It was a mostly normal Friday night when my husband Tyler and I received the phone call that would change our lives.
That evening, we were going to give the invocation at our town’s Relay for Life event. I would be sharing a few words about how to cope when life doesn’t turn out the way you’d planned or expected (a subject that was about to get really real for me).
I was looking over my notes when the phone rang. The name on my caller ID showed that it was our adoption lawyer. My heart started beating a little faster as I answered the phone, wondering if this would be the call we’d been waiting for. The call that would be the first step toward becoming parents.
I answered the phone, and our lawyer started rattling off a bunch of information. Thankfully, my computer was already open, and I began frantically typing notes …
Birth mother looking for a family. Five months pregnant. With twins. African American girls. Closed adoption. Need an answer immediately.
I told her that I’d run all this by Tyler, and call her back as soon as possible. She said, “Great! Can you let me know in the next hour or so?”
Yeah, sure, no problem … I can make the biggest decision of my life in a couple hours.
If I’m honest about what was running through my mind when I got that call and she gave me the details, I shut down as soon as she said, “Twins.” My gut response was: this can’t be for us. No way. God knows we can’t handle twins. (I think I’d actually told people that out loud before … in retrospect, probably not the smartest thing to do.)
I had no delusions or aspirations of being super-mom, and it seemed to me that twins would require that.
Surely we could not handle two babies. We just asked for one, thank you very much.
After I got off the phone, I quickly told Tyler all the details. How could we possibly make this decision in just a couple hours, especially when we were frantically getting ready to rush out the door to speak at an event? We wanted time to think and pray and journal and seek wise counsel, and it seemed like there would be no time for any of that.
So we talked and we said quick, desperate prayers, and we talked some more.
Then Tyler told me what he felt like God was saying to him in that moment: “You asked for one baby, but I’m giving you two.”
How could we say no to this? And why would we say no?
When it came down to it, the only reason we would say no is this: It would be hard.
Two babies at one time would not be easy. It would stretch us beyond our ability. We had no idea how it would actually work. We had way more questions than answers.
But parenting is hard. Our struggle with infertility was one of the most difficult things we’d ever been through. The adoption process is never an easy path.
The best things in life are hard.
Could we really say no to twins simply because it would be hard?
So we said yes. We’re in. Of course we said yes. How could we not?
And yes, it was hard. Nothing about the process was easy. We eventually met the birth mom and we were blessed to get to know her … but as great as that was, it was also challenging. Our girls were born eight weeks premature and spent five weeks in the NICU an hour and a half away from where we live. Our adoption was on the more expensive side.
We were first-time parents who had no idea what we were doing, and we had two very tiny and needy babies depending on us. There was nothing easy about that season of our lives..
And you know what? It’s still hard.
The girls are almost two and a half now, and we’re dealing with tantrums and trying to figure out discipline, and constantly questioning if we’re doing any of this right.
All of this is hard.
But those girls are the best thing that ever happened to us.
I wouldn’t trade any part of this entire process, and I’d do it all again for them. The infertility. The waiting. The adoption. The NICU. The sleepless nights. The giving of ourselves until we feel like we might shatter and break, because all of this is so beyond our ability.
Because God has been with us and working through us every step of the way. His grace and strength has filled in the gaps of our weakness. Our family is exactly as it’s supposed to be, and I wouldn’t trade any of the beauty or the mess of it.
I’ll take this kind of hard over an easy life any day.
Sometimes I think about all that we would have missed out on if we had said no, simply because it would be hard. I can hardly bear the thought of it.
Say yes to the hard. Trust that God’s strength is more than enough to cover your weakness. It will be hard, but it will not be up to you or your strength. It will be hard, but it will also be good. So very good.
I’m a wife, mom, and writer living in small(ish)-town Illinois. I write about my past struggle with infertility, my family’s adoption story, and what I’m learning about God and myself through motherhood at lindsaysterchi.com.