Unwritten: Your Story Is Not Over Yet
On May 31st of this year I walked into a grocery store to pick up a prescription and ended up with a baby.
Yes, really, I did.
All my life, I have walked around with a measuring tape — not an actual measuring tape, but the kind you use to compare yourself to others. Who gets married first, who is naturally thin, who has the perkiest boobs. We’re always measuring ourselves against others.
I always felt that measuring tape coming out and inching its way up my body, especially when it came to having kids. While I don’t describe myself as “the mommy type,” — I don’t do baby voices or sing the ABC song on the way to school — I do love the good ol’ mothering gig. The precious moments are plentiful, from creating priceless art that has your three-year-old’s chubby handprints on it, or watching your child marvel at the simplistic complexity of a butterfly.
But after failed attempts at fertility treatments, I felt like the KFC chicken knocked up on hormones. Instead of feeling hopeful, I was walking around with a broken heart in my attempt to grow our family of three to four. So, on January 7th, my husband Seth and I decided to cancel our IVF round that we had signed up for — not because we think IVF is wrong, but because we couldn’t come to peace about it. For me, it was like trying to fit into a size 6 dress when you are a 10 … it’s forced, it just doesn’t fit.
We had thought about adoption. My mom had given up a child 40 years ago, and she locked up this secret for 21 years. I witnessed her reveal her secret to my own father, and this had a huge effect on me, growing up. I was torn as I knew adoption would be an emotionally taxing journey. There may not be hormone injections involved, but there was a risk of a broken heart and an empty womb. I was scared as hell to put my heart on the line, so out of fear I closed the door on the whole idea.
Between January 7th and May 31st, Seth and I were in limbo, praying for direction, crying, and asking, “Where are you, God?” God didn’t answer. God was silent. In fact, his spirit seemed to elude me. It felt as if He had his hands were on his ears when it came to my prayers.
But little did I know that multiple miracles were lining up. On May 31st, I ran into a good friend as I was rounding the corner in the grocery store. As she looked up from her cart, she had a startled, yet eager look on her face when she saw me. She said, “I can’t get you off my heart. I was going to call you today ...” She explained that her aunt was mentoring a young pregnant woman, and that she was looking for a family.
In the midst of the frozen pizza aisle, my own heart froze, as I had written in my journal over and over, “God if you want me to adopt, you are going to have to CHASE me down!” After hearing my friend’s words, I felt a little whisper with a big voice crying out like gentle thunder, “Listen.”
So on June 1st, I called the birth mother and for the first time in a long time, I bowed my head and prayed these words of surrender, “God, whatever you want for my life — whatever. I’m so over me. My plans. My agenda.” As I raised my head, I felt my spirit lifted. Liberated from a weight that was invisible, yet heavy.
Our conversation went amazingly well, as I just tried to be me, flaws and all. After all, I had nothing to lose, and nothing to hide. We decided that all three of us would meet for dinner that week.
During our dinner, I found out that on January 7th — the same day we canceled IVF — the birth mom found out she was pregnant. At this meal, all the pieces fit into a puzzle that I didn’t even know I was a part of. The very next day, the birth mom called and asked us to be the parents. I was in awe because this had come to fruition within seven days.
As I hung up the phone I realized that God had been preparing me for this moment since I was 14, when I watched my mom cry at my bedside as she dug up her own secrets that she had buried since 1970. This whole story had been weaving itself since my mom’s own story began.
Looking back, I have to ask myself: How did I not see this coming? Like when you watch a movie with a twist at the end that you didn’t expect at all, but at the same time you wonder how you missed it since everything was pointing towards it.
Whatever you measure yourself against, whether your husband just walked out on you, or you are 38 and never married, or you mother is dying of cancer — we all have stories. We all have struggles that burden us, but they do not break us. This story, this chapter in my life, has rocked my world and solidified what I doubt on most days, and believe on those few days in between: That God cares, and pain isn’t just for sheer torment.
And during this festive season I am more thankful than ever that l have learned this lesson: You cannot quit in the middle. Your story isn’t over yet.
Jennifer McCloud always wanted to be a mom. That's why, after difficulties getting pregnant, the native Nashvillian was elated to discover she was pregnant. With triplets!
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