Julie's Story

From Infertility to Security
Julie Williams, Nashville

I’ve learned much about myself–especially over the past ten years. I could share about all types of insecurities – for example, moving to a new country and having to learn a new language, not feeling like I fit in at my new school, I was always the new girl, being the first and only one in my family to experience divorce, moving to a new state 8 months ago, to sharing my story with you today…But I’d like to pick up where I left off ten years ago.

One of the biggest desires of my heart was to have a baby. After nearly two years of marriage and trying to conceive a baby, our doctor referred us to a fertility specialist. We sat face-to-face with him as he informed us that we had a 0 – 3 % chance of conceiving on our own. Because of prior surgeries, I had so much scar tissue that my one remaining tube was blocked.

God has a way of surrounding us with people who can help us no matter what battles are before us. We watched two of our best friends go through similar struggles and then pursue adoption. They had just finished their paperwork and were on the waiting list to adopt a baby domestically when they encouraged us to look into it as a possible option.

We attended our first orientation workshop in November 1999. By December of 2000 we had met all of the requirements, submitted our final paperwork and were added to the waiting list.

In September of 2001, we were selected by a young woman to parent her baby boy, due the following month. We met for the first time on September 12, 2001 – the day after 9/11. We met for a second time with her and her parents later that month. We were told that they would call us when she was in labor so we could be at the hospital and meet our new son. The next several weeks were full of emotion and scurrying, as we prepared for a new baby. We finished the nursery, installed a car seat, bought a stroller, and all the little things a new baby would need.

On Thursday night, October 18, we received a call that the birth mom had gone into labor earlier that day and had just delivered a beautiful baby boy. We were stunned, but didn’t think much of it. We just thought (and hoped) they had forgotten to call us. We asked when we could come to see the birth mom and meet the baby. We were told to wait; she wasn’t ready to see us yet. At this point I knew something was up. The next morning will forever be ingrained in my memory. We received a phone call from our social worker who told us the birth mom had decided to parent her baby. We knew this was a possibility, but we had given our hearts 100% and never for a moment doubted that we would soon have a son. We were heartbroken to say the least.

The next few weeks were agonizing. I remember crying out to God and asking him why he didn’t want me to be a mommy. Satan had me convinced this was true. See, God doesn’t WANT to give you a baby. You will never be a mommy. Just move on.

I battled incredible insecurity with God, why would he allow this to happen?

I felt insecure with my husband. He could have married someone else and had a child by now.

These are the things that would go on in my head. I felt I was defective as a woman because I couldn’t bear a child. And then, I felt something was really wrong with me, because not only could I not bear a child, no one wanted me to raise THEIR child. It was a cycle that kept me hostage for some time.

I so appreciate my husband, as he tried to lead me out of my pit. One day, shortly after this whole thing happened he sat me down with some rocks. I would have done anything with those rocks but what he was asking me to do. He prayed with me, reassured me with God’s word, professed his love for me, and asked me to write down on the rock what I was feeling. The intent of the rocks was to express our hurts to God and turn them over to him. We could then bury the rocks in our garden as a symbol of letting go. I brought those rocks with me today – I am glad we never did bury them, because I have a tangible reminder of where I once was and where God took me from. The date on my rock is dated one day later than my husband’s…

These are the things that I wanted God to take away:

Lack of surrender
Not trusting

In order for healing to take place, I knew there was something I still needed to do – it took me several weeks for my heart to follow my head, but before Christmas, I sat down and wrote a note to the birth mom. I expressed my love for her and asked her not to feel any guilt or remorse for her decision. This was not meant to be, and I told her that I believed she was the best mommy this baby could ever have.

It was not over, though, as I watched friends’ tummies expand from the babies they were carrying and attending shower after shower, I spent the next nine months trying to grow in my faith and overcome the insecurities I was feeling.

We decided that we should vacation in Denver and spend time with some old friends that summer. So in August of 2002 we headed to Colorado. I remember studying Hannah in my quiet times then and wanting so much to imitate her faith. While we were in Denver, when we least expected it, we received a phone call from our adoption agency.

There was a birth mom considering us and 9 other couples to parent her baby boy, who had already been born. Would we want to be considered? Absolutely! We arrived home on a Friday, and the next morning the phone call came that she had chosen us. Based on my quiet times on Hannah, we decided to name our son, Luke Samuel, not knowing at the time that the birth mom had named him Sam. Luke came home on September 4, 2002. I cannot begin to describe the overflow of my heart, the joy I felt at being a mommy, the warmth of being wrapped in God’s love and mercy. Seeing God’s purpose in the previous nine months. You see, Luke was born just 9 months after that fateful day in October of 2001. We didn’t know it at the time, but God had already chosen our son, we just needed to wait on him.

When Luke turned one, we started the process for a second baby. In 2004 we were vacationing in Maui, Hawaii and received a call about another baby boy. Cole Xavier came home on June 1, 2004.

When Cole turned one, we decided to adopt a daughter internationally. In May 2006, we were vacationing in Boise, Idaho – do you see a trend?? We were visiting some friends, and our adoption agency called with the referral of a beautiful baby girl from Guatemala. They told us to guard our hearts though, because there may be some potential health related issues. We didn’t even bat an eye; we knew God had a plan and we just needed to patiently watch it unfold. We visited our daughter in June, when she was just five weeks old and were finally able to bring her home in February of this year. She is a healthy, active and beautiful one-year-old.

I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Not only did God make me a mommy, but he gave me the opportunity to look to him for my security, not in what the human body can or cannot do. This does not mean, however, that I have arrived. I battle insecurities every day – but I feel better equipped to know that just when I think I have some control, that’s the time I need to surrender all over again to God and his plans.

I cannot help but wonder what kinds of things I will be sharing ten years from now…

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