Ben Menenberg

Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor – Isaiah 54:1a

Our story starts like many young couples who dream of having children but whose dreams are shattered by the pain of infertility. For four years, we endured monthly disappointments, doctors’ tests, and the pain of empty arms. And yet looking back, we see how the Lord was present with us in our pain. We learned that whether or not we were ever to have children, the Lord would be enough for us.

In June 2012, the LORD gave us Nathaniel (whose name means “the Lord has given”), our wonderful oldest son whom we adopted while living in Zambia. Though the ache of barrenness subsided, Laura still desired to become pregnant and experience childbirth. Upon returning to Seattle, we learned of the embryo adoption program at Cedar Park Church in Bothell. With our conviction of the sanctity of all human life, which includes embryos, we entered the program. We were quickly matched with a donor family and received a precious, priceless gift of two embryos.

In December 2014, we implanted one of the embryos to “avoid the risk of twins.” Several weeks later, we were overjoyed to learn that Laura was pregnant. At our ultrasound appointment, we were shocked to see two individual babies in Laura’s womb! When the boys arrived 3 months early on June 22, 2016, we were even more amazed to learn via paternity testing that one boy was the adopted embryo and the other boy was genetically related to us. This means that after 6 years of never becoming pregnant, we conceived a child the exact same cycle when the adopted embryo was implanted. Every child is a marvelous gift created in God’s image, and yet the timing of this particular conception defies our imaginations and the doctors’ previous experience.

We are grateful that the Lord has seen fit to bless us with two more boys. Noah means “comfort” and Nehemiah means “comforted by the LORD,” and we rejoice the LORD’s comfort after years of infertility. Please rejoice with us for the unique and mysterious ways that God has given us each of our boys. Thank you for your life-giving and sustaining prayers for us. Finally, please remember those who are struggling with infertility and encourage them in God’s sovereign goodness in the midst of painful circumstances.