Thursday, December 19, 2013

Once Upon a Time

by Katy White

Once upon a time, a boy and a girl at BYU met, became best friends, and then did the cliché thing and got married, like basically every other story you hear about a boy and a girl at BYU.  These two fresh-faced, naive kids graduated, moved across country and to another country for further schooling, came back, and then, naturally, just assumed that, because they wanted to have a baby, they'd get pregnant.  Like normal, right?

Not quite.  They didn't get pregnant after trying naturally, or not so naturally.  They didn't get pregnant after eight years and countless doctor's appointments and medications and ovulation tests and pregnancy tests and failed IVF cycles.  Yet, they remained happy.  Maybe a little jaded and a little less fresh-faced, but still happy, because they knew that Heavenly Father would never give them a trial they couldn't handle.  And they reminded themselves of that often.

Eventually, they began to believe that they would never become parents.  They were sad, naturally.  Maybe even a little devastated.  But they resigned themselves to thinking that maybe this was simply God's plan for them and they needed to have faith.  The boy and girl both had great jobs with ample opportunity to share the gospel and be examples of believers.  The girl wondered if maybe this was the calling Heavenly Father intended for her.  Sometimes, she felt relieved.  Like, if she could only know this was the plan, she could stop aching to hold her own baby in her arms.  Other times, she felt a sorrow so deep, she had to pull over while driving so she could just breathe.  And other times, she felt a perfect, beautiful peace, like the plan was exactly where it should be, and she just needed to keep up.  

The boy and girl made a point to be happy.  They fought to be.  And they were, mostly.

One day, the boy and the girl prayed, like they had a hundred, a thousand times before, about adoption, and they felt good.  They'd never felt much of anything in the past when saying this same prayer.  So feeling good felt...good.  They attended trainings, had visits with a caseworker, and filled out paperwork.  So.Much.Bleeping.Paperwork.  They created a profile and poured their souls into a letter to their future birth family and into perfectly crafted answers to "getting to know you" questions and into finding pictures with exactly the right captions to display their personalities so that their birth mother could find them.  Only her.

Their profile went live.  For a reason they couldn't explain, they felt an optimism they didn't even remember.  They waited and wondered and went to Scotland (haggis is the perfect "fighting to be happy" food, obviously).  And when they returned, as in love and as optimistic as ever, they got an email.

Their birth mother had found them.

Their baby would be born in less than five weeks.

And she was.  And they were there for every second of it.  And they brought her home from the hospital and held her and changed her diapers and fed her and stared at her and laugh-cried for many, many sleepless nights because they were so indescribably happy.  And they were sealed for time and all eternity five months later.  And it was the most incredible, joyful experience of their lives.

What the boy and girl couldn't know before they got their amazing birth mother's email was what the Lord had in store for them.  They didn't know that their happiness, which was genuine and hard-earned and real, could be so utterly trumped.  They didn't know that they would both have to grow second hearts because their first hearts couldn't handle the strain of that joy.  

They didn't know that the extent of God's love for them could be SO PERSONAL.  They didn't know that faith wasn't simply being resigned to what life deals you, but believing in something more, regardless of whether they got it or not.  Like Abraham believed that even if he sacrificed Isaac, God would still keeps His promise that a numberless nation would be born through Isaac, no matter what. The boy and girl didn't know they could wield that kind of faith, and that God wanted them to.

They didn't know that a year after going through the temple, they would still cry almost every single day because their happiness was so full.  They didn't know that they could continue to love their perfectly imperfect child more and they didn't know they could fall in love with each other more just by seeing each other as parents.   

The boy and girl didn't know that, all along, the plan was exactly where it needed to be, and they just needed to keep up.

To my amazing, silly, clever, funny, adorable husband and daughter who far too frequently cute their way out trouble, happy forever anniversary.

This girl loves you.


  1. Katy, That was a beautiful love story! I love reading how you and Jeff have fallen even more in love with each other as you've evolved into parents. You guys are amazing parents and Elsie is the luckiest girl to have both of you... as you two are sooooo blessed to have her!!! Love you! Cousin Maggie

  2. Thanks, Maggie! I agree: we are SO blessed!

  3. This was so lovely and wonderful! Congrats on one year, Katy. Seeing her pics on facebook, your daughter is totally adorable. And you are awesome.

  4. Thanks, Jeanna! Congrats again, btw! Your post was so moving and intense and fabulously done. :)

  5. Thank you for sharing this story! I didn't know all this. I am blinking away tears! What a great story (and a great writer to boot).



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