By Aime Ladd, Originally published here May 7, 2005
Many of the recent articles on barrenness have inspired me to share the story of my salvation, my empty womb, and the wonderful plan God had for my life.
When my husband, Bryan, and I met, fell in love, and married, we were not Christians. We had not been raised in Christian homes, and the home we made was not honoring to Christ. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
Bryan and I wed on April 16, 1994; two weeks later my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Within the first two years of our marriage, my mom had an affair, my parents divorced (per mom’s request), my dad started dating a horrible woman, my dad had open-heart surgery, my mother remarried and then died of cancer at 42 years old.
As you can imagine, this was extremely difficult to take, however, the Lord used it in a positive way. It got my attention, and I began to cry out to Him and acknowledge His existence. He was faithful through all of the drama and trauma and kept our marriage together.
Bryan and I began to attend church and accepted Jesus (although we were not walking the talk). I went to a Christian counselor to work out all my feelings. We had been trying to conceive during those years to no avail, but figured all the stress had prevented it. During the next couple of years, I attended at least 40 baby showers, and our focus was on our barrenness. I felt so angry and resentful every Mother’s Day. Not only was I not a mother, but I had no mother.
We looked into infertility testing, but it was especially excluded from our medical insurance, so we didn’t try it. However, God is good, and He began to convict us and to show us how He wanted us to live. As we began growing in the Lord, new opportunities began to open up. A couple we knew began to attend classes on foster parenting, so we were able to ask questions and watch the process. At the same time, we were being pruned by Jesus, as He cut away bad habits and friends.
I just want to stop right here to add an another comment. I believe that if God gives you a Mother’s heart, a deep maternal need, a longing to nurture AND an empty womb, that it is a special gift. Like all gifts, we need to use it for His Glory.
Here on Beautiful Womanhood (LAF) we read these horrible articles concerning the tragedy of abortion and we wonder, what can we do? Well, there are other children in tragic conditions, children that we can personally and physically impact. There are children in your city suffering from real child abuse, neglect, and abandonment.
Now to continue my story… We watched our friends become foster parents and began praying about taking the classes ourselves. We felt the Lord leading us towards fostering, and as we became more obedient to His will in other parts of our lives, the more positive we were that fostering was part of that will.
We took the classes, went through the home study, and on September 16, we got a call. I wasn’t even sure we were licensed yet. The caseworker told me we were licensed and asked if we would take in a 4-½ month boy and his 2-year-old sister. They had been abandoned with a grandmother who didn’t know where mother was. She could not afford diapers, and she couldn’t work, because she was caring for the children. We did take them in. The sister went back to grandmother the next day; baby stayed with us. The caseworker found the mother, and after five months in foster care, the judge ordered the baby returned to his mother. We took him to her home, and while we were talking, she asked us to adopt him. We were delighted to adopt him and enjoy an open relationship with his mother.
Most of the people we know in foster care were amazed by our story, and it was a mighty act of God. We obviously had to grow in Christ before we were ready for God’s plan. But He had a plan, and I feel He has plans for other barren couples. God’s people are commanded to care for the widows and orphans; there are thousands and thousands of kids in foster care. These kids need parents; they need a safe place to be cared for by people who can shower them with love and attention.
I really find Isaiah 54: 1-3 so fitting: “‘Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,’ says the LORD.”
I don’t believe God would give a mother’s heart and an empty womb to cause suffering. I believe it is a special commission to mother the motherless, to rise above our personal desires, and to bring glory to God forever and ever. Amen
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