Mary Williams loves kids. That’s why she became a teach and it’s also why her biggest dream has been to have kids of her own. As much as she loved teaching kids she knew it wasn’t the same as raising her own child.
Then it happened. She got pregnant.
Her joy was short lived as she found out at her first doctor’s visit that the ultrasound showed serious complications and that the baby wasn’t going to make it. The news only got worse as the doctors informed her that the surgery they were going to have to perform would potentially destroy any future chance of her getting pregnant again.
So she prayed.
Three and a half years later she got pregnant again and while cautious, the couple still couldn’t contain their excitement! They found out they were having a girl and decided to name her Danielle Grace.
Then it happened again.
At 22 weeks Mary was rushed to the hospital for abdominal pain. The doctors discovered she had serious internal bleeding and immediately took her back for surgery. It was during surgery that her uterus actually ruptured and had she not been on the operating table while it happened, she would have died. The doctors managed to save Mary’s life but Danielle, their second child, was called home to be with Jesus.
Having to lose a child in that way was obviously devastating for Mary and her husband Brandon— but they handled it the way they had been all along—they leaned on God.
Here’s an entry into their blog shortly after losing their second child:
“Hebrews 11:1 says, ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Things ‘hoped for’ things ‘not seen’…..This is the essence of faith. If we could see and understand everything, there wouldn’t be a need for faith. We can’t stop blogging about our ‘Journey of Faith’ just because the journey didn’t take us where we thought we were going. This is a JOURNEY, not a destination.”
Getting pregnant for the second time was a miracle, but because of the surgery she had to have and the loss of her uterus, a third pregnancy would be impossible. While Mary described those moments as the deepest heartache they’d ever experienced, she and her husband still continued to lean on God.
This is where Autumn, a total stranger, enters the story.
Autumn attends the same church as Mary and Brandon and after hearing their story she began to follow Mary and Brandon’s blog. Moved by their faith and their desire for children, Autumn began praying for the couple and that’s when God put something on Autumn’s heart…surrogacy.
Autumn had always been interested in carrying a baby to term for another family but didn’t really know what it would look like. How do you start a conversation like that? “Hey can’t have kids but want one? Well I’m here for you!”
But after she started praying for Mary and Brandon, it hit her. She was supposed to carry a child for them.
While many would encourage against it for multiple reasons, Autumn knew what she had to do. She wrote in her journal:
“I could give someone a child. Nine months of sacrifice, would change a lifetime for them.”
At first Mary wasn’t sure about the offer. The doctors had recommended adoption and surrogacy as options after they lost Danielle, but it never seemed to be a reality. Mary was open to the idea but she had a LOOOOOONG list of requirements the person had to meet in order for her to even consider it…however, in spite of her doubts she agreed to meet with Autumn to at least get to know her.
15 minutes into their dinner Autumn had checked every “only if” box that Mary had.
3 months later she became pregnant with Brandon and Mary’s child.
Mary opened up about the roller coaster of emotions in her blog:
“When we held Danielle and we saw her have my nose and Brandon’s feet — that was so special to us. And we thought that that part of a dream at least was gone forever. And then Autumn has delivered that hope back to us.”
After 10 years of waiting and after losing two children, the day finally came. Autumn gave birth to the couple’s son, Colin Anderson.
Brandon shared his source of strength through it all on the couple’s blog:
“Sometimes when life doesn’t make sense and you don’t understand what God is doing, you just have to KNOW what you KNOW. I don’t FEEL like God is faithful, but I KNOW He is. I don’t FEEL like God is loving me right now, but I KNOW He does. I don’t FEEL like God has remembered what we’re going through, but I KNOW He does. I don’t FEEL like God has a plan for us, but I KNOW He does. Faith isn’t based on FEELings. . .sometimes you just have to KNOW what you KNOW.”
God’s plan is perfect. Sometimes it’s messy, sometimes we make wrong turns, sometimes the world just happens and we are hit with injustice but through it all–God is faithful. Mary and Brandon went through the worst of it and held on to God through it all. Praise God for blessing them with such a beautiful child, we can’t wait to follow their blog and hear more incredible stories as little Colin grows up to be a Godly man!