“I met my amazing husband, Eric, in February of 2011 while he was serving in the Marine Corps. We met, dated, got engaged, and married all within 6 months. Whoa, I know. Before him, I didn’t have this huge desire to be a mother but as soon as we were married, it was like a light switch went off in my heart. I suddenly wanted it all: the house with the fence, the family dog, and all of our kiddos running around. I wanted a family, and so did Eric.
After we were married, we started trying immediately to grow our family. We thought it would be an easy process, but after 3 months and no positive test, I started to panic a little. I went to visit my doctor, who ran tests to make sure I was in a healthy place to carry a child. He discovered my hormones and body were super off track and not functioning properly. After more tests and looking into a few different things, I was told I would never get pregnant without medical intervention, and even then, it would be hard.
My heart shattered in ways I didn’t know it could. Eric and I kept trying to have a baby, despite the diagnosis from the doctor. 6 months later, Eric became a civilian after getting out of the military and we were adjusting to life in a different state. The desire of wanting to get pregnant and becoming a mom started to consume me. I had no joy. I forced a smile wherever I went. I became bitter toward couples who were successful in trying to start a family or adding onto their family. Every negative test felt like a huge slap in the face. I could not get over the fact we were actually walking the road of infertility. I prayed very desperate prayers, begging God to bless us with a child. Little did I know He was working on a plan all along.
In December of 2013, after 2 years of trying to start a family and after prayer after prayer, we finally booked an appointment with a fertility specialist to see if something could be done to help us. She was such a sweet doctor and was ready to do whatever it took to help us through the fertility treatment process. She wanted to run a lot of blood-work, to soon be followed by other tests and said she would call the next day with some results. I’ll never forget it. It still feels like yesterday in so many ways. I stepped outside to head to my car for work when our doctor called: ‘Amanda, it looks like you will not need any treatment after all.’ Pause. ‘You are already pregnant.’
Our miracle daughter, Makenna, was born 9 months later in August of 2014 and radically changed our lives, our faith, and our walk with the Lord. We absolutely loved entering into parenthood. It was hard and a huge adjustment, no doubt, but I was reminded of God’s faithfulness every time I looked at our daughter. We loved parenthood so much by the time Makenna was 6 months old, we wanted to start trying for another baby. We figured since it took that much time with Makenna, we wanted to start earlier so we could still have children closer in age. However, yet again, the Lord had other plans.
It was early into 2016, and our daughter was about a year and a half old when I felt a word from the Lord our second child was not meant to be biological. There was so much emotion behind that moment. It’s hard to even explain. I was filled with peace (and also felt slightly crazy) but still wanted another pregnancy. I thought, ‘Lord, we can be obedient later. I want to be pregnant again.’ I’m just being honest.
Throughout the next 6 months, we faced a lot of heartaches and a big change. We experienced a miscarriage that left us utterly heartbroken and devastated. To this day, I still carry bits of that hard season with me. By December of 2016, we threw ourselves into getting licensed to become a foster family, something we felt led to do and began accepting placements by March of 2017. Each precious child we welcomed into our home left such a huge impact on our hearts. We knew with each ‘yes’ we gave and each step we kept taking together, we were walking in full obedience to what the Lord wanted us to do: adopt. God used our fostering journey to shape and prepare us for the calling of adoption.
We had been fostering for a year and we were coming off of a 4-month break when we got the call about a baby boy in March of 2018. He was only 3 days old when he was first welcomed into our home. He was handed to me and I was instantly in love; our whole family was. At almost 3 months into his stay, he was court-ordered to be placed with a family member. While my heart knew this was what’s best, the pain of letting him go hurt greater than I ever anticipated. However, in the next few days after his departure, I knew why he was sent to us. During his stay, I could feel the Lord breaking down walls in my heart. He was showing me how much I could love a child that wasn’t my own like they were my own. I knew adoption truly was our calling and there was no more time to hold back from pursuing it head-on and off we were to continue our journey.
By May of 2018, we began the home-study process, found a wonderful agency to work with and the true waiting season began. The more time that went on, the harder it became. Makenna was getting older and I selfishly felt like another deep desire I had was being replaced with a plan that wasn’t my own. God did major work on our hearts while we waited to be chosen by an expectant mom. We received amazing training through our agency. We started to connect with adoptive parents and hopeful adoptive parents around us. We started to lean into the voices of birth moms and adoptees to further our discovery of adoption behind the veil of beauty society paints it to be. Eric and I both felt we were prepared to face and recognize the tragedy and pain that comes with adoption. We felt prepared to love and support the expectant mom we would be chosen by. Our marriage was the strongest it had ever been while we grew together in our waiting season. We were ready and after over a year of waiting, in June of 2019, we submitted our adoption profile book to a situation that came through an email from our agency.
By the end of the month, our son’s birth mom chose our family to raise her boy. And our lives were changed forever. Our son, Maverick, was born September 1 of 2019 and he legally became ours 12 days later. The details of that time are not for us to share, as they belong to our son and his birth mom. However, I can share how I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on my boy in that NICU hospital room. Or the first time I held him, fed him, rocked him to sleep, all while our community of prayer warriors walked through every blazing fire right alongside us.
The first time Makenna met and held her brother and we were all in the same room together as a family still makes me weep with joy. Our family was literally forged through fire. Miscarriages, more negative pregnancy tests, foster care, the adoption process… all because we were led to our son. The Lord had a plan. It didn’t make it easy but it was so worth it.
Our adoption was finalized on July 3rd, 2020, and Maverick finally took our last name. We were surrounded by our closest family and friends while the judge made it official over a zoom call, pandemic style.
I look at both my children so often and just thank the Lord for two precious gifts. Our miracles. Our proof that His faithfulness that goes beyond anything we could ever understand. We are still learning more and more as adoptive parents. We are still taking in as much as we can and are so grateful for the voices we have been able to learn from.
If you are thinking about adoption, do it. It will be one of the hardest, tragic, yet most beautiful moments of your life. And if you are walking through infertility and are still in the wait for your own miracle, I see you. I am praying for you. Hang tightly onto hope. God is faithful.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amanda Janson from Irmo, SC. You can follow their journey on Instagram. 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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