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November 21, 2014

When Infertility and Adoption Collide

Welcome to week three of our celebration of National Adoption Month! We hope you’ve been reading along this month as REAL moms unpack the REAL issues of adoption. (Need to catch up? Read past blog posts>>)


Join us this week as guest blogger & adoptive mom, Rebecca Marquart, shares her family’s journey of adoption and infertility…

There were so many things my husband and I didn’t know before we decided to grow our family. We didn’t know how incredibly hilarious preschoolers are. We didn’t know that although a child may be potty “trained,” they might choose not to exercise that skill. We didn’t know how innocently a child can love and how quick they are to forgive. We also didn’t know how intensely angry and out-of-control that same child could be! We didn’t know about the Wild Kratts or Angelina Ballerina. We had no idea about car seat laws. We also didn’t know that we were walking into years of infertility.

About three years ago, my husband and I, quite naïvely, decided to grow our family of two. We began trying to conceive and pursuing our foster care license at the same time. I remember my husband saying, “Let’s just walk through whatever doors God opens,” and, while I was nodding my head in agreement, I was really only thinking of foster care, assuming we’d be pregnant in no time. Well, we walked through the open doors and none of them led to a pregnancy or even a baby. 

Those doors led to two gorgeous kids, ages 5 and nearly 3 when they joined our family over a year and a half ago. They have completely changed our world, and, about a month after saying yes to those four precious eyes and twenty continuously dirty little fingers, Joe and I sat in a doctor’s office and were diagnosed with infertility. At that point, I was still in disbelief. I was thinking, “Okay God, You must be letting these littles settle in, and then You will give us a baby.” Nope. That’s not what He was doing. He was just plain ole’ closing doors.

Once I began accepting those closed doors, I realized something profoundly deeper than I ever had before–infertility is about more than not being able to grow a family, and, for that reason, exists independently from adoption. I got honest with myself and openly admitted that I really want a biological child too, especially after seeing and knowing the deep hurts of the two children in my arms. God has written a story of redemption for my two children, as He works in their lives and displays His love for them. I’ve been so thankful to be a part of that story, but I’m still hoping to be a part of another storyline for a child–a story where I protect them from the very beginning, always keeping them safe and loved, where the plot is without trauma, abuse, or tragic loss. I want to walk the journey that God intended for every child from the beginning, not just the journey that has resulted from a broken and fallen world.

Having experienced infertility and adoption both first-hand, I also began to call out all of my prior judgments of people who “just adopted” because they couldn’t get pregnant. First of all, there is no such thing as “just adopting.” Adoption is huge. It isn’t about “just” loving a child. It isn’t “just” a way to grow a family. It isn’t something you “just” do as Plan B. It is hard. It is life changing. It is born out of so much hurt and pain.

And it isn’t for everyone.

Adoption can be expensive. It can take years of waiting. It is emotionally draining, both before and after the adoption is complete. It can mean a completely different lifestyle from what was expected. Anyone who has walked through infertility can also identify with these, as it is also expensive, long, emotionally draining, and definitely outside of one’s expectations of life. While the journey of infertility may be preparing some hearts to be stretched and refined all over again with adoption, it may also be shaping others to move a different direction entirely. After all, while adoption does grow a family, it isn’t a cure for infertility. It doesn’t erase the pain or the sleepless nights spent weeping for the loss of a dream.

Adoption doesn’t end the journey of infertility.

It certainly hasn’t ended ours. We are walking these paths independently from each other. In one moment we may mourn the loss of a dream as we wait on a little pink line that never comes, and, in the next, we are celebrating the amazing act of redemption happening in our children and us through the blessing of adoption. And in each of these moments, we have learned that we can keep praising Christ, because He is our fortress. He holds us up. He supports us. He strengthens us. In the throws of infertility and adoption, He is there standing, proving His faithfulness. 

