‘Can you adopt my baby?’ 6 weeks later, our world came crashing down. ‘How could this happen AGAIN?’: Couple battling infertility share foster care journey, ‘There’s purpose in the pain’

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Trigger Warning: This story contains mention of miscarriage that may be triggering to some.

“If you had told me 3 and a half years ago when I married my high school sweetheart, we would be in the deep valley of infertility, with three babies in heaven, and in the midst of our colliding joy and heartbreak – pursuing Foster Care – I definitely wouldn’t have believed you. Our story has its joy-filled and hopeful mountain top moments, and its deep, dark valleys. But throughout everything, God’s goodness and divine plan have been shown to us in every step of our journey – or as I call it, ‘Our Miracle in Motion.’ As you read our story, I hope it gives you HOPE… and if you’re walking a similar road, you’ll know you’re definitely not alone in your struggle.

Our story really starts long before our wedding, in the middle of my teenage years, actually. After a few years of frustrating and discouraging health issues in my early teens, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (commonly known as PCOS). I was told this serious hormone, the metabolic and reproductive disorder doesn’t have a cure and will be something I struggle with for the rest of my life. As a teen, this was a hard and bitter pill to swallow. But what was even harder to swallow was the news my PCOS diagnosis would very likely make it difficult for me to have children without the help of fertility treatments. At the time of my diagnosis, I wasn’t even thinking about getting married, let alone having kids… although it had always been my dream since I was a little girl to be a mom. As a child, you would have always found me pushing my baby dolls around in a stroller, or pretending my younger cousins and siblings were my ‘babies.’

I wrestled with telling my then-boyfriend, Austin, about my diagnosis… thinking there was a chance it could scare him in the other direction. Ultimately, I decided honesty was of course more important and if this would be a ‘deal-breaker’ for our relationship, then this likely wasn’t the person God had for me.

‘I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have children without fertility treatments, but I think it’s important for you to know now…’ I blurted out during a phone conversation one night.

‘Okay.’ That was all he said in response. Okay? I thought, ‘How can he be OKAY with the idea choosing me might mean no children?’ His response, and the unconditional love wrapped up in it that simple word, made me even more certain this was the man that God had for me.

Kristyn Crory Photography

We got engaged on my 18th birthday in July of 2017, on the breathtaking Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. To put it simply, we just knew we were meant to be together and could do more together than we could apart. We set our wedding date shortly after our engagement: October 14, 2017. Unlike the majority of the one in eight couples who struggle with infertility, we knew of the potential struggle years before we ever married. I look back now and thank God for this knowledge we had – because, with it, we made the decision to begin trying to start our family as soon as we married in late 2017, at the ages of 18 and 19.

Months passed, but being the naïve 18-year-old I was, I held onto hope we would get pregnant soon. As real as my chronic health issues were I struggled with daily, I still hoped with everything in me it would ‘just happen’ for us. That infertility wouldn’t become a part of our story. After all, medically speaking, it can take up to 12 months for a ‘normal, healthy couple with no issues’ to conceive. I clung to hope with everything in me infertility wouldn’t become our reality.

Kristyn Crory Photography

We didn’t tell a soul we were hoping to start our family. Nearly 9 months flew by, all of which were met with negative pregnancy tests… Until late July of 2018, when a miracle occurred. Against everything I had been told and knew about PCOS, we were PREGNANT without any fertility treatments. My husband and I both stared at the faint, but positive pregnancy test in disbelief and knew it was a complete miracle straight from God Himself. Unfortunately, just a few short days later, everything came crashing down when we experienced an early miscarriage (also known as a chemical pregnancy). We grieved, silently, for the little life that was gone much too soon.

We never believed we would become part of the ‘one in four’ statistic of couples who have had a miscarriage. Let alone a few months later, we would become part of the ‘one in eight’ statistic too of couples who struggle with infertility. As we flew past our first wedding anniversary, I had renewed hope as we entered the world of infertility because I now knew we, in fact, COULD get pregnant. As much as our loss brought me immeasurable heartbreak and grief, it made me want to fight so much harder knowing my diagnosis may not stand in the way of our rainbow baby.

