January 17, 2008
Dear Friends and Family,
Well, the past few years have been crazy to say the least. We have some bitter sweet news to share with you. Let's start with the bitter. Most of you know, but June 2006 Dave was diagnosed with Crohn's disease (after many tests, procedures, etc). What a terrifying ordeal. Currently we have everything under control with medicines, and have even been able to take him off of some meds because he's doing so well. Crohn's is a digestive disorder that can be very painful at times. Fortunately, he doesn't experience the pain most patients experience.
We've also experienced some big changes...like my brother's elopement and my parents moving to Indiana from Texas, as well as the recent deterioration of my grandmother's health - she's been given about 6 months to live.
What most of you don't know is that Dave and I have been trying for 2.5 years to get pregnant. This has been a very emotionally draining time for us. This past April after some testing, we discovered an issue that is preventing us from getting pregnant. I spent the summer in mourning, trying to make sense of why God would allow this to come in to our lives. We weren't sure at the time if the issue was fixable, so we maintained hope. This past week, however, the doctors told us the situation was status quo and what the next steps were for testing. We both agreed to not pursue them at this time. Basically there is little to no chance of us having natural children at the moment.
But, God is good. We get to talk about the sweet news now! God has been preparing us for some time now to accept all these circumstances. Although these types of circumstances can destroy a marriage, God has strengthened ours. We've been in counseling for quite some time, and have learned how to communicate more effectively with each other. We have also found more trust and a stronger bond. The biggest news, and the news we are most excited about, is our decision to adopt. We've started the process, and we can't wait to have our children home with us in a couple years. We're looking at adopting a sibling pair from the Ukraine at this time. God has answered our prayers to unify our hearts in every aspect of this decision. There are so many things that I prayed for thinking there was no way we would agree on this decision or that. But God has changed both my heart and Dave's heart! What an amazing experience!
We both feel that God's will for our lives right now is to adopt. We serve a powerful God who can restore health, and because of that we have hope that our reward for our obedience and surrendering our desire for children to Him will be the eventual conception of a biological child.
Adoption is very overwhelming for us both financially and emotionally. But we know that as we follow God's will in obedience, He will provide. Please pray for strength, provision, and patience for us (especially me). I'm sure we'll start an adoption blog sometime, so we'll keep you posted. And as you can see, the sweet far outweighs the bitter!
Natalie and Dave
Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1 Timothy 4:12