I love a good quote. If I find one that really speaks to me, I’ll out it on my fridge, my phone, anywhere that I’ll see it throughout the day. It might seem silly, but it really helps me.

This is one I kept returning to as we navigated through infertility, foster parenting, and adoption. It is exactly what I needed to hear during that time–don’t give up, don’t quit.

I wonder now: Would I have believed this four years ago, when the thought of adoption or foster care was so terrifyingly foreign and I was in the midst of fertility treatments and surgeries, knowing deep within me that it wouldn’t work? I doubt it.

I certainly wouldn’t have believed it five years ago when I was trying desperately to figure out what was wrong with me, convinced a child would never nestle into my arms and sigh sleepily, bitterly jealous of any and all baby-related happiness. I wanted to give up, but I wanted to be a mother more. I might have been sooner had I swallowed my fear and done what I had felt was right for so long. But, then again, the entire process was importnant for me to go through, however miserable I might have felt.

What about three years ago, while we were starting the licensing process to become foster parents and the thought children coming to our home seemed so far away? Maybe then, but it would have been so hard.

But now… I believe it now. I believe it because I have no choice whether or not to–because it turned out to be true. And as we tried to comfort our sweet boys in their transition to our home, as we faced uncertainty in Maggie’s adoption, as we begin our journey with our little Mary, having no idea where any of it will take our family. I had to believe still because it’s always been the truth.

Because what if I had given up then? Stopped walking, stopped trying? The thought makes me cringe. And I know that it wasn’t anything noble on my part. I am not a particularly strong person. I could only persevere with the help of my husband, my family, my friends. My faith. The idea that these kids might not be here now, well, it’s impossible.

Because they are meant to be here.

Because so many people held me up so that I could go this far.

Because from pain, from sadness – on both sides – good things were to come.

And they did. The good things came, and they are more lovely and wonderful than I could have ever imagined.