We are so happy to report that the couple featured in this Hope Rises adoption story has experienced their happy ending. Marya and Justin Bilby now have a son, Chase, born just days ago.
They traveled out of state to greet him with loving arms.
Congrats to the Bilby family on this beautiful news! Read more from Marya on what she learned through this adoption journey and why it was so important to keep her faith.
Here is my journey - one I want you to know. Perhaps it's one you can relate to.
Okay, here goes...
I've never thought too much about the journey, but HE has placed it on my heart to share. Maybe this will help a marriage, and maybe it will give light to the women who were told, "No, I am sorry you will never conceive your own child."
Or...maybe it will inspire you to look at your own journey and walk beside GOD.
Justin is my husband. God has been writing a book for our life and the chapters continue to be laid out. Some chapters are happy, some are sad, and some you just want to leave out, but you will see how our chapters get better as we included God more in our lives. He is not done with us yet.
The first chapter - what we think love is:
Justin and I met on Match.com. As crazy as it sounds when we look back, we are reminded that God has a hand in everything we do. We decided to meet the weekend of December 18th - I was going to travel to Nebraska and spend the weekend. Unfortunate circumstances landed Justin's father in the hospital after he collapsed that evening. I still made the trip with a girlfriend, stopping first in Cheyenne for the night and then to Fort Collins for the day to watch football. My phone rang shortly after we had arrived. Justin wanted to meet for lunch in the hospital cafeteria knowing how close we were to him. After a small chat that afternoon in that cafeteria, we knew we wanted to see one another again.
Funny how we quickly we learned it wasn't poor timing, but that it was God's timing all along. As we headed back toward home, my girlfriend leaned over and told me that I would marry that cowboy someday.
The next day my phone went off with a text - it was Justin telling me his father had passed away. I never had the pleasure of knowing such an amazing man, but I know God already had it planned out and I know I will meet him someday.
The next chapter - still in love?
After a couple more visits to Nebraska, I decided to take a leap of faith and move from Colorado to Nebraska to be with Justin. Things just seemed to fall into place and I was ready for a change. It was a struggle for me at first to understand the ways of a small town, as this girl grew up in the big city of Seattle. Justin basically worked nights and I worked during the day, so we saw each other in passing. We both grew up very differently, but Justin worked with me to understand small town life and I slowly started to fit in.
In September 2013, we were married in a small church in Jackson Hole, WY. It was a beautiful wedding tucked away in the mountains. It was marriage bliss and we decided the night of our wedding that we would start trying for our first child. That is what I believed was next in our lives, as we were getting older. I pressed to get our family started.
For several months we tried, and maybe too hard, as friends told us - "Just don't think about it." Trying not to stress, I decided to see a doctor. Because it had been less than a year, they told us to just keep trying. Justin and I decided the year after we were married to buy a house in a small town of Wyoming. We were ready for a change, so we packed up and moved. With the stress of trying to get pregnant and getting adjusted to a new job, our marriage seemed to be headed in the wrong direction.
Finally we hit a year and I was back to the doctors. The doctor became concerned about a small mass on my left and right ovaries. The pathology report came back shortly after only to find out that I had endometriosis.
But we kept on trying.
The chapter we wish we could leave out:
We were both overcome with stress. We continued to try to get pregnant, throwing several more thousand dollars at IUIs until finally in January 2016 we went in for surgery to clean out both of my ovaries. Justin and I prayed, but we prayed separately, only to drift farther apart. It took me over four months of menopausal symptoms and pain that I had never experienced before to heal from my second surgery. I felt alone.
Justin and I drifted apart and I had convinced myself I would never have children, but we went back to the doctors that summer to finally be told it was time to see a specialist for IVF. The marriage bliss was over and the fights began. I felt rejected.
Finally the ugly "D" word came out, and we had given up. But God had not given up on us.
We attended church, sat in the back with hurt feelings and anger inside, feeling as though HE had let us down. After reaching out to a close friend from church one evening after church we decided to see our pastor for some marriage counseling. We found that if we put God first, HE can fix any broken marriage. HIS grace and mercy lead us to a weekly life group with people who are now our family. With our marriage focused upward, unbelievable things started to change in our life. But, God still had hurdles we needed to overcome first.
The next Chapter - HE is still working on us:
We traveled to Denver to a Fertility Specialist to explore the option of IVF and after meeting with the doctor she had come to the conclusion that I had poor egg quality. However, there was hope of IVF working. It was an expense to swallow, but we went for it, taking out a second mortgage on our house in hopes that this was God's answer for us.
After six months of a strict diet, daily injections and a roller coaster of emotions, we were at the point of the true magic to happen.
Now for those of you who don't know me...I hate needles! Justin helped me through each day of sometimes four shots a day. This whole process brought our marriage even closer than we had ever been. We prayed every night and even several times a day. Out of my nine eggs extracted, by day 4 only one egg made it along to the final stage. The next day, it was time to get ready for my transfer. The phone rang...it was the doctor telling me that my last egg did not make it to the final stage. It was dying.
I fell to my knees in my towel - to this day I cannot begin to explain the hurt that ran through my body. That was it...we would never understand why, but like I said, HE was still working on Justin and I.
The best chapter to come - GOD loves orphans:
I started researching the options. Donor egg? Adoption? God had placed adoption on my heart, but it was not something Justin was on board with right away. That was until a summer evening with a couple from our life group. We didn't have much to talk about, so we decided to open up the index of the bible and look up adoption.
"He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." Ephesians 1:5
We are all God's adopted children.
It touched Justin's heart that evening and on our way home he agreed to adopt. It was calling to both of us to help orphans. We found an adoption agency and started the process, but tried to understand why if there is 147 million orphans in the world would it cost $40,000-$50,000?
Again we are relying on God to lead us through the financial part but knew we just needed to keep the process going. Through the six month process, we began to learn some things that were happening to the orphans in our own community. We sat again with couples in our life group who worked in our local school system, learning that there was a great need for foster parents. God had put this heavy on Justin's heart. I was nervous, as I have a weak heart, but after several stories and listening to a foster mom express the need for this in our community, we jumped on board. God had lead us to where we are now and we could not be happier.
We are finally done with our home study, but we also have decided to open our homes FOREVER to foster children. To love them. To teach them about God.
We continue to grow in our faith everyday and want to thank everyone who has followed us on our journey, our walk with faith and how our hearts are warmed by the gift of children in our life.
HE is writing our next chapter, so please, stay tuned... #HOPERISES