Beauty from Ashes
Have you ever been completely broken? I'm talking 100% heart has fallen out of your chest broken? Have you ever wondered if things were ever going to get better? Is there any way you could possibly be happy again?
I have- and my guess is that so have you.
Many of you know our story. It is a story that I never imagined would be mine to tell. When you think about your future you never plan on the bad, you only plan on the good. You hear about bad things happening but would never imagine that they would happen to you.
Matt and I found out we were pregnant 8 months into our first year of marriage. In case you were wondering, yes we were surprised! We definitely weren't trying to get pregnant, so when we found out we were pregnant we believed that God clearly wanted us to have a baby now. Even if we didn't think we were ready. A few weeks later we found out that we weren't only pregnant with one baby, but two! We were pregnant with identical twin boys! Around week 21 of our pregnancy we started having complications and ended up delivering our twins at 28 weeks. Just to give you a general idea, the survival rate for a baby born at 28 weeks is greater then 90%. Each of our boys passed away from different things one day apart from each other, and along with most of the NICU staff, we were shocked and heartbroken. We went home that night to a quiet and seemingly empty home.
A few months later (February 2016), we decided we wanted to start trying to have a baby. I remember laying awake all night long crying just thinking about going through the coming holiday season without our twins, or any baby at all. I knew that time of the year was already going to be hard, but without a baby to cling to, it felt like it was going to be impossible. So, I set a deadline that I "needed" to get pregnant by in order to have a baby in my arms on December 6th. We tried for almost 6 cycles and then really felt like our hearts were being pulled towards adoption. We had talked about it after a church sermon one day, before we delivered our twins and thought maybe we would look into it once the boys were older. We realized that life is way too short and unpredictable to not do something out of fear, so we decided to go ahead and start the process (July 2016). We were told the average wait time was around a year. I had accepted that on December 6th, my arms would be empty with nothing to hold onto but my husbands hand. One month later we brought home our baby boy.
Beauty from ashes.
We live in a sinful and broken world; a world of crime, hate, and death. But, we have a beautiful God who creates beautiful things even from hate and even from death. Friends, God is so so good. I wish I could tell you I have never once doubted him but that would be a lie. There were times where I would hear a song on our christian radio about God healing or saving and I would immediately get angry. After our twins died, we didn't step foot inside a church on time for months. We couldn't bring ourselves to go and sing songs about how loving and powerful our God is so we would watch the sermon online at home and skip through the worship. We were heartbroken and doubtful that he had any sort of plan for us. But looking back on the last couple years of our life, I see his hands EVERYWHERE.
If you read our adoption story (read it here), you know that we got the call about our son the day our home study was being completed. Which meant that it could be submitted to the court the next day, our son's birthday. Which meant that we were able to bring our son home. If our home study hadn't been submitted to the court, we wouldn't have been able to bring him home.
If you plug our son's birthday into a pregnancy tracker it will tell you that our son was conceived on December 6th, 2015- the birthday of our twins.
Our son looks just like my husband.
My son and husband share the same exact birth mark.
Remember when I said that I had accepted on December 6th that my arms would be empty because our two babies were in Heaven? They weren't. I had my husband on one arm, my son on the other, AND a baby growing in my belly that we didn't even know about yet. I was in fact holding two babies that day.
Now please don't think that I don't miss our twins or that I don't wonder everyday what our life would be like with them here. I would take all four of my babies here with us in a heartbeat. But if things would have been different, would we have Carter? Would we be pregnant with Adalynn? Honestly, probably not... and that breaks my heart just as much as not having Jax & Wesley.
Beauty from Ashes.
Although the last few years of our lives have been the hardest, they have also been the most redeeming. Our God is a powerful and loving God. We live in a fallen world where bad things happen but our God can take those ashes and turn them into the greatest beauty you have ever seen. You just have to have a little bit of faith, faith as small as a mustard seed and nothing will be impossible. Even if God doesn’t move mountains for you in every circumstance, his plan is greater than you and I could ever comprehend. In all things God works for the good of those who love him.
"To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair."