November is National Adoption Month. As an adopted child, I love hearing stories of how God impacts many lives through adoption! Throughout November, I’ll be sharing some wonderful stories, shared by those who have experienced God’s gift of adoption. Today my friend Mallory shares what God has done in her family’s life through difficult times and going through the process of adoption three time! After you have been blessed by Mallory’s story, be sure to read Cathy’s testimony, From Loss to Life: A Miraculous Adoption Story.
My name is Mallory. My husband, Austin, and I live in the Midwest with our three children. Austin works and I get to stay at home with our kids.
Every fall I think about some of the major circumstances God placed in my life. I am reminded of how God has worked through and in each trials for His purpose of drawing me closer to Him. Colossians 3:17 – “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” I would like to share, through my words which are ultimately His words, what God has done in my heart through some of the major highs and lows He has placed in my life.
I grew up going to church but never truly grasping what God was. I now know what the one true God is: living, loving, faithful, merciful, gracious, everlasting, holy, creator, redeemer, steadfast in love, these adjectives just scratch the surface of God’s attributes. I remember telling myself over and over growing up, I believe in Jesus, but not really knowing what that meant. I grew up knowing if I said I believed in Jesus then I would go to heaven, which was about the extent of it. I didn’t understand Romans 10:9 – “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” I did the confessing part of the verse but I don’t think I truly believed it in my heart until about ten years ago, in 2005, when I really saw God and His power and became a true follower and believer of Christ.
In September 2005, a little over a year after Austin and I were married, I had what doctors thought was a bladder infection, and then they thought it was my appendix. After having a scan to check my appendix, the doctor spotted some very large cysts on both of my ovaries. During what was supposed to be a routine surgery to remove the ovarian cysts it ended up being a removal of one ovary and partial removal of the other ovary. About two weeks after the surgery I went in for a post-op check up to get the pathology reports from the biopsy of the cysts. I distinctly remember chanting this over and over in my head while I waited for the doctor to come in with the official results: Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” The doctor ended up telling me that I had stage 4 borderline ovarian cancer which meant that the cells in my huge ovarian cysts had potential to become malignant.
For the first time I allowed myself to realize that I was going to die someday and didn’t truly know where I would go when I died. I am thankful to God for causing my appendix to be irritated enough to cause me pain, had that not happened I don’t know if I would have ever discovered the large cysts on my ovaries until it was too late. God drew me nearer to Him through that diagnosis and I trusted that God had a plan for me.
Austin and I didn’t know what God’s plan was, but we had three options after the diagnosis: take the one remaining ovary out, wait and see what would happen, or try to get pregnant. After a few days of thinking and praying about these choices we decided to go see a fertility doctor. We agreed that doing IVF (in-vitro fertilization) was the best decision, now this decision was very hard for us to make and to know if it was truly what God wanted us to do. But, after more praying and thinking, we proceeded with the implanting of the two viable embryos I had and 34 1/2 weeks later our little miracle boy, Paul, was born in November 2006. He was a few weeks early, so we had to spend 24 days in the NICU. Our theme throughout the pregnancy and Paul’s NICU stay was James 1:17a – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” He was, and still is, a good and perfect gift!
We didn’t know if he would be our only child. But, just seven short months after he was born we made a decision I don’t think many 23 year old have to make….the decision for me to have a complete hysterectomy. We trusted this was God’s plan and I felt peace in making this decision. It drew us nearer to Him again. We were thankful to our God, we had our son, we had my health, and we had our family.
When Paul was about 1 ½ years old we felt we wanted our family to grow. So we started the adoption process in 2008. We went through all the necessary classes, workshops, and paperwork and were placed in the adoptive family profile book in early 2009. About nine months after we entered the book that birthparents look at to select an adoptive family, we were selected. We were elated! We met with the birth mom, decided it was a good fit, and she had the baby boy in September 2009. The baby had some breathing problems so we spent some time in the NICU while he learned to breathe correctly. We finally made it home. We were having a great time with our two boys.
Before we had known about being selected as adoptive parents we had signed up to go to “Weekend to Remember”, a Family Life marriage event that focuses on marriage-changing principles that you can take home and apply to your daily lives that will strengthen your marriage. We had been married for five years and decided it was time for a little reinvestment in our marriage. This was truly a God thing! Because a short week after we went to this event we got a phone call…the birthmother had changed her mind and wanted to reclaim the baby, five days before the court date to terminate her parental rights. We were devastated. But, I felt this supernatural calmness; I know it was from God. Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Not to say I wasn’t sad, upset, and disappointed but I knew this was God’s plan and He had the big picture in mind, it drew me nearer to Him again.
We were placed back into the profile book. Ten months after the baby boy was reclaimed we had been chosen again. This time we guarded our hearts a little closer, but the moment we met this sweet, new, baby girl our hearts were opened wide to her. Abigail was born in November 2010; she was so small, so healthy, and absolutely beautiful! She came home with us two days after she was born. The termination of parental rights went smoothly with both birthparents signing. We couldn’t have been happier. We thank God and pray for her birthparents every single day. Jesus Christ adopted us as His children through the shedding of His precious blood; and we finalized Abigail’s adoption into our family in July 2011. This whole process drew me nearer to Him again. I am so thankful to God for blessing us with this little girl through the amazing gift of adoption!
In the summer of 2012, when Abigail was about 1 ½, we decided to pursue adoption again. We felt a longing in our hearts and the nudging of God to do the adoption process again. We figured the wait would be longer with this being our tentative third child and we wanted to get started with the process of paperwork, fingerprints, and home studies while she was still pretty young. Almost two years after we started the process we were matched with a birth family. Our sweet, little girl, Julianna, was born in August 2014. She is the most fun-loving, energetic, smiley little girl! Her adoption was finalized in March 2015.
I know God isn’t done working in my life; He is constantly teaching, correcting, rebuking, and leading me to be nearer to Him. Psalm 73:28 – “But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”
Thank you for letting me tell you about God’s works in my life and thanks be to God through His Son, Jesus Christ.