Courtesy of Danika Turcotte

More months passed and in early 2019, almost a year and a half into trying to start our family, we were called to serve on a mission trip to Haiti later that year. My husband and I have a huge heart for international missions, and more specifically to Haiti, so we were ecstatic to be called to serve again in a place so close to our hearts. After much prayer and thought, we ultimately knew if God was really calling us to Haiti, He wouldn’t give us a miracle pregnancy before the trip. We left it at that and dove headfirst into fundraising as the trip crept closer. Now, this is when our journey became known as ‘Our Miracle in Motion.’ Within a month and a half of committing to the Haiti trip, we were fully funded. The thousands of dollars we needed to make the trip happen came in, and miraculously at that. I quickly came to the realization a miracle had been set in motion, and although I couldn’t explain it. I knew there were more miracles to come.

Kristyn Crory Photography

Just a few short months later, much to our shock and utter disbelief, we found out we were PREGNANT just months before our trip to Haiti. Joy, uncertainty, hope, and many other emotions were flooding our minds. Why would God call us to Haiti and pave the way for us to go, just to give us this miracle right before the trip? We knew the concerns and risks with traveling to a third world country like Haiti while pregnant, but we believed wholeheartedly God would protect me and the little life I carried during the trip.

A few weeks later, our entire world came crashing down once again when we miscarried. Two babies now in heaven, almost exactly a year apart. To say we were heartbroken would be a complete understatement. With our mission trip closely approaching, we pushed all our grief down and tried to move on, not telling anyone about our miracle pregnancy and second loss. In the months that followed, we returned from Haiti, bought our first home, and learned how to become homeowners, all while struggling with the unresolved grief we never properly handled. We were still seeing miracle after miracle, but my heart longed more than anything for our double rainbow and breakthrough.

Courtesy of Danika Turcotte

Little did we know, the next breakthrough in ‘Our Miracle in Motion’ was right around the corner, and something we never expected or saw coming.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving 2019, my husband and I were contacted by an old friend. After recently finding herself with an unplanned pregnancy, and after watching our infertility journey on social media – we were asked if we would adopt her baby – due late summer 2020. The emotion that came over me at that moment was indescribable. I couldn’t help but see all the puzzle pieces seemingly coming together right before our eyes. I thought there was just no way we could experience any more loss. Even though our birth mom was still early in her pregnancy, we dove right into fundraising the estimated $10,000 we would need to finalize the adoption the next summer, and even announced the exciting new journey to our parents and families on Thanksgiving day. For the first time, we were able to have professional photos taken with tiny baby shoes, and a letter board reading ‘Our Miracle in Motion continues – WE’RE ADOPTING! Baby Turcotte coming summer 2020.’

Courtesy of Danika Turcotte

Adoption wasn’t something we had in our hearts then, something we absolutely never expected God to call us to, something we never thought would be a part of our story. But with this new direction came a supernatural peace this was exactly where God wanted us. We spent 6 short weeks during that holiday season full of the most overwhelming joy over this baby. And then, just 5 short days before Christmas, our entire world came crashing down for the third time. We received the most dreaded message, one we could have never even imagined. Our birth mom was miscarrying our sweet baby. Just days before Christmas, we were faced with more unimaginable loss… it just didn’t feel real. How could this be happening to us AGAIN?

We entered into 2020 with heavy grief that seemed to follow us around like a dark cloud – constantly reminding us of what we had just lost. It didn’t feel fair, to be watching what seemed like all our friends getting pregnant and having beautiful babies, and we just received loss after loss. I knew God’s plan is sovereign, and He knew what we didn’t then, but it still was something that would keep me up at night.

Kristyn Crory Photography

To put it simply, 2020 was chaos for us. We were in the middle of a global pandemic, financial struggles, and uncertainty with my husband’s job when God set ‘Our Miracle in Motion’ once again. Later in the spring, just a few months after our third loss, I felt like God was telling me to finish the nursery I had started when we were adopting. It was probably one of the most difficult things for me, starting on a project so close to my heart when there was no baby or breakthrough in sight, but I did it. We finished the nursery and began referring to it as our ‘Faith Nursery.’ Although I still didn’t understand why God asked me to finish it then, I would finally find out why a few months later, one evening in the middle of August.

Courtesy of Danika Turcotte

We were attending a small group at our church when we somehow got on the topic of human trafficking… It was during this conversation we learned this statistic for the first time: it’s estimated 60 to 80% of all children that are involved in human trafficking come from or have been in the Foster Care system at some point. Unfortunately in our broken world, there are a lot of really disheartening statistics like this you hear, but this one just hit me differently. As the conversation continued, I just could not stop thinking to myself ‘God, we HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. I know we’re just two people, and this is a huge issue… but we have to help out in some way. Even if for just one child. We have to DO SOMETHING.’ As this thought continued, I texted my husband in the middle of the small group and told him we needed to talk once we were in the car.

