Last night Ryan and I attended a group called Families of Hope that my friend Jeri Anne started.
This group is for couples struggling with infertility, or who have adopted or done foster care (or are interested in doing so).
It seems a bit odd to be attending this group with a bulging belly, but I just love it. I love sitting in a room with other couples who get it. Who understand. Who have been there - or are currently there.
We go around the room and share our stories and our struggles and they almost all start with "We struggled with infertility for X number of years." Some are still struggling even though they have adopted. Some are in the process of adoption. Some are currently doing Foster Care. Some are waiting for God to bring a baby into their home in His timing.
I love to hear the stories, talk with other parents who understand, cheer them on when they get a call from a birth mom or pray for them as they consider a new fertility treatment.
This is a group that I never thought I would be a part of, but I'm so thankful I am. I feel a deep connection with these couples and I learn from them each time we're together.
I don't know that we'll be back until after our baby girl is born (bulging bellies at the infertility support group are not exactly common) but I am thankful that this group exists and that people are willing to get together to share their experiences.
Our friends Keith and Meredith visited last night and shared their story. Theirs is one of infertility, adoption, IVF baby and now foster care in hopes of adopting a boy who has been with them for 16 months. I am in awe of how they have been open to whatever God has called them to. They have said no to nothing and God's hand has clearly been on each child he has brought into their family.
Even though I would have never anticipated being on this journey, I'm so grateful to be a family of hope!