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

Can you relate to Rebecca’s heart? Has God closed a door you didn’t expect Him to? Please encourage Rebecca with your comments…

NAM giveaway 3GIVEAWAY: In honor of National Adoption Month, we invite you to comment on this post to be entered in our month-long giveaway!

Gift basket includes: Thriving as an Adoptive Family book, 1lb of Gobena coffee, Lifesong mug, & Lifesong t-shirt 

Each Friday in November, hear REAL adoption testimonies from four different adoptive moms. Comment on each post for an entry for the giveaway! (maximum entries: 5)

{Winner will be announced December 1st}


Rebecca Marquart lives in rural, central Illinois where God has been messing up her plans since 1998. Most recently, He led Rebecca and her husband Joe into the crazy unknown when He brought them two kids through foster care and put them on the fast track to parenting. There was a big party when those kids became a part of their forever family this past summer! Now Rebecca is holding her breath, waiting to see what’s next in God’s perfect plan for their imperfect lives. She informally blogs and babbles at


14 Responses to “When Infertility and Adoption Collide”

  1. Jill Legner says:

    Hi Rebecca…that’s a beautiful picture of you all. Great story…we miss you. Hope you and the kids can come back to visit us again soon. Love you…Jill

  2. Jen says:

    Great post! 🙂 All of it is so, so true!!

  3. Christie says:

    I feel the same way — we tried for a baby for 8 years and adopted our son 6 months ago –

  4. Carol says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart. It’s so intermixed on this journey…the joy, the pain, the figuring out it’s not what you thought it’d be, but deciding to trust that God knows what we all need most.

  5. Marie says:

    What a blessing you are to others.

  6. Sue says:

    Thank you for your raw honesty! My husband and I have been waiting on God to build our family over the last 12 years. We are just beginning the adoption journey, and long for the day when He brings children into our lives.

  7. Linda Watts says:

    you spoke beautifully to this Grandmama’s heart! This is the journey of my daughter and her husband, who are currently adopting their second. Can’t wait to meet my new grandson!

  8. Anna says:

    I don’t have the words to say thank you enough for writing all of these things. We are secondary unexplained infertile…and while we want to adopt I feel paralyzed to move forward…thank you for your words – they are helping me to walk through this today 🙂

  9. Stephanie says:

    I couldn’t have said so many of these things better myself. My husband and I tried for over 10 years. We also went through Foster Care which was very painful and ended 4 months ago. We have now signed up for adoption and just waiting. We know God has a plan but wonder what it is…Thank you for sharing your hearts!

  10. Marian says:

    Very well spoken! I have shared many of the same emotions you have. My husband and I have tried to concieve for 5 years now. We began our adoption process in 2012. We were chosen by a birth mom and our son was born in March. He passed away at the age of 18 days. We have not only dealt with those emotions that come with infertility but now have dealt with the emotions that come with losing a child. Through God’s healing and grace we have started our adoption journey once again. We look forward to the blessings God has in store for our family. What we went through was not the end of our story….merely the beginning. God has turned our mourning into dancing!!

  11. Heather Snyder says:

    Becca these blog posts are so beautiful and real. I’m so blessed to call you a friend. God has graced you with so much wisdom and insight.

  12. Stephanie Z says:

    Thank you so much, Rebecca! We have spent almost 4 years dealing with infertility, and as we run out of treatment options, we are thinking more about adoption. We still hope to conceive a biological child, but the chances decrease month by month.

  13. Melissa says:

    What a wonderful article! Adoption is hard. We have just hit the 1 year mark of waiting and it’s exhausting, but we know God has called us to this and He will strengthen us. I really loved your description of walking these paths independently. I feel like that describes my view on infertility & adoption exactly! My husband and I haven’t given up our dream of a biological child, but are joyfully moving forward in obedience to adopt our daughter.

  14. kim says:

    Amen! Very well explained! I too experience the moment by moment pain and celebration. Thank you for expressing our hearts. I am thankful for people who can empathize and also for a God who knows the best for us.