‘I think we need to pursue Foster Care,’ I blurted out as soon as we were in the car. He looked at me, completely shocked and somewhat confused, probably wondering where in the world this was coming from as we had never discussed anything related to Foster Care. I shared with him everything I had been thinking during small group and how I thought we should at least get more information on what becoming licensed would entail. He of course agreed. I’m blessed with a husband who never thinks my ideas are crazy. Right around this time, we also were called to serve in Haiti again in early 2021! We decided while we knew God was calling us to Foster Care, we would just wait until after the trip to pursue anything further than getting information on what it would take to become licensed.

Kristyn Crory Photography

I look back now and laugh at how we thought we could put off a calling like Foster Care.

Although I can’t specify exactly what happened just a few days later on August 28… I can share with you the significance of it. Throughout our entire infertility journey, Romans 8:28 has been our verse and our anthem. I’ve boldly declared it whenever we’ve been on the mountaintop or in the deepest valleys… and that morning, the ‘verse of the day’ on the Bible App was Romans 8:28. My husband had shared this with me earlier that day, knowing it was my favorite verse. Honestly, I didn’t think much of it until later that afternoon when we realized what the date was. August 28th… 08/28.

It was as if, at that moment, God took the blinders off, and we both said, ‘Okay, we can’t put Foster Care off.’ That same day, we got in contact with DHHS for an application. We mailed our application the very first week of September, being told that it could take up to 6 weeks to hear back with the next steps.

Courtesy of Danika Turcotte

In the meantime, we continued preparing for our mission trip to Haiti and began trying to fundraise the few thousand dollars we needed to go and serve. By the middle of November, we hadn’t raised any funds and I was beyond frustrated. I kept asking God, ‘Why would you call us to this trip and then not provide what we need to go?’ This trip would be my fourth mission trip to Haiti, and every time I had been fully funded… I knew God could and would do it if He really wanted us to go. In the middle of our chaos with fundraising, we began to feel like the door may be closing to go on this trip. With heavy hearts and a lot of confusion, we dropped out of the trip a few weeks before Thanksgiving. We hoped and prayed God would show us exactly why the funds weren’t coming in… And little did we know, just the next day, it would become clear to us.

Kristyn Crory Photography

Now, it had been nearly 3 months since we had heard from the State about our Foster Care application. To our complete shock, THE DAY AFTER we dropped out of the Haiti trip, I had a missed call and a voicemail from our newly assigned social worker! Although they weren’t exactly sure WHY it had taken nearly 3 months to process our application, they were now ready to talk next steps with us for licensing.

God shut the door on Haiti, and the very next day, He swung open the door to Foster Care.

We dove in immediately to gather all the needed paperwork, scheduling fingerprinting, completing our water test, and passing our home inspection in December. We have seen so many miracles just in the past few months of our Foster Care journey – too many to list, honestly. We’ve seen God’s goodness and mercy every step of the way. And, as I sit here and write this at the end of January, we just completed our home study last week and began our mandatory training classes. Now all there is left to do is get our training certificate in a few weeks and wait for our social worker to write up our ‘official’ home study, and then once approved, we will be licensed! We are so humbled and thankful for the opportunity we will have to stand in the gap for families, and provide a safe and loving place for children in their greatest time of need.

Courtesy of Danika Turcotte

This journey over the past 3 and a half years has been nothing we’ve expected, and honestly nothing we’ve even prayed for. But as we’ve continued walking in faith, even when we can’t see, we’ve come to know this is exactly where God wants us to be. Here we are, waiting in hope and with great expectation for a miracle pregnancy and our triple rainbow baby – all while pursuing Foster Care. We know God is writing the most beautiful story right before our eyes – and for that, I’m so thankful. I will continue to share our story openly in hopes to inspire others and to raise awareness and advocate for infertility and miscarriage. Never give up hope because I promise, there’s purpose in the pain, and breakthrough in the most unexpected places.”

Kristyn Crory Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Danika Turcotte from Alna, Maine. You can follow their journey on Instagram and their blog. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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