Note: If you are new to our Journey, or have just recently started following our story, I would encourage you to go back and read this blog from the beginning to fully understand the journey God has brought us on.
"Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known MY name." Psalm 91:14
GRACE. That is how I sum up the last few months. By His grace, God has allowed us to continue to heal from our separation from Dani Grace. And He has allowed me to feel His love deep in my heart. I have graciously become aware of how my Lord has drawn me closer to Him, when I could have so easily strayed by own choice. It is a little overwhelming sometimes to look back and remember the dark days immediately following our loss...and to look at how God has protected my heart and become my true HOPE in the midst of pain. I am naturally a pretty private person. But when it comes to our journey, I must admit that my desire to share what God has done ultimately wins out.
"Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, that He might make HIS power known." Psalm 106:8
During our recent Missions Conference at church, I was struck by the view from my seat. BY FAITH...For Generations Yet to Come. How fitting for our current situation. When I was told in February that I would no longer have the ability to carry children, I would have never thought that the Lord was already working out our next step in our journey of faith. But as my mom has said so often...the Lord goes before us.
A friend from college came to visit me in the spring and said she had an opportunity to share with me. One of her friends from her church had heard our story and had been praying for us. AND she wanted to offer to carry our child for us since I no longer could. I sat there in complete and utter disbelief. All I could think was -- why would someone give that much of themselves to a total stranger?
Interestingly enough, the doctors had suggested that to us previously. But that was too "out of the box" for me, and I had told Brandon then that I would not even consider it unless...and I went on and on listing things that could never happen -- at least in my mind. Well, Autumn checked off EVERY box.
In her own words:
Have you ever had a desire in your heart to fulfill a need for someone? Have you ever known here was a bigger purpose for your life but you weren’t sure how it would fall in to place? I have. I have known for years now that there was a desire in my heart to change someone’s life, to be a key partner in a life altering sequence of events. I have told my husband, my family, my dear friends and relatives for years that I really felt drawn to be a surrogate. After several years of wondering who it would be, how I would know, and being blessed with my own two children, it all fell in to place. I had spoken to a dear friend about being a surrogate for her, but she wasn’t ready, and it just didn’t quite fit. Little did I know that in the next few weeks a prayer request from our women’s group would open the doors for me. MarySusan and Brandon were placed on our prayer list as they dealt with the unfortunate circumstances surrounding their sweet baby girl, Dani Grace. My heart was burdened for this couple and I just felt this overwhelming pull towards their story and understanding their situation. I contacted a mutual friend of ours, and pretty soon I felt in my heart that this couple was my “match”. I waited a while for MarySusan to reach out to me. My offer was known, but her heart was unsure. After a few short emails I let my family know that I was going to offer to be her surrogate. They all thought I was just making conversation and sharing empty promises. I think MarySusan thought that too. My husband didn’t take me seriously either. A few weeks later we planned to meet at a local pizzeria and on the way Donovan reminded me he just wasn’t so sure that this was my best idea. I assured him that I wasn’t in it if he wasn’t in it, but I also knew that God would change his heart if this was his will. Needless to say, just a few minutes after meeting them and hearing about their story and how we seemed to fit so well in to it Donovan stated, “God wants us to help you have your baby”... and there you have it! We are so excited and blessed to be part of this journey. God has made it evident that this was His plan.
How do I know that this is God’s plan? He’s made it clear with every step we take. You need examples you say? Here are just a few, the best day for us all to meet with the counselor was October 24. The counselor answered the phone telling me how hard it would be to match our schedules and reminded me that it may take months. The first date she offered me was October 24, exactly what we needed. That isn’t enough? The results were to take two weeks, and we received our official results in less than one week. These results opened the door to schedule our medical exam. The medical exam usually takes months to orchestrate. I called on a Thursday, they saw me that next Wednesday. We completed our medical exam and counseling in less time than usually just the counseling takes. And there have been other confirmations as well. God’s timing is always perfect, and He has made it evident through every step that his hand is in this. Jeremiah 29:11 states,” For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” And we cannot wait to be a part of MarySusan and Brandon’s future.
-- Autumn and Donovan Anderson
So, after praying for months and literally taking ONE STEP at a time, we are sure of the Lord's leading. He has confirmed it all along the way. It has been beyond our wildest dreams, but so amazing the relationship that has unfolded between the Andersons and us. This will be our genetic child, yet brought into the world with the help of an amazing woman. What an extroardinarily, beautiful gift.
We are letting you know of this with the purpose of asking for your prayers. Please pray specifically for the health and protection of Autumn, and the development of our future child. Please also pray that God would provide the financial resources. This is a complicated process with many moving parts. But as I was reminded in church during our conference: "When God creates a need, He always provides the resources to meet that need." We move forward...
"In quietness and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15