Plan A

Plan A:  An Infertility and Adoption Story

My husband and I adopted our son over 2 years ago. Occasionally we are asked how we knew adoption was the direction in which God was leading us. Usually we reply with some sense of confidence that it boiled down to two ways: through God’s Word and our circumstances.  

But those are our “tidy” answers. What if I told you about the night I prayed, “Lord, why won’t you just cause me to become pregnant? Then I’ll know that’s your will and I won’t doubt that I’ve made the wrong decision.” And His response is loving and reassuring in the quietness of my heart: Do you think you have any control over this process at all? Not a chance – adoption yearns for just as much of My Sovereignty as a pregnancy, if not more. In fact, you will need one million miracles for this adopted baby to become yours and you his. Just trust me to make my will known and take the next step. (Matthew 19:26, Psalm 121:2, Isaiah 30:21)

I wish I could say that I did just that. But the truth is I fought God over my “Plan A” for 5 long years, resulting in deep depression and struggling faith. You see, I did everything I knew to do “right”; accepted Jesus as my Savior, the propitiation for my sin and then to be a good little girl. And if I was, everything would be okay. I clung to Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 and “reminded” God of them often. I’d experience a reasonable amount of suffering I presumed and then would get on to the good plans God had for my life. But the truth is I had so little clue what “good” I so desperately needed or what it even was. About what true prospering looked like. And it turned out to look like the stripping away of me and my measly little Plan A and allowing Him to put on Himself as the truest treasure (Philippians 3:8, Matthew 13:44); as the One causing me to prosper as I learned to delight in Him (Psalm 37:3-6). The One who gives me the peace and calm I so desperately long for to my core and thought the security of my plans would bring.

So I married and started the job I went to college for and tried to get pregnant after 2 years of marriage and after a year, I was. All I ever wanted – to be a mom. And a month later I was a grieving mother who never got to hold her baby. And then 10 months later I was a frightened mother losing not only another baby far away from home, but also half my chances of conceiving again and the growing realization that my Plan A was dying and therefore I felt like I was too.

We can handle this – straight to the specialist we go – we’ll figure it out and get back on track and then it will all be a distant memory. But it wasn’t. No simple answers and three failed cycles to be moved again to another state and in a situation that was far from stable and fitting for maternity leaves and baby registries. So we waited and worked toward smaller right now Plan A’s and just when you say “It can’t get any worse”, it does and you get the call that makes you regret those words and vow to never even think anything like them again. Father is in the ICU – likely not to make it through the night. Jump on a plane; get there. All plans on hold. Just watch the machines breath for him and sit with and pray with your mom and sister. Talk with doctors and nurses about things you don’t want to have to understand. Pray for miracles knowing God might say no. Plan A was becoming more and more evasive.

And then God does the miracles and dad pulls through over months and years and is a new dad that I get to know and mourn the one I had known; so thankful for the one who is here now.  And I realize that my mom’s plan A is gone and yet, look how beautiful she is. Look how becoming Gospel truth and peace and be still is on her – breathtaking – because He is breathtaking (2 Corinthians 3:18). And you’re thankful to know the God who does that; Who brings beauty out of ashes (Isaiah 61:3) and you begin to catch a glimpse of what “prosper and not to harm” really means in God’s Plan A. And your heart of stone softens to what He has been trying to lead you to all along and you are willing to take just. one. step. That’s it. And please come through God because if you don’t, I can’t even imagine what I’ll do.

And you know what? He does. Even though I’m untrusting, He helps me in my unbelief (Mark 9:24). Even though I break His heart for lack of knowing Him in His loving goodness and attribute falsehoods to His character and cling desperately to my idolatrous Plan A. He does. And He draws me near and He changes my ugly heart  (James 4:8; Ezekiel 36:26) and lovingly guides me to the next step – providing the resources, truths, people I need all along the way (Philippians 4:19). Until you can’t believe it! He’s been faithful a million steps and now you’re here and now you know Him in a way you treasure more than anything and boy are you thankful because are you going to need Him when you look in that baby’s eyes and hear his cries and know this is going to be so much harder than you thought. That there’s more ugliness to uncover and more wounds to expose and have set straight and healed. He does. He so faithfully does. Because we are His Plan A all along (John 3:16).

So how did we know that God was leading us to adopt? I really can’t say with absolute certainty we did. But, by letting go of our little plans, believing God’s word and responding to our life circumstances with hope that God’s ways, while often hard, are good and for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28), we were able to take just that next step and discovered that God really did have it handled.  Because our son was always in God’s Plan A and I’m so thankful he was.