it grew longer since her cancer had been in remission.
She could raise the baby growing inside, and truly I have no doubt she’d be a fine mother. But she was just finishing her freshman year of college and thought about going to medical school, or at least pursuing a career in the medical field. I knew then she’d end up helping people. Perhaps that’s why she battled and survived Hodgkins disease, a feat signified by the yellow “Livestrong” bracelet she wore around her wrist.
She’s a survivor and she chose life for this baby girl.
At 25 weeks, our baby girl weighed 1 pound 10 ounces. This would be the first of many trips to Bloomington and many lunches with this young, brave woman who was making me a momma.
I liked Mandy immediately and not just because she was giving Greg and me part of herself – literally. The lunches we shared in January, February, March, and April of that year were filled with conversations about TV shows, hobbies and, yes, the forthcoming adoption. Her parents and siblings supported her decision but most everyone else in her life didn’t realize she spent her first year of college pregnant.
A thank you note and the biggest care package never will do the trick. I can tell her time and time again I appreciated what she did and how she handled herself – not just for herself and her boyfriend, but for us and our daughter. I hope our girl has her determined spirit and positive attitude.
And then I can say it’s in the genes.
God didn’t give me my way in December 2004 when we started trying to have a baby because his way 2½ years later was even better than I could imagine. Less than nine months after I stopped trying to become pregnant, I got to hold my daughter.
Catherine Anna Taylor was born May 6, 2007. We saw the 8-pound, 20-inch girl we call daughter as soon as she entered the world.
Saying I’m thankful for being in the room when she was born is an understatement. People asked if being in there was strange, and I would have thought I’d say it was. But, like the whole adoption process, the birth experience was meant to be – something I can only say because the Creator of the world orchestrated all the details for it to happen, leaving us with the peace that surpasses all my understanding.
Adoption built my faith and my family.
For months and months, I begged to be pregnant, but God heard the desire of my heart, which was to have a family. It’s a lesson I still hold close: Even when we don’t pray the exact words, God knows what we mean.
Kristin Hill Taylor believes in seeking God as the author of every story. She tells her favorite story about how God made her a mom through adoption (twice!) in an ebook called “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family,” which is available at Amazon. God continues to surprise her with all the ways her life is nothing like she expected. Kristin lives in Murray, Kentucky, with her college sweetheart husband, Greg, and their two kids, Cate and Ben.