By Jill Pendergraft
This is the second post in a series. Read part one of Jill’s story here.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” –Hebrews 10:23
Two pink lines don’t lie. The thoughts in my head were racing.
They said this couldn’t happen.
I just saw the doctor last month.
What are we going to do about the adoption?
How am I going to tell my husband?
How is this going to affect my body?
I guess I won’t be having a hysterectomy!
When I went to tell my husband, his expectation did not hold a candle to what he was about to hear. The uncharacteristic meekness in my voice, along with the tears flowing down my face, just magnified those two little words: “I’m pregnant.” Through mumbled noises and his stark white face, Brannon and I ended up holding each other for what seemed like an hour. It had to be only a few seconds because we were both eager to see the expression on the other’s face for any glimmer of hope that may come. Fear and anxiety, confusion and disbelief lingered in the eyes of my husband, as I’m sure he saw the same in mine. We had been scarred from what happened after our first daughter was born. Our perspective on the future had just been changed. Anxiety surrounded the unknown of what this pregnancy would look like. Confusion tangled our thoughts not only about what doctors had told us, but even what we felt like God had called us to do in adoption. Now what?
We both went home to process the information, call my doctor, talk with my parents, and pray over what a day it had been. When talking to the doctor’s office on the phone, their response to the news was, “The doctor wants to see you right away.”
I had an appointment the very next day to confirm what we already knew. My doctor came into the room with shock on her face, which we would become accustomed to over the next few weeks and months as the news broke to those around us. She stated, “I have no idea how this happened.” We then went into the conversation of complications that would be likely to happen and how I would need to start seeing a specialist during the pregnancy. She informed me of what signs to look for if and when (chances were very high) a miscarriage occurred. We then left the office with an ultrasound picture of a baby we never dreamed would be and one we thought we would never get to meet.
At one point, we did end up in the emergency room, where the doctor there told us miscarriage was inevitable. The next week we went back to our regular doctor, and the baby was still viable and the signs of miscarriage were no longer present. At 14 weeks, we began seeing the specialist who would give us bad news after worse news that painted our picture in a grim light, or no light at all. Each week at a new appointment, a new problem seemed to arise or an old one seemed to get worse. Our faith was being pressed on all sides, but we knew that God would see us through whatever He had planned for our family.
Even in the middle of this journey, we never felt like God had taken away our desire to adopt and almost thought it ironic the timing of everything. We had an option to pull our profile from the agencies we had applied to and put everything on hold for a while. However, we believed God wanted to send us an adopted baby in His time, so we pressed on. If we were called to raise these babies like twins, we would be obedient to do that. If we didn’t get matched with a birth mom for another year, we would continue to pray over the process and each potential situation that came our way.
At about the time I was six months pregnant, we presented to a prospective birth mom whose due date was almost a month past mine. We prayed over this situation as a family for the mom and her baby and the decision she would have to make. Our prayers were for health and peace that she would choose the family God had prepared for her baby. Never once did we ask God for her to choose my husband and me as the adoptive parents, but when she didn’t, our hearts were broken. Until we had presented to this expectant mom, we had never experienced those emotions that will only be felt in the story of an adoption. While envisioning our home welcoming her baby, the news devastated those plans.
Our story’s interest kept growing, and so did this baby girl that was in my womb. Since her 20-week appointment, she had been surprising the doctors; things had happened that the specialist couldn’t explain, and sweet baby girl grew until 37 ½ weeks and was born a healthy and perfect miracle. Our hearts overflowed with gratefulness for all God had done to show us His faithfulness and with excitement that He kept allowing us to tell our story, even to the nurses while I was in labor.
After the first situation we presented to, we matched with another potential birth mom. An adoption attorney’s office called me one day to tell us that she had shown profiles to a prospective birth mom in their office, and she liked ours the best. We were ecstatic, and after hearing more of the details, this situation seemed so perfect. We then set up a phone call to talk with this expectant mom the next night so she could finalize her decision. The attorney, potential birth mom, Brannon, myself, and even our 4-year-old-daughter were all on this call. It couldn’t have been a better fit, we thought. Our deposit for the adoption had been wired to the attorney’s office to start assisting with the prospective birth mother’s expenses. A cell phone had been specially purchased to communicate with her when she wanted to contact us. Conversations and even pictures had been exchanged. Then, several weeks later, our attorney called to inform us that the adoption would no longer be taking place, and we would not be able to bring this baby home.
The details were shocking, and our hearts yet again felt an emotion we were not accustomed to. Adoption is beautiful and represents a love that can only be manifested from the love that God has given us. But adoption can also be messy. Our adoption story is not over. We will still be waiting for the baby that God has prepared to join our family and trusting in His timing. Even through heartache and struggle, we know without wavering that God who promised is faithful. Our desire will continue to be obedience in providing a home to a baby who needs it. We are excited to see how God will choose to make that a reality.
To be continued…
Jill is a 31-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 4-year-old and 3-month-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food.