When Crishana eagerly agreed to share her story with us, I was so thrilled. She is a beautiful woman, whom Jenny and I have had the pleasure of getting to know and become friends with, through this wonderful gift of social media. She has a heart for God, for children, and for adoption like few I've ever seen before. Bringing her family to life came with some intense periods of pain and a call to put obedience over selfish desires and convenient timelines. But, I know you will be moved as you read how the way in which her family has been formed has stirred in her a hunger to unlock the heart of God. Please join me in welcoming Crishana to ONSEL.
Standing to honor God, I a virgin, and Antonio a born-again virgin for six years; we knew that something special would come from our union. After three years of marriage, we had our first baby. It came after a year of tugs and pulls on my spirit. I could not deny God's prompting to conceive. And just 18 months later, I was shaken at the voice of the Holy Spirit when he asked me to have another baby.
My first pregnancy was an awful experience and I've come to praise God in it. It messed me up in every way possible. I was extremely sick and couldn't keep food down for the entire 9 months. Yet I gained 60 pounds, was swollen from head to toe and suffered extreme pain that left me bed ridden and depressed. Part of which came from the tests and reports that indicated that I may miscarry, and even if I didn't, my son may have Down Syndrome. An induction equated to 20 odd hours of labor and three hours of pushing, to deliver an eight plus pound baby from my 5'1" frame. I gnashed my teeth at the thought of a repeat. But, my heart for God superseded my fear.
Baby #2 came, in 2011, after a pregnancy with episodes similar to the first and an intense and painful natural birth. I was in and out of the emergency room for dehydration because I couldn't keep food down. I was seeing a specialist every couple of weeks and they expected me to miscarry between each appointment. Later in the pregnancy, my fluids were all over the place and they told me to prepare for preterm labor.
Both of our boys were born full-term and completely healthy. I won't tell you that I navigated these reports and pains perfectly. I will tell you that I only confessed what I wanted - healthy, happy babies.
It was only three months after our second was born that I felt the echoing in spirit that adoption would be part of our family's plan. I had it in my heart to adopt since I was five. And I have literally talked about it ever since then. The reality of it seemed distant with two young children in our home. But God's plans were different than mine. After almost two years of hearing adoption in my heart, we felt like it was time to make a move.
When we started the adoption process in 2013, I naively thought it would be easy... a series of steps and checkpoints. I thought it would be much smoother and less intense than my belly babies. I was wrong in the worst way.
God uses the adoption process to grow and stretch us. Adoption is redemption. The redemptive process was trying for Jesus and it is trying for us too. We are tasked with coming face to face with the enemy and his vicious tactics to steal life. Without the waiting season, we would have never been prepared to stand in the battle. As adoption couples, we complain about the wait. We complain about the finances. But we were bought with a price and Jesus waited 33 years to fulfill His ministry and give His life so that we could live righteous. We too have to make sacrifices to have and redeem children.
During those times of testing, I had not choice; I had to see the face of God in order to have his hand move on my behalf. As believers, our wilderness is our playground for promotion. We run, jump and build muscle for battle. And most importantly, we make it our promised land because God honors our determination for obedience.
No, it's not always fun. No, it will not be easy. But obedience is always worth it and it is the only way to live. If I can do it, a girl married to her plans so carefully written in her planner, than you too can surrender your fears and unlock the heart of God in your life.
We started this More Than Luck series to share a variety of stories from others who at one time might have viewed themselves as the "unlucky." Like Jenny and myself, they didn't have the seamless transition they once hoped for into parenthood. But hindsight has afforded them the opportunity to see that the luck they once thought they were missing, was really the hand of God intervening in their life so that the timing and method in which their family started would be perfect for them. Instead of luck, we found God's presence in our lives, providing for us, comforting us, changing us, preparing the way for something that would redefine our definition of blessings.