Wow! What an incredible opportunity to connect with this community of fellow adoptive mamas and daddies, and those who are “potentials.” I’m honored and humbled to have been asked to contribute to a platform where so many others have given incredible advice, tips and encouragement.
I guess an introduction is in order, huh? My name is Charity, mom of two, one through birth in my womb, and the other through birth in my heart. That’s right, I’m a bio and adoptive mama to two very precious and very lively little girls. We live in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, close to Asheville, NC. We have lived here all of our lives. Ironically, my husband pastors a little country church in the heart of East Tennessee (yes, we drive 1.5 hrs to church on multiple times a week). We homestead—as novices who have no clue what we are doing— homeschool, run a small business (or three), craft, hike, and watercolor paint when there is free time.
Our story is simple. In fact, it can be summarized in three words: Because of Jesus. Because of Jesus my husband survived cancer and because of Jesus we stumbled upon adoption. It’s actually quite the story and a very long one at that. I will spare you all the details of the lengthy story it is and do my very best to keep it short and also learn alongside one another about the “roots” of adoption and how in the world you can stumble into it.
My husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2012—surgery and chemo were inevitable. To say that we were shaken to our core is an understatement, as you can imagine, I’m sure. One simple question was asked before we began treatment. Do you want the possibility to have more biological children? Our answer was simple. Simple, because we had no clue what we were about to embark upon and simple because we knew the only thing in our vision was saving the life of my husband. We gave a simple “no”, that would change the trajectory of our family. You know the old saying that everything happens for a reason? We believe in a divine author who authors the most perfect stories. Little did we know that our simple “no” would later create one simple “yes” to another question.
My husband had surgery, treatments, blood clots, more surgeries, and eventually bone marrow transplants as none of the other treatments had done the complete work of destroying the tumors. When his treatments were completed it wasn’t but a few months down the road that the question of more children began to plague this mamas’ heart and mind. Of course we wanted more children, what was I thinking? We should have done what the doctor suggested and harvested what we needed to be able to have the opportunity for more bio babies, later.
Can I just say, that it never, ever, gets easier friend. It never gets easier to be the infertile woman or the “barren woman”. It’s not easy knowing you can’t bear biological children. The heartbreak of walking down the sidewalk and running into a pregnant woman, full term, glowing and ready to hold that new love, that never completely leaves. But, with time, the Father can help heal barren lands and make whole things that were once broken, because He does all things well. There were places in my heart that I thought would never experience that JOY again. Little did I know God was going to move mountains for us and for a little perfect girl.
As we began to pray for the Lord’s will, we knew that there was something that He was leading our heart to pursue. Amazingly enough, I was raised in a home where my mother and stepfather, fostered and adopted, yet it had never crossed my mind that it would be my path. However, when the nudging in our hearts would cease, we prayed and prayed for direction, and God sure sent it. I mentioned to my grandmother that we were praying about foster care and that we would love for her to join us in prayer over it. Her exact words were, “I will help you pray but, I know of a baby that will be born in a month or so that needs a home, you pray over that situation and I will too.”
Guys, if you only knew my grandmother. The words she spoke held such weight in our hearts and we diligently began to pray for this woman we didn’t know and the child she was carrying.
Things moved fast, a week or so later we got a call that they would meet with us if we were interested in meeting. Of course we said, “Yes!” We met at a little restaurant and I was sitting at the table with my husband waiting for the birth mama and her family to arrive. Just like that, I saw her through the window, walking down the sidewalk towards the restaurant and just like that, in one moment—in one instant—I loved this woman and her child more than anything I had ever thought possible. She walked in and I knew. I knew the child she was carrying was ours. By ours, I mean hers and mine and my husband’s. If that seems weird to you, trust me when it is your time, and your situation, you’ll feel it too.
I was connected to her. She was carrying a life that was so deeply hers and so deeply mine at the same time. How do you explain that? With one meeting an old “no” became a new “yes”. God was writing a story that we couldn’t have seen, and without cancer we may have never experienced. God used a woman who couldn’t keep her child, to give a child to a woman who couldn’t bear one. What a Savior. I stand in awe of Him daily, but what a moment that I truly knew He had ordained.
There is so much more to this story. So much.
Like the night our baby was born and I didn’t know the outcome of what would take place.
Like how much I felt for a child I wasn’t carrying in my own womb.
Like the feeling of joy and agony that adoption brings simultaneously.
So much more.
I am so thankful that the story isn’t over. We have a vibrant three year old that renews our joy daily and has brought life and light to so many. We know that God will continue to use her and continue to write her amazing story.
For more on our journey, come follow along on IG @home.sweet.home.again
We have a website for “newer” parts of our story: www.charitygrindstaff.com
An old cancer blog at: www.justthreeofus.wordpress.com