My Beard as a Symbol
I have a beard, a glorious ginger beard. I grow it off and on, generally tiring of the constant grooming and shaving it for a change of pace. This time, however, it will be different. You all are going to serve as my accountability that I will not cut this beard (minus the necessary aesthetic trim to keep it from consuming my face) until Amber shares with me that we are expecting a baby or we get chosen to be adoptive parents.
Enter our story should you care to continue reading…
Amber and I celebrated 8 years of marriage this past June, an accomplishment in and of itself in today’s world of a 50%+ divorce rate across the board. What an adventure it has been…so many highs…and so many lows. Jesus didn’t promise us a life following Him would be easy. In fact He all but guarantees it is going to be more difficult…but on the flipside of that is our trials and tribulations will be met with grace, comfort, and the promise of a Savior, a loving King that He will never leave or forsake us.
Speaking of trials…
It took Amber and I roughly 5 years into our marriage to realize our passion to become parents. Although we always knew we had fatherly and motherly instincts and giftings, we hadn’t quite owned them and were still in a place of questioning whether we truly desired to have children. Roughly 4 years ago, Amber shared with me her growing desire to be a mom, presenting the idea to me knowing it would take me a while to get on board (I take a long time to make big decisions).
We opted off of birth control the following January with the idea of letting “nature” take its course…we were not NOT trying. A year passed…no surprises, no little blue plus signs. All around us, friends were getting pregnant not 3 or 4 months after going off birth control. Unfortunately, we had the same expectation but were feeling let down month after month. I tried encouraging Amber to let go of that expectation and not compare us to our friends, but she was determined that her feeling that “something was wrong” was right. We decided to play it safe and go to the doctor to get Amber a series of tests in hopes of getting some answers. Her feeling was right, she had polycystic ovarian syndrome, a symptom of a chemical imbalance in the body causing the growth of cysts on her ovaries, impairing her ability to properly produce eggs for fertilization.
This was a challenging time for both of us, leaving us both wondering why in the world we had finally been given this desire to be parents only to discover we were going to face a very difficult road to have one, or not be able to have one at all. Immediately, Amber did her research and discovered a number of natural remedies (acupuncture, herbs, and dietary) that showed awesome success rates at curing this syndrome. She spent almost an entire year with these treatments/remedies, diligently following all the instructions. Along with that we became much more intentional about trying to try. Still nothing. Disappointment month after month.
We had our amazing small group pray over Amber asking fervently for God to deliver a child, spent many tears praying for it ourselves, and it seemed that God was just silent. I fearfully decided to go get myself tested to see if there was anything wrong on my end. That test yielded yet another disappointment…I had a low score on one of the 4 fertility measurements they test for. It didn’t mean we couldn’t EVER have kids, but it did confirm that we had a difficult road ahead, our chances being much more limited.
This takes us to today… we are coming up on 3 years since we started down this road and I can say that quite a bit has changed. Here are irrefutable facts:
1. Amber and I are called to be parents. Period.
2. We wholeheartedly believe that regardless of what the tests say, God can and will give us a child should He choose to do so
3. We do not feel like it is part of our adventure to involve medical intervention to get pregnant, but instead we have received the calling to pursue adoption whether we are ever able to have a biological child or not.
4. We are excited to be a part of a community of people that support us fully, love us completely, and pray for us regularly as we seek God in this phase of our adventure.
Thank you to those of you that committed the time to read this and learn a little more of our story. I am committed to sharing more about this process as we go along and also welcome any questions or comments should any of this strike a cord with you out there.
P.S. Also, in praying expectantly for a child, be on the lookout for a blog post involving my cleanly shaven face…now you know what that will symbolize 🙂