It’s a joy to have my sweet sister-in-law Jenni share her story on Community Eats. Jenni is one of my very dearest of dears and watching her celebrate life as she waited for her babies to arrive, well, it was truly beautiful. I hope many of you will find hope as you read, and in turn live bravely as your own story unfolds.
Choosing to Celebrate – My Story of Waiting for My Children.
by Jenni Gillespie
I’m Jenni, and my husband Johnny and I have been married for six years. We have two kids, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old. If you do the math, it would appear that we had our first child after being married just a couple of years. But there is so much more to our story. Let me share with you about the journey I’ve been on, and confide in you my battle with the question:
“Will I have children?”
As well as my inner struggle with how to respond when it seemed like everyone around me was getting pregnant.
I have wanted to be a wife and mom for as far back as I can remember. I think I always felt like that was part of my nature. When my husband and I got married we knew we wanted children, and we also discussed the desire we both had to one day adopt. Being two healthy adults we assumed we’d have no trouble having biological children, and we also felt a small prompting in our hearts to make room for adoption.
As a newlywed couple we talked and prayed about waiting a little while before having kids, so for the first year and a half of our marriage we decided to use contraception to prevent pregnancy. When we stopped preventing, I thought I’d immediately have “big news” to announce, but months and years went by and we had no baby news to share with our loved ones.
Over the course of three years, Johnny and I watched countless friends, family, and acquaintances announce that they were expecting. It seemed as if every time I went on Facebook there was a darling baby announcement waiting there for me to see. Each time I saw an announcement I was faced with a choice. Would I celebrate, or feel envious? Would I rejoice with my friends or feel disappointed?
It was often a tough decision to make in a split second, but I felt that God really gave me a desire to choose to celebrate every time. Looking back now, I can see that I made a conscious choice to have no regrets in this area. I wanted to celebrate every time I heard someone else’s “big news.” I consistently chose to rejoice. It wasn’t always easy, it didn’t always feel natural, but I am so thankful I can look back at that season of my life and see that I have no regrets.
Still, we didn’t have an answer as to why we weren’t pregnant. Both of us were healthy, but my mind would wander to questions about infertility. I didn’t get angry with God but I did want answers. I knew He was good, but I still wondered if I would ever have biological children. Didn’t He know this was a deep longing of my heart? Hadn’t He given me the qualities to love and nurture? I simply had to hold tightly to the truth that God is good, and that His timeline is much more perfect than the timeline I could plan out for my own life.
After three long years, God showed us a glimpse into His timeline. It’s another story entirely, but we were presented with an opportunity to adopt a boy. At the time he was two-and-a-half years old. We said yes! Three days later we found out I was also pregnant! It all seemed to be completely impossible and wonderfully miraculous. We welcomed our son David into our family in August 2013, he was almost 3 years old by then. Not long after that our daughter, Kaira, was born in December, 2013.
It seemed as though we had become a family of four in a split second. It took time to adjust, and to this day we are still figuring out quite a lot. We are making many mistakes and experiencing many joys along the way. Now I can see that if I had the ability to have made things happen in my own timing, I could have missed out on so much! Trusting in God and choosing to believe in His promises was not the easier choice, but it was the choice that brought the richest blessings. I’m so thankful that this is the journey I’ve been on.
To read more about Jenni Gillespie, her family and their ministry go to: www.johnnyandjenni.com