Two years ago, I was pregnant with our third son. Although at this point I was not even half way through my pregnancy, I was already having contractions and my doctors were worried I would go into premature labor. I was in and out of the hospital, on medication and on bed rest.
I had premature labor with all of my pregnancies and my middle son as born at 35 weeks after I spent three months on bed rest. With our youngest, I went on bed rest in July, when I was just 14 weeks pregnant.
About one month later, I remember my first trip to the hospital with contractions. My nurse was an old friend from college. I enjoyed catching up with her about life despite the medication being pumped into my IV.
This friend was just beginning the process to adopt a baby from Ethiopia. After two difficult pregnancies, my friend had felt God calling her to adopt.
From where I was laying – in a hospital bed – adoption seemed like a good idea. Better than bed rest, hospital food and terbutaline!
I ended up spending five months on bed rest during my pregnancy with Z. He was born two months early. Although he only weighed about three and a half pounds, he was able to breathe on his own. He spent one month in the hospital before coming home to join his big brothers a few days before Christmas.
Walking through the hospital several weeks after Z was born, I ran into my perinatologist. He asked aobut how Z was doing and then put his huge hands on my shoulders: “You know, you should not do that again.”
It was clear that it would not be wise for me to get pregnant again.
But I didn’t feel done.
I began to pray more earnestly about adoption, seeking God’s will for our family. I also began to read and learn. My husband and I visited our friends after their son came home from Ethiopia. We continued to read and learn and pray. And then read and learn and pray some more.
Around this time last year, my heart just broke for orphans in Africa. The reading and learning and praying developed into love. For a while, this love felt heavy, like I was walking around with an elephant on my chest. My heart was broken.
And then came hope.
Hope whispered in my ear, reminded me that while we cannot do everything, we can do this one thing. We can love a little girl. We can be her family. We can give her hope.
I continued to pray. By this time, our two older sons were praying with me. Both boys were praying for their Daddy to be ready to adopt. Every night before bed, they would pray for Daddy’s heart. They wanted a little sister (or two) from Africa.
In June, Daddy’s heart changed. He was ready to begin the process to adopt.
I am so thankful that God allowed my children the opportunity to pray for their Dad. It is beautiful that even now, they know God answered their prayers and moved in their Daddy’s heart.