When your journey to parenthood doesn't look like you thought it would, have hope and trust God.

When God Changes Your Family Planning

It was 9:00am and my stomach was turning. She would be here in a half hour. The baby girl that we had been praying for since the day we were called to adopt. She was almost three months old and was coming from her first foster home to her second.

She arrived at 9:30 am. and as the foster mom took her from her car seat and handed her to me, my heart instantly overflowed with love. She was beautiful, a child chosen by God, to be in our family for what the papers said “long-term placement”.

Is your journey to parenthood not what you had planned?  Here's a story of hope and how God changed one family's plans and changed their lives in the process.


Foster care, adoption two things that I would have told you at the beginning of our parenting journey would not be something we would ever do. It was not part of “our” plan.

I’m sure God smiled when we tried to tell Him what our plan was. “Two maybe three kids, hopefully a boy and a girl, couple years a part.”

Little did we know that we would grow in our faith and reliance on Him more through having children than anything else in our lives.

Our first and third pregnancy ended a couple of months after we found out we were expecting. We learned right away about the miracle of life and that the control was out of our hands. Our second pregnancy was diagnosed as an ectopic pregnancy but through prayer and another miracle, God gave us a big healthy boy. Our fourth pregnancy came early and she struggled to maintain blood sugar levels which led her to the NICU.

By this point we thought that we were done. We had been through an emotional roller coaster and having a boy and a girl felt complete.

A year and a half after I had our daughter my health started to struggle. We were under some high stress as we were trying to sell our home. The stress of that triggered my Celiac gene and through multiple tests and unknowns the results came back positive for Celiac disease.

At this point I didn’t think that I would ever be healthy enough to carry another child. I was very sick. After our home sold we moved into a rental and my body started to heal and rest and yes by God’s grace we became pregnant again unexpectedly.

After the birth of our son, who came early as well and spent time in the NICU, we prayed and decided that we needed to do something permanent to keep me from getting pregnant, so tubes were tied during the C-section.

At the time the decision seemed best but as the years started to go by and the baby grew up my heart started to yearn for another. Knowing that I would not be able to carry another I thought about adoption.

When your journey to parenthood doesn't look like you thought it would, have hope and trust God.

This was not on my husband’s radar so his answer was, “No, we have three, we are complete.”

I decided to stop talking about it and pray asking God to place it on his heart if it was His will. To make this story short the Lord started speaking to my husband and at a church service we were both shown at the same time that He was calling us to adopt. It was a beautiful moment in our lives.

Adoption seemed scary to me, so many unknowns, so much out of our control. Yet it’s the story of the gospel. Christ coming into our brokenness, rescuing us, and claiming us as His sons and daughters. We wanted to see God work in big ways so we moved forward and were led to foster care.

And that is where we are at in our lives today. We have four children two boys, two girls. We are still waiting to find out if we will be our foster daughter’s forever parents. We have come to have a heart for adoption and know that when God calls us to take in another we will open our hearts and our home.


What’s your story? Where are you at in your parenting journey? Have your plans changed?

Sometimes this journey of motherhood can be really challenging and not what we expected. Maybe you are struggling to get pregnant and you grieve when you see others having babies. Maybe you got pregnant before you were ready and life seems overwhelming and impossible. Maybe you have a husband that is in the military or has a job that takes him away from home and you struggle to stay joyful during the stress filled days of managing home and children.

I don’t know your story but I know who God is and you need to know that His plans are always good. Those little ones that you love and “sometimes want to give away,” He created them and has plans for them too. And we as their mom get to be the one who guides and loves them through this life.

So my advice to you is put your trust in God’s timing, know that He has a plan for your family, let go of the control and watch Him create a beautiful family portrait.

Has God changed your vision of family planning?  How did you trust in times of uncertainty?

AleshaAlesha Russell is a wife and mom to four. She is inspired to encourage the next generation to live out their calling, to leave a godly legacy. Her husband and her have been called to adopt through the foster care system. She writes about the joys and trials of their journey through life and through fostering. She enjoys country living, making memories with family and friends, and spending quiet time with the Lord.


    1. Sarah Ann says:

      It’s such an encouraging story, isn’t it!? What a blessing!

  1. I recently had our 2nd baby girl, which was amazing and dramatic at the same time, as I got a pretty serious infection, lost a lot of blood after the birth and went into shock, and nearly stopped breathing! My husband said, ‘can we adopt the next one’, which is actually very hard to do in Australia. All that to say, God directs each of us to do different things, some to have children immediately, others to wait, others to have two, others more and than He can always add more at a later date. I’m not sure what our journey looks like yet, but childbirth is certainly not for the faint of heart!

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      What a story, Lizzy! Blessings to you as you recover and trust God for healing!

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