‘Our love story began in a castle, but our journey ahead wasn’t a fairytale.’: Couple share infertility battle, journey to international adoption

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How We Met

“Our love story began in a castle.

We were peasants, working for the king at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. I occasionally acted in the show as the princess, but I assure you none of the knights of the realm could capture my heart like the charming, freckle-faced, shaggy-haired boy in tights and a tunic, named Steven. We were food servers speaking in fake British accents, wearing medieval costumes, and cheering for different color knights of the realm.

girlfriend and boyfriend at their job where they met
Courtesy of Kristin Link

Yes, our love story began in a castle, but our relationship journey ahead wasn’t a perfect fairytale. Our relationship was founded on faith, and Steven pursued me with patience and purity. He said the words ‘I love you’ after a year and a half of dating, when he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. And we saved our first kiss for a very special moment: on our wedding day after our vows. The phrase ‘You may kiss the bride,’ carried a whole new meaning for us!

When Steven first proposed the idea of saving our first kiss for our wedding day, I equally hated it and fully respected him at the same time for it. I knew that if this attractive young man was willing to put physical desires aside and attempt to pursue our dating relationship with self-control, sacrifice, and patience… then this was the kind of man I wanted to marry.

couple sharing a kiss at their wedding
Sarah Eubanks Photography

We received a lot of wise counsel during our dating relationship from leaders in our college ministry. We had a strong desire to pursue our relationship with purity at the center, and with that came a lot of sacrifices and intentional effort. We don’t have perfect pasts, nor did we pursue our relationship perfectly, either. But because of the way we were led to put boundaries into place, we can say our dating and engagement were healthy and God-honoring and we respected one another in the process.

Our 11-year wedding anniversary is coming up soon, and I can honestly say I am more in love with my husband now than ever before. And that’s because our love has been tested, our friendship has been tried, and we’ve walked through hardship together and amazing celebrations alike.

When I think back to our dating, engagement, and these last 10 years of marriage, I can see how the Lord has asked us to wait for many of His good gifts.

mom and dad leaning in close to each other
Price Lifestyle Photography

Our Adoption/ Infertility Journey

About 6 years ago, we began trying to start a family. We were excited about the new desires God was placing within us to become parents, and we had expected and hoped it would happen without a struggle. However, the Lord’s plans and timing looked different for us in this area of our lives, too. I could see He was writing a different story for us. As my husband and I have walked the road of infertility over these last several years, I praise the Lord that He has used it in many ways for our good and for His glory. One of the ways He has redeemed our story is by leading us to pursue adoption.

As Steven and I prayed and sought the Lord in our struggle, we unexpectedly felt Him guiding us to wait on seeking medical intervention for infertility. And though we have abstained from any medical intervention thus far, we don’t expect others to necessarily abide by these convictions; we believe this to be a personal decision that couples must arrive at together under God’s authority in their relationship. It’s always important to focus on personal obedience to God’s leading and not try to compare our journey or story to anyone else’s.

husband and wife taking a selfie
Courtesy of Kristin Link

Several years ago, my brother and his wife were facing their own difficulties in becoming pregnant, and a wise gentleman in their church spoke these powerful words to them during that season: ‘God closes wombs for His glory, and He opens wombs for His glory.’

Little did I know how personal these words would become to me in my own journey to motherhood. I trust God as my healer, and I believe He will open my womb if He sees fit. Likewise, I have to trust that as long as my womb remains closed, this too is for His good purposes and plans.

As we have now walked the road of adoption, and we have had our sweet son, Aaro, home from India for 2.5 years, we have experienced many ups and downs, long waits, and victories along the way. We love to share with others that this is God’s Plan A for our family. It may not be what we had imagined, but it’s what we believe is God’s design for us and what He had planned for us from the very beginning of time. And it has been the sweetest blessing to call this beautiful boy our son! Aaro is smart, funny, kind, and the happiest little ray of sunshine! I often call him my ‘joy boy!’ He is a very special child and a precious gift that Steven and I treasure so greatly.

mom and dad meeting their son for the first time before adopting
Courtesy of Kristin Link

Adoption is a calling, not a backup plan. We clearly felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our lives to move forward, and He confirmed every step along the way, making it so clear this is how He wanted to give us a child. And now we are in the early stages of a second international adoption! We cannot wait to see who God has chosen to be our daughter and Aaro’s little sister from the country of Thailand!

mom and dad celebrating a holiday with their son
Courtesy of Kristin Link

Reflection

Our love story began in a castle, and the Lord has penned every moment and chapter so beautifully with His grace and in His timing. Love is forged through trust, forgiveness, and experiencing all the ups and downs of life together. To God be the glory for writing our story! It’s been an amazing journey, and I can’t wait to see what is next!”

mom and dad tossing their son in the air
Kim Hymes Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kristin and Steven Link from Athens, Georgia. You can follow her journey on Facebook, Instagram accounts, and adoption fundraiser. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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