An unexpected journey to motherhood

Homewood family Jill, Shawn, Abigail and Luke. Photo by Madoline Markham.

By CRAIG KLEIMEYER

While growing up in Homewood, Jill always knew she wanted to be a mom.

“I knew since I was a little girl,” Jill said. “I used to babysit all the time, and I always loved children.”

But after struggling with infertility, she never thought her dream would come true.

Jill met her husband, Shawn, while working as a traveling nurse in California. They were married in October 2004 and in 2005 moved back to Homewood to a house about a mile from where she grew up.

“I can’t imagine having a family anywhere else,” she said.

The couple immediately tried to start a family. After a year of unsuccessful trying, Jill visited a fertility specialist. While being treated for infertility, Jill had a sudden change in heart.  She was sitting at her desk about to make a call to schedule another appointment with the fertility specialist when she said God spoke to her.

“I will never forget it,” she said. “I was literally frozen. You pray for a sign and sometimes it’s not very clear, but it was so clear. He spoke to me and said we needed to adopt.”

A month shy of their third wedding anniversary, she and Shawn called Lifeline Adoption Agency. They were approved for adoption in the spring of 2008.
Throughout the process, there were no doubts in the couple’s mind that they were making the right move.

“We completely resolved to God’s plan and never wavered in our decision, and God was so faithful,” Jill said. “There was never a second when I thought we shouldn’t consider adoption. They put us on the waiting list and told us it might take three to five years, but we were okay with that.”

But, to their surprise, Jill and Shawn didn’t even have to wait a year. In fact, they realized later that their son’s birth mother had found out she was pregnant around the time they were beginning the adoption process. Jill had just been accepted to the doctoral program at UAB, but she decided to delay starting until the next year. It was hard for them to believe how perfect the timing really was.

“We prayed the whole way through, and at points we prayed specifically for the birth mother,” she said. “Had we not been faithful to what God was telling us to do, who knows what would have happened?”

The minute the couple saw their new son, Luke, in the summer of 2008, Jill said there was a perfect bond.

“I’ll never forget it. He was a super happy baby boy.” Today, she says Luke is the cutest little boy and is also so smart and healthy.

The couple soon wanted to adopt again but kept postponing an appointment with the agency because Jill was busy with her doctorate program. When they were finally ready to make the appointment, Jill discovered she was pregnant.

Abigail was born on February 28, 2011.

“I was blessed a second time when Abigail was born. When I held her for the first time I experienced the same instant bond that I felt with Luke.”

She enjoys watching her children spend time together.

“Your life changes with one child. With two, it has been such a great joy to see them interact. They have a very strong sibling connection.”

Jill loves taking care of her children, and she loves being a mother.

“Being a mother has been my complement to life,” she said. “I love my career, but being a mother really has been my biggest joy in life.”

Editor’s note: The Homewood Star has respectfully withheld the family’s last name.

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