Today’s birth story comes for Kara. I met Kara few years ago. We were standing in line for lunch at the restaurant on the bottom floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial building and somehow I mentioned the book project I was working on. She shared her story with me and I asked her if she would be willing to send in her story for our book. Due to space we weren’t able to put it in the book but I wanted to make sure her story was shared. I think it is a beautiful reminder that God is ultimately the one who opens or closes the womb and that he knows when and how each of his precious children need to come to the earth.
After struggling with infertility my husband and I were able to adopt a beautiful little girl. When I watched my eldest daughter Brooklyn being born I was in awe that a woman could carry a child for nine months and then allow herself to place the infant in someone else’s arms. With our second daughter, Ashlyn, I watched in awe as not just a woman, but a whole family, placed an infant in my arms.
Before Ashlyn’s birth I had a powerful experience. My oldest daughter Brooklyn was two weeks old and she was refusing to sleep. My husband was away on business and so I was solo on that night’s battle. As I sat in a chair with my infant laying on my lap I plead with Heavenly Father to inspire me on how to get her to settle down and go sleep. Immediately after my prayer Brooklyn stopped crying and smiled. She looked over my right shoulder and then over my left and then she then proceeded to cry again. At that moment I was blessed with the inspiration to know that she saw my second daughter, whom we were waiting to be born, and that she also saw a third person waiting to come into our family. From then on I knew that we were meant to have three children, but I had no idea how they were going to get to our family. I always kept that thought in my head and was constantly looking for inspirations on how it was going to happen.
Little did I know that my third daughter would come to us, through my body and not through a birth mother. Most people I come across, even strangers, tell me that they see this all the time—that since I had adopted I was relaxed enough to get pregnant. I have a different version of the story.
When going through the process of “finding” Ashlyn to adopt we encountered many spiritual and divinely guided experiences. When we met her birth mother and her family it felt like I had known them for years. The welcome and love they gave us was incredible and it testified to me that this woman’s unborn daughter was mine to raise. After spending a lot of time with the birth mother she and I formed a relationship that few women have the privilege of experiencing– we are bonded in a way that only she and I can understand.
After she had given birth she had hoped to transfer Ashlyn into our care immediately but State law required her to keep the baby for three days before placing her with her new family. When the third day came we expected to meet her but instead we found her Mom. She was sitting in a chair holding our tiny baby girl and crying. I saw the pain in her eyes in knowing that she had to say goodbye to this child not knowing if she would ever see her again. As I walked towards her and sat down next to her I couldn’t help but share tears with her. We and I had shared the moment of Ashlyn’s birth together, as well as the birth of the motherhood companionship that had formed between me and her daughter– one that could never be broken. I knew the blessing of Ashlyn coming into ours lives, yet understood the heartache and hardship of a family letting her go. Now, after carrying and birthing my own child I have a better understanding of what these women did for me and my daughters.
Once, when I was feeling quite discouraged and overwhelmed with my three little active girls I asked for a blessing. My husband asked a close friend to give the blessing since he felt too close to the situation. After they prayed together in a separate room they laid their hands on my head and gave me one of the most intense blessing I’d ever received. The strongest thing said, and that I still hold onto today, was that I was friends and sisters with my daughters in the pre-existence. In that moment the Spirit testified to me that regardless of how my three beautiful daughters came into my life, we had been together in the Spirit world since the beginning of time.
If I had been able to get pregnant when I wanted to then Brooklyn and Ashlyn would never have come to our family and their birth families wouldn’t have gone through the growth that they did. I know that all of my children were meant to be with me but had to come different ways. Yes, I have fears of teasing, arguing and harsh words between my daughters regarding their adoptions and biological births but I hope they will eventually come to understand the process just as I have. I know this is how the Lord’s plan has worked for us and after all is said and done I know that that our lives are in the care of God’s hands.