I always desired and knew I was made to be a father, and I assumed that meant my wife and I were going to have a child biologically. I never thought about adoption, besides, I didn’t think I could ever love children as much if they weren’t biologically mine.
BOY WAS I WRONG!
My wife and I struggled with infertility for over 3 years. We talked about adoption as an option, but I was resistant to the idea. While our infertility was difficult for me, I had peace about it. I had this sense that we would eventually be able to conceive, and while the wait was hard and sometimes doubt would creep in, I always held that intuition close.
The problem was, at the time, I had a skewed view of what it meant to have, love, and parent a child. I had taken my own desires and assumptions and applied it to what I was feeling, without considering there might have been another path for us.
In order to realize how wrong I was, I had to go on a journey that involved the simple task of changing the way I looked at becoming a father. Because I’m a Christian, this really was a journey of understanding how I was viewing God’s voice in my heart.
In 2011, my wife and I both individually felt drawn to go on a mission trip. When we both realized this, we knew it was definitely a ‘God thing’ as we had never really discussed doing this and suddenly we both knew we were supposed to go. After a short process, we were asked to join a team going to Guatemala.
What were we going to be doing in Guatemala you ask? Well, ironically, God thought it best for the couple struggling with infertility to go and serve at a nutrition and housing center for children whose parent(s) can’t care for them, an orphanage of sorts. Then, just to one up Himself, God decided when we got there, my wife, (and by default me to help) would be assigned to specifically care for a 14 month old baby girl. Well, this place called Hogar de Vida and that little girl changed our lives forever.
It was during that short week and a half taking care of these children, and this little girl, that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I could unconditionally love a child that wasn’t biologically born to us.
As I look back I wonder sometimes if God is up there just shaking his head at us thinking to Himself, “I already told this guy I was going to bless him with a child, now I have to send him on a journey across multiple countries just to reveal to him the true meaning of what I’m saying.”
When we got home, we started the process of pursuing adoption.
The overriding emotion I’d felt during our infertility and adoption discernment was compassion for my wife. Although I was sad about our situation, she was struggling much more and took this journey of infertility more personally. Once we made the decision to adopt, we were excited and nervous. For me, the thought of actually being a dad was both incredible and scary.
The adoption approval and training process can be long. The “pool” wait excruciating at times, and the unknowns very stressful. But the day finally came when we learned we’d be parents to a sweet little boy, thanks to a birth mom that loves him and us, and the plan she unselfishly made to place him.
The first time I held my son was amazing and unbelievable. Seeing God’s will for us coming to fruition at the same moment I became a father for the first time was essentially indescribable. A moment I will never forget. In one moment, I saw how my understanding of the love of a father had been changed and I became a dad.
I absolutely know God selected him for us and sent us on a journey to be with him. Despite my initial blindness, I understand now that love is bigger than we can imagine, and I’m grateful to continue to open my heart to that love every single day.