A Longing Surrendered... PDF Print E-mail

A story of the power of surrender and of God’s perfect and divine timing.
by Patty Toomey

ToomeypicI have been a nurse for over 20 years. The majority of my career has been in women’s health, mainly in labor and delivery. While I was helping mothers give birth to their babies, my husband Greg and I were going through a difficult time. The process of desperately trying to become parents nearly destroyed our marriage.

We both wanted to become parents, but we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. In other words, there was no medical reason for us not to conceive. The pressures of trying to conceive, the medications, the procedures, and the testing all placed great stress on our marriage. I feared, not only that I would not become a mother, I feared that I might lose my husband as well. Our hopes, that we would have biological children of our own, ended.

I was angry with God. I felt frustrated as I worked and watched women come and go through labor and delivery. Some were well prepared, excited and full of love and anticipation. Some were ill prepared and not really wanting the burden of mothering a child. I knew that some of those babies would go home to loving, committed families, and some would go home to situations that were far less than ideal. I prayed to God—no really I shouted to God—one afternoon as I neared my breaking point. “Fine,” I cried, “Just fine, Lord! If you don’t want me to be a mother, fine, just extinguish the desire in my heart!” I surrendered.

A few months later a serendipitous walk through our neighborhood led us to speak to a neighbor that we had never spoken with before. Greg and I learned that their children had been adopted through the foster system. After an hour or so Greg and I walked back to our house with a strange peaceful warmth surrounding us. I believe the Holy Spirit was leading us onto a path that we had never considered. Greg and I gathered our information and began to take foster parent classes. Each week we would say to each other, “we are not cut out for this.” Yet, each week we returned, until finally we received our certificate stating that we were “official foster parents.” Now, with our certificate we waited and our phone did not ring. It did not ring for quite some time. Again, we were feeling discouraged. As best we could we continued to go on with our daily life.

One day I went to work and walked into a change of shift delivery. I received a quick report from the nurse that was leaving and assumed care of the patient. I assisted the delivery. After the baby delivered, I asked the mother what the baby’s name was and she said, “Madison.’ I told the woman that Madison and Taylor were always my two favorite girl names. There are some patients and some situations that stand out in my mind. This delivery did because it was both funny and chaotic. The mother and grandmother were very spirited and loud. It was one of the few times where I actually had to raise my voice in order to maintain control of the delivery. I cared for this mom and her baby over the next 2 days. Then they were discharged to home.

Four months later I received a phone call from the foster care agency. The woman on the other end of the phone informed me that a baby was available for placement. Curious, I asked questions about the birth mother. Where is the birth mother from? At which hospital was the baby born? What time of day did the baby deliver? I had this strange thought that I may have assisted the delivery of this baby. The very next day I rushed into work and flipped open the delivery log and saw my name as the nurse that assisted the delivery! A rush of feelings came over me—excitement, amazement, and fear. I had concerns about the birth mother’s history. I felt professional conflict about accepting a patient’s baby. My list of concerns went on and on.

After much discussion with Greg our answer was no. We could not accept this baby. My heart broke. My fear and inner conflict prevented this baby from becoming a part of our family. Again we waited.

One day, as I walked down the hall in the labor suite I ran into the woman’s family practice physician. I asked how she was doing and sadly he told me that the woman, whose name was Mary, had passed away. I felt so very sad and that evening I cried. A part of me was also happy that this woman would no longer be tormented by her demons. I wondered about her baby. Where was she? Was she okay?

Two days after that news our phone rang. The person on the other end said, “we have this baby,” “birth mother is deceased and father is unknown.” I could not believe my ears. I asked, “Is it Madison?” The answer was, “Yes.” This time Greg and I said yes.

Our unexplained infertility was clearly explained. Our Lord had his divine plan laid out. Madison was on her way to becoming our daughter. She was placed with us June 29, 2004—our wedding anniversary. As if God just wanted to wow us again, one year later he generously blessed us with our son, Garrett.

I am a person who often likes to be in control. The lesson for me was that the miracle occurred only after I surrendered and let God take care of the details of my heart’s desire. There is often heated debate over pro-life vs. pro-choice, but beyond the argument, I believe, lies a solution. A solution that pleases God and benefits all involved is adoption. Psalm 113:9 says, “He gives children to the childless wife so that she can be a happy mother.” Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Patty & Greg Toomey are members of Elfinwild Presbyterian Church in Glenshaw, PA where Greg sings with the music team. They have two children, Madison (7) & Garrett (6).

 

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