My husband and I have made a lot of sweet memories together since getting married in 1983; however, one particular memory is a mix of bitter and sweet. After we decided to start a family, we discovered our desire to become parents had initiated us into a long journey of infertility that we would wander through for over a decade.
During that season, many people prayed for us—once they realized our nest wasn’t empty on purpose. One couple was so enthusiastic about helping us out, they let us know about a pregnant teenager in their church who desired to relinquish her baby for adoption to a Christian couple.
Our hopes were raised and a copy of our adoption home study was sent to the young mother. She chose us out of all the couples who applied; we were ecstatic. Soon after, we shopped for, cleaned up, and gathered together items for our baby’s nursery.
A few weeks before the due date, circumstances changed in the young mother’s life, and “our baby” stayed being her baby. I was shocked, I was crushed, I was angry. And while I imagined the birth-mother kissing her newborn’s face, I wiped tears of grief from my own.
Eventually, I was able to rejoice that my husband and I had played a part in ensuring the baby was born instead of aborted. The birth-mother had been subjected to pressure by her own mother to terminate the pregnancy.
Later, when the grandmother saw how much others desired the grandchild she didn’t want, she chose to support her daughter’s decision—except she didn’t want her daughter to give away her grandchild.
…weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 30:5 KJV
A woman I’d worked with, who’d also been down the infertility road, sent us a sympathy card with Psalm 30:5 handwritten on it. Her gesture was like a warm hug around my hurting heart. It told me she understood that losing out on the adoption was indeed a death in need of mourning. God foresaw what we would go through. He also foresaw the little girl who ended up being cherished by her grandmother and mother.
Our bitter ending became her sweet beginning.
Joy after sorrow arrived a few years later through the birth of our two healthy sons; and then—at the age of 39—I finally held a newborn daughter of my own. For although the adoption door never stayed open for us, God opened my barren womb and blessed us with three especially sweet memories.
Have you experienced a joyful sunrise after a sunset of sorrow? Were you eventually able to see the goodness of God through all of it?
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