Married for one year and it was in our timeline to begin growing our family. Married, beautiful house, dog, white picket fence (not really), and so why not? It was time. But, little did we know what was ahead.
After several months and a lot of health complications for me, the doctor’s office became normalcy in our lives for a few years. Two or three visits every week... all the same outcome. Shots, pills, procedures, and not enough answers left us both with broken hearts and the unknown of what was to come. There were many nights cried to sleep. Would we ever become parents? Why us? Will our marriage be the same if we can’t have a family? Will we be lonely when we are old and gray? Is it something we have done to deserve this punishment?
And, at times that is exactly what it felt like... punishment... torture... pure agony. When all our friends were pregnant or already had families and expecting their second child, we could not understand what was going on. Even a simple trip to Walmart could be so tough when you saw a complete stranger pushing a baby in their cart. Satan was at work. He tried every angle and any situation to tear us down, destruct our faith, and sometimes each other.
But, let me back up and rewind to tell you about before Nathan and I ever wanted children. I always in my heart felt like God had called me to adopt. This was before I knew about my infertility. The Holy Spirit had planted a passion in me long ago. I always thought one day I would marry a missionary, and we would travel together in another country for long periods of time. I knew God had called me on a mission... something big... but never expected it His way.
If you are unaware and do not know, I married a handsome plumber instead. Yes, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to get across the oceans and around the world with a plumber. Nathan always turned down the idea of adoption when I mentioned it. He liked the idea and agreed with why we should adopt, but thought it wasn’t for us. He wanted to have “his own.”
We had been in God’s word seeking Him and what He wanted from us during this time. Nathan and I hit our knees daily in any room in our home begging for God’s peace and direction. This “valley” became our best time together. It drew us together as we recklessly abandoned ourselves to His will. Our hearts were soft, and God was ever so present. Even in the most difficult time there was a peace I can never describe. Even in the midst of the pain that would literally become physical because it hurt so bad... there was peace. Even when we returned to the doctor to find out we couldn’t do IVF because it was too unsafe for me... there was peace. And, my very last visit when the doctor sat me down in her office and looked me in the eye to say "this is the end of the road”... there was peace.
God used this time to help us find something we only thought we had. Focus. True surrender. He gave us Proverbs 19:21 and then he gave us James 1:27... ”to take care of the orphans....” So we did. We welcomed two little boys in our home.
And, guess what? My plumber became the missionary I imagined marrying. God knew he was all along. He was a servant surrendering to God’s calling. Isn’t that what a true missionary is? And, now God had developed our home into a mission field. Our desire was to be the picture of Jesus... to do things the world thought was hard and sacrifice for what He called us to live for instead. It was not about what we wanted anymore. God had changed both of our hearts. And, Nathan wanted to adopt as we learned this was God’s story for us, His children. We were adopted, right? This IS THE GOSPEL!
After seven months of loving and trying to bring healing and Jesus into these boys’ lives, they returned home. But, they returned home new. They both received Jesus in their hearts before leaving.
Seven days later... we had been chosen. A seventeen-year-old girl carrying a little boy had chosen us to become parents to the child she was due to have shortly. During our foster care journey, we began the adoption process as well. Little did we truly know how perfect God’s timing is. Our son would be born only 40 days later.
We welcomed our son, Walker Samuel Dye, into the world on June 7, 2012. His birth mom was an angel. She let us have him as soon as he was born. We were first to hold him. There’s never been a second that he was not 110% ours. He was perfect.
Adoption and foster care is God’s mission for our family. Maybe not living in Africa, but bringing the mission field in our front yard. People ask us why we did not adopt from China or somewhere else and we don’t know. There’s a mission field down our street and around the corner. You don’t always have to cross a big ocean to become a disciple. Sometimes all you need to do is simply open up your front door.
I like to run. No, I love to run. Running is hard sometimes, tiring and challenging. But, running is also rewarding. We ran. It was hard, long, and it hurt sometimes. But, at the end, the finish line was worth it all. I’d like to say we are definitely not done running. Maybe that was just a 10k and we have a few half marathons ahead or a full 26.2 miles. I cannot wait.
“... let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus....” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Oh, by the way... When Walker turned seven-months-old, God wasn’t finished. I am now carrying a baby girl, due September 15, 2013. She and I are as healthy as can be! TO GOD BE THE GLORY...
Stay tuned for our next race!