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Never Lose Faith - Mark and Elysia's Story
By Dena Sutton

After six years of marriage, Mark and Elysia felt God calling them to begin a family of their own. Both felt ready to become parents together. However, after a year of trying to conceive a baby with no success and through continuous prayer, the couple decided to see a doctor. They were both stunned when they found out they were diagnosed with infertility. Even though Mark and Elysia did not doubt God's calling for them to have a family, they were greatly disappointed and disheartened by the news. The doctors offered some hope that Elysia might be able to conceive via IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). Mark and Elysia still held onto hope that conception might still be a possibility. In the end, they were never able to conceive with the arduous medical intervention. The couple was painfully devastated after all the effort of the procedures, but still grasping at the hope of God telling them that they would have a family. What Mark and Elysia didn’t know and couldn’t see, was that God had other, better plans for them, plans that neither one of them could have ever imagined.

Mark and Elysia continued to pray about it and before they knew it, they were ready to accept that beginning a family was more important than becoming pregnant and they embraced adoption as their next step. In the fall of 2010, the couple sought out an adoption coordinator who gave them something more real to hold on to than any doctors and then connected them with The Rock Church's Adoption Ministry. The Adoption ministry was the couple’s rock, where they found comfort in opening up to other couples about what they had been through, where they were headed, along with priceless resources about adoption. The group would pray with and for Mark and Elysia, and through prayer, would comfort, encourage, and sustain them.

…hope is always found in following where God leads

In December of 2010, the couple began to write a profile letter: the “Dear Birthmother Letter.” This letter would be given to the adoption coordinator, who in turn would present it to pregnant women who bravely made an adoption plan and were ready to meet couples who were waiting to adopt. The letter was submitted January 3, 2011 and full of newfound joy and hopeful anticipation, Mark and Elysia were confidently able to go purchase a crib for their future child. The adoption coordinator instructed the couple that once their letter was submitted, it might be months before receiving a call about someone who would like to meet them. Mark and Elysia set in for a long haul and decided to use the waiting period to further educate themselves on all that is involved with being new parents, plans to take classes and get familiar with the library. However, once again, God had other plans.

They received the unexpected phone call from their adoption coordinator just one week after submitting the letter. A prospective birth mother had chosen the couple and wanted to meet them. After meeting face-to-face, the birth mother confirmed Mark and Elysia as her adoptive couple. Both parties were nervous but excited and nearly five months later, Mark and Elysia welcomed a new baby girl. They named her Aubrielle. During the long five-month wait before the birth of Aubrielle, the adoption ministry supported Mark and Elysia the whole way through. Uncertainties were dispelled and spiritual strength re-affirmed; the ministry offered Mark and Elysia unfailing support, resource, fellowship and guidance.

[Photo by Mark and Elysia]

Despite the difficult journey, Mark and Elysia are over the moon with joy at the sight of their young daughter. God prepared Mark and Elysia’s hearts, through disappointment and heartache, to experience an incredible joy through adoption. What God had in mind for Mark and Elysia’s life together may not have been what they planned out, but God fulfilled His promise as Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Aubrielle is a great and powerful blessing to her parents, and through her birth, has already taught Mark and Elysia powerful lessons in miracles and love: to never lose faith; no matter how tough and unpredictable the road becomes, hope is always found in following where God leads.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” -Isaiah 40:31

For more information about the Adoption Ministry, click here »