Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Infertility: Part 3 | Eye Opening

A few months ago, I began to allow myself to open my heart up to the possibility of maybe a different direction God is taking us on. I decided I was going to allow myself to be open to whatever God has for us.

When I did that and laid down MY plan and surrendered that to Him, some amazing things started happening.

One of the ladies that I have been given the privilege to work along side and have as a friend for the past several years is our pastor's wife (Jennifer). She dealt with infertility for 4 years before they conceived Hannah, who is now 12, named after Hannah in the Bible because she pleaded with the Lord to allow her to conceive and when she did she named him Samuel and dedicated him to the Lord.

One of Jennifer's sisters (Brandy) also has had some problems with pregnancy and after having 2 girls of her own and then a tragic loss of one when she was 9 months pregnant, she and her husband decided to start doing foster care and adopting through the foster system.

One weekend, a couple of months ago, Jennifer arranged for Brandy and I to get together. We met for lunch and had the most amazing conversation.

Let me tell you that I went into this lunch with a very closed heart. I said to myself and out loud to several people that I am meeting with Brandy ONLY to talk about how she adopted through CPS. NOT how she fostered. I thought "I will never foster." I am not strong enough to do that. I won't. I absolutely won't. I refuse.

So when I sat down with Brandy the first words out of her mouth to me were, "I know that you just want to talk about adoption but I'm going to talk to you about fostering." For the first 5 minutes I was thinking to myself, well this will be interesting but absolutely not. Am I wasting my time?

2 hours later when I left, I got in my car and said, "Lord, what are you doing to me?"

I can not begin to describe our conversation. Have you ever been in a conversation with somebody and spent the majority of the time with goosebumps? Knowing that this was definitely a divine appointment? This was absolutely one of those.

Brandy is one of the most amazing women I know. It's not only her strength that amazed me, it's her absolute dependence on the Lord. Her and her husband now have adopted 3 children through CPS, and have fostered several new born babies as well. And they are in the process of adopting more.

There were several things that Brandy said to me that change my perspective forever. One of those is that she said she will never say no to a child when CPS calls. She feels like if they call, it's her responsibility to say yes and if God doesn't want them to have that child then HE will close the door. But she never wants to say no and chance being disobedient.

One of the many questions I had for her was how in the world does she feel equipped to handle the situations that these children are coming from. She shot that excuse down quickly and told me that God will equip you for whatever you need to handle whatever situation that child has been through.

Some of the stories she told me were horrific! Seriously, unimaginable.

Another excuse I tried to give her was, there is no way that I will be able to take in a newborn and then have to part with that newborn. She said it does not matter rather you have that baby for 3 hours, 3 days, 3 months or 11 months (like they did) God has given you that baby for that amount of time because that is the amount of time He needs you to provide food, clothing, shelter and a warm, loving body to that baby.

This is the one thing she said that changed my life. She said, "Doing this is not easy. Nothing about it is easy. But you have to keep reminding yourself that it's not about YOU. It's about that baby or that child. It's not about you."

Brandy came into fostering in a VERY similar way as me. She desired another baby and wanted to adopt a newborn baby, caucasian that that looks like her family. And God took her down a completely different road. And her passion for this is unequivocal.

Needless to say, my eyes had been opened. I'm not at this moment saying this is the direction the Lord is taking us on, but some really amazing things since that moment have happened that appear to be pointing us that direction.

I'm scared. Really scared. But I know that if this is what the Lord desires for our family then He promises to take care of us.

Here is a link to her blog if you would like to read more on her story. It's incredible.

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C:M:W said...

Love this sweet friend...Please Please come and visit me.

Mandi said...

Janelle, I think of you often and I'm praying for you. I love reading about your journey and can't wait to see where the Lord takes you!

Mandi said...

And I will definitely be following Brandy's blog as well...thanks for sharing. :)

I forgot to mention that the Lord also encouraged us through some friends who went through the foster-to-adopt journey before us. He is SO faithful to provide what we need when we need it!

Becca said...

Love you much!

Amanda said...

I'm so excited to see the Lord grow your family. Whatever little ones God brings you will be BLESSED. And what a precious big sis they will have! I love you!

Emily said...

Janelle - We are foster parents and adopted our oldest son through foster care. I cannot imagine our life without him. He has brought us so much JOY! I am excited for you!!

Kristin said...

Janelle, I am so proud of who you are and the person that you are constantly allowing the Lord to grow you into! I can not wait to see what He chooses to do with your willing heart!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not struggling with infertility, but I'm definitely struggling with trusting the Lord right now and HIS plan for my life. Why is it so much easier said than done???

Thanks for your honesty and openness through all of this. It's very encouraging and challenging.

Praying for you and your family during this awesome journey you are on!

Helen said...

Must be something about women named Brandy... I have a friend, Brandie, who while single, she adpoted a special needs toddler boy who is the love of her life. Still single, she is currently searching for a special needs pre-teen girl to add to their family. There are some amazing, selfless, God-fearing women (and men) in this world. You are one of them too. He will lead you & I have no doubt that you will follow His direction.

The Shull Family said...

Hi Janelle,
I hope this isn't the longest comment in history. I've been reading your blog off and on for several years. I found you through a friend of a friend's blog then realized you lived in Irving (I lived there my entire life and graduated from Irving High) and saw that one of your "friends" on your blog list husband was my prom date :). Small world, huh. Anyway, I just clicked today and read your infertility posts. My husband and I tried for several years to conceive. I did 6 IUIs that failed, took hundreds of shots in my stomach, had one miscarriage, a D&C, too many pills to count, blah, blah, blah. I always felt the Lord telling me to wait on his timing, but I kept trying to force the issue. We decided to take the month of December off in 2007 because I was tired of feeling hormonal and didn't want it messing up my Christmas. Well...I became pregnant...WITHOUT TRYING. AND when my baby was 6 months old, I became pregnant AGAIN. So here I am with a 19 month old and 3 month old. I know you know this. And I know it's cliche. But God does have PERFECT TIMING. He just does. I'll be praying for you and your family. Trying to get pregnant sucks. It just does. No matter how much faith you have, it's still disappointing. God bless!!! And PS: if you ever see Jeremy Hendrix, tell him his prom date says hello :)

Brandy said...

WOW! God is so cool isn't he??? I really left our conversation thinking that I scared you off! I will commit to pray for you as you make decisions. Right now I am looking at baby Cory, 8 months, in my home!! His next court date is in July. We are trying to adopt him and his brother, the Lord willing. I wish I could post a picture of him to show you how precious he is! Please pray for him--specifically that his attorney will call in the next 2 weeks. God bless and PLEASE don't ever hesitate to call me!


Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Praying for you! Excited to see the page God will turn for y'all!
love you!

Tara G. said...

There have been times I've {whined} to my husband about something or another and he reminds me that God has not necessarily called us to a comfortable life. I constantly revisit that truth and the struggle to be okay with it. These posts are precious- thanks for including us in your journey!