By Sarah Johnson
Michelle and Scott McNary married young, in their 20s. Their plan was to wait five years before starting a family. When five years rolled around, they weren’t ready, so they waited anther five years. Two months shy of Michelle’s 30th birthday, the