It was the faintest of lines. I admit I sat staring waiting those grueling few minutes, barely blinking in anticipation of a second line showing up. For any woman who has ever taken a pregnancy test you understand the range of emotions during those pain-staking minutes. For any woman who has taken test after test after test, you can empathize with the racing thoughts coupled with hopeful prayers. For any woman who has been longing for that line to show up, you can understand the heartache when it doesn't. The knot in your stomach, the lump in your throat, those minutes that feel like an eternity. The wave of disappointment that floods over you when nothing appears. The checking and double checking then checking once more...just in case. For any woman who's experienced the pain of loss, you understand the highs and lows in the almost bipolar unsettledness of your heart hoping that it's positive, yet gripped with fear by the reality of it being so.

And there it was. Two years ago today I got that sign. The faintest of lines. The sign that would confirm that I was in fact carrying another child. My heart had been aching, grieving the loss I had experienced months before. In a split second a sign of hope filled with overwhelming fear. 

We know the story now. That sign was our beautiful Violet Hope, the picture of hope and joy, the hope we held onto during loss. The hope I have believed in through all of the trials I've faced. The hope that I have clung to in the midst of despair. I did not know if that line meant I was carrying a boy or a girl but on this day two years ago I knew that God had placed a life inside me and he was giving yet another sign of continued hope.

Even as I type this I am well aware of the fact that there are women reading who will not be able to move forward. There are some whose hearts are still aching, gripped with pain and fear. There are some who are simply too grieved to even finish reading. There are some with such a deep longing they're wondering why it's worked out this way for me and not them. When will it be her turn? When will she experience this Hope fulfilled?

If you've been around me for any length of time then you understand that I can completely empathize with all of these emotions. Two years of infertility. Multiple failed adoption placements. Nerve-wracking interviews with birthmothers. Waiting to be chosen then the grief when you're not. Another year of questions and not knowing. The joy of pregnancy. The pain and grief of a miscarriage. I have walked through this journey navigating each twist and turn that has left a scar of remembrance upon my heart. No matter how far removed or how my cup runneth over, I am not too far from the memory of each and every step it has taken to get to this point.

Today represents one of those altars I mark as a testament of God's faithfulness. It would be easy to think I'm in a position to proclaim His goodness because of where I sit now, but it is because of the journey I've traveled and the fact that He's carried me through. He allowed me to carry a baby, but during the years of tears, heart-wrenching pain, empty arms, failed placements and aching loss, He drew my heart to His and became the source of my comfort and hope. I know the longing, emptiness, loneliness. I know the questions, stinging tears, dreaded doctor visits, and sitting unrecognized on Mother's Day. I also know the comfort of His embrace, the depth of His lavish love. I know He heard my heart's cry and answered not always with a yes or in the way I prayed, but He always answered. And for that I will stop today and give praise as I remember how far He's brought us. 


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