When I (Bethany) was eighteen, I was diagnosed with a hormonal abnormality that causes infertility. I had never really thought about adoption; in fact, I hadn't ever really thought about being a mother before. After grieving the loss of my fertility with close family and friends, I began to think about the implications for my future. I researched different kinds of adoption. I learned that if one family out of every three churches in America adopted a child, there would be no more children in need of families in the United States.
I decided that I wanted to marry someone who wanted to adopt -- and not just because I wanted to adopt, but because HE wanted to. On one of our first dates, Ryan told me about a family he met as a camp counselor at Sky Ranch. The family consisted of multiple adopted children, several with special needs. It was through this and similar experiences that he had felt the Lord placing adoption on his heart. He shared this with me before he knew that I had any thoughts on adoption. We didn't know a lot back then, but we knew we each felt a calling.
After we got engaged, Ryan and I visited a doctor who specializes in my specific diagnosis. To our enormous surprise, she informed us that I had been misdiagnosed six years prior. She had no reason to believe that we would have any trouble conceiving. And yet the desire to adopt had been planted. God used an infertility misdiagnosis to open my eyes to His desire for me and Ryan to adopt a baby. This new medical news did not change that.
Two and a half years ago, we got married. Since then, we've been through new jobs, two moves, our first house purchase, the death of family members, two puppies, graduate school, and more laughter than I could have possibly imagined. Now we're ready for the biggest adventure yet - parenthood!
We bought our house two years ago and have LOVED making it into our home. Ryan builds a lot of the furniture for our home, such as our dining room table and bed frame. He is currently working on a crib!
One of our favorite things about our home is the two dogs who live there. :) Emmitt became a part of our family when he was 10 weeks old after a local dog rescue found his litter on the street. Less than a year later, we saw a dog swimming across the river in the middle of the winter. After doing everything we could to find his owners, no one claimed him. He became our Romo. We are definitely what you would call "dog people."
Written by Ryan:
Bethany is proof that big things come in small packages. Bethany is passionate, she is loving, and her resolve is unwavering. When she sets her mind on something, she makes it happen. It is no surprise to me that she graduated from A&M with a 4.0 GPA, has two master's degrees, and is a published expert in her field. The quality of her intellect is without question. But what I am truly attracted to is the quality of her heart. She helped initiate and now runs the orphan care team at our church. She disciples young women in our small group. She relentlessly takes care of me, our house, and our two dogs. In her spare time, she also works a full-time job researching ways to improve our nation's early childhood education policy (unsurprisingly, she serves as an expert on the subject both locally and nationally).
It's easy to see how Bethany could have achieved success in just about anything. Yet she chooses to care for others, and I love that about her. No matter what happens in life, Bethany draws her strength, her compassion, her hope, from the Lord. She is a constant reminder to me of the following scripture - "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness" (James 1:2-3).
Written by Bethany:
When Ryan and I began datingin college, I was immediately attracted to many of the things that now make him a great husband. He is somehow simultaneously the coolest and nerdiest man I've ever known. He was an all-state pole vaulter in high school. He plays the guitar and is often asked to sing worship songs at church events. He also loves math and takes calculus and statistics courses online for fun. He started the model rocketry club at his high school, and is now the Sustainability Chair for the local chapter of his professional engineering organization.
Despite all those things, what attracted me most to Ryan during our first years (and still does), is how great of a dad I knew he'd be. He's silly and goofy, and he isn't afraid to make a fool of himself in order to get kids to laugh. He worked at a kids summer camp all through high school and college, and has volunteered in our church's children's ministry. Out of all the things I love about Ryan, I think my favorite will be watching him be the very best dad in the whole world.