God the architect of all families
The Lord joined Nick and I together as one flesh on May 24,2014. If you would have asked us then how we thought the Lord would bless us in our marriage the words suffering or infertility wouldn’t have been top of the list. But, because of our sovereign God this was the very means He would use to bring us our two precious boys.
We tasted the pain of infertility very early in our marriage. The Lord gave me wisdom that something was not right. From the endless appointments, OBGYN visits, blood test, no diagnosis, ovulation apps, months of sickness, medicine, and negative pregnancy test nothing seemed to work. This suffering is very real and as I have found it happens more than you would think. 1 in 8 couples have trouble either getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. As Nick and I became more acquainted with infertility, we started exploring our options. Through much pain and even more prayers,God lead us to choose foster care and adoption. You may pause right here and ask why we would pick suffering again. Foster care is hard, and adoption takes forever.
Then, I would press play and say, “He (God) who did not spare his own Son (Jesus) but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom.8:32) If God gave His own Son to suffer and die “for us all," then I can be certain that he will graciously give us (me) all things. "All things" doesn’t mean God is going to grant me a life of comfort and easy. What it does mean is that He will give us all things that are good for us--all things that we really need in order to be conformed into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). God alone can meet every real need which includes the ability to rejoice in suffering and to express joy to serve in the midst of it! (Philippians 4:19, Philippians 4:12-13)
God interrupted our suffering to allow us to step into a baby boy's suffering through foster care. We had him a couple of weeks shy of 7 months. During his stay with us, we received a text message from our pastor about a 9-year-old boy who needed to be adopted. Nick and I had been praying for God to give us a child that we could raise for the glory of His name! Could this be him? That next Sunday (July 31st), our pastor preached on Psalm 127. I knew in my heart that God was moving us to trust him to build our family through adoption. That night, I was scheduled to take a pregnancy test, and it was negative again. I remember crying so hard and asking God to make me a mom--as I had done many times before. On August 1st, at 6 p.m., I met him at a Mexican restaurant in Clinton, MS. I met my son! What usually was a day of sorrow (the day after a negative PT), God turned into great rejoicing! Over the next 7 months, we would get Colton every other weekend and holidays. Our love for him grew more and more each visit, and we couldn’t wait to adopt him as our son!
On one of Colton’s visits, he made up a remix to the tune of the song “Don’t take the girl” by Tim McGraw. We were on our way home from Thanksgiving in Louisiana. His song went like this, “God, please give me a brother or sister before I turn 10 years old!” In my heart I cried out to the Lord to answer this silly little song, and by God's grace He did! On November 28th, we received a group message from a couple in our church about a birthmother in California who needed someone to adopt her baby. Did I mention she was 9 months pregnant? Our son Luke was born on December 7th! On that exact morning, we went to court for our foster son in which he returned to the home of his birth parents. Immediately, we flew out to California to meet the precious baby who, Lord willing, would be our very own and Colton's brother forever. Fifteen days later, through many trials, sorrows, attorney fees, and provisions, and with the help of our gracious families, Grace Community Church, and Governor Phil Bryant’s assistants, I flew home from California with Colton’s new baby brother and the newest addition to our family!
On February 28th, after two court delays, Colton Nicholas Starkey official became our son. We praise God for being the architect of our family!(Psalm 127:1) We praise God that He sovereignly closed my womb(for now) so that we could care for orphans.
God created us for His glory, and if there is any good in our story, the praise is due to God--not Nick and Sarah. We are ordinary people with an extraordinary God! We share our story of deep sorrow and great joy so that you would come along with us to magnify the Lord and exalt His name! (Psalm 34:3) If you are struggling with infertility or waiting for a baby through adoption, my encouragement for you is that we have hope in God! (Psalm 42:3) Our joy in Jesus isn’t dependent on our wombs or our quiver being full! Yes, there is a blessing in children! But the suffering and death of Christ guarantees that God will give us all things that we need to do his will and to give him glory and to attain eternal joy.