I believe when I see two little boys, one Asian and one Caucasian, holding hands and laughing. I believe when I feel a chubby finger touching my face. I believe when I hear a small voice whisper, “Mama.” I believe when I sing “Happy Birthday” with overwhelming tears of joy. I believe in a grand design, an orchestrated plan, a sovereign hand that guides each of our lives.
You see, I am infertile. I have a very common, but relatively untreatable condition called Endometriosis. It’s a tissue growth that prevents pregnancy in many women, despite age and health. For me, the thought of having a child was a phantasmal dream that danced in my head night after sleepless night. I was sure I would never hold an infant in my arms, dance with a toddler clutching my knees, or tuck a cleanly scrubbed child into bed. For years I cried daily, tears that never served to wash away the ache in my heart.
And I wasn’t alone, for as it happens, I have a twin sister who bears the same physical burden that I do. Her trip through infertility was different than mine, not as many tears and not as much emotional pain, but still a longing for a child, a desire to cradle a baby, kiss sore fingers, and sing silly songs. It seems our biological clocks began ticking around the same time, and so we wept for each other and prayed for answers.
In distinctly different ways, but with amazingly synchronized timing, answers came. For me, the answer came through an 18 year old named Lindsay, a beautiful girl caught between youth and womanhood, bearing a child before her time and wanting to give her baby everything she knew she couldn’t. I know our meeting was not by chance, not some random happenstance. The fabric of our lives was knit together by a sovereign hand, a choice made by destiny that we cannot comprehend. She needed me, and I so desperately needed her. She chose to give me the greatest gift she could, the gift of her child. With promises to love, live, and even die for this gift if necessary, I gratefully accepted and will forever cherish her memory.
For my sister, the answer came through a nameless, faceless farmer’s wife in Korea, a financially strapped woman with other children who chose to give both to her child and to an American woman she did not know and would never meet. Although unknown to us, this woman’s legacy will live on in our hearts through her child that has become part of our family.
Because of two special women and two special boys, I know that my life is not just a set of hapless events, the product of circumstance. Rather, it is divinely appointed and guided by good. I now see the value in a disease that prevented the “natural” course of life. I know now the beautiful side of tears, the providential joy of pain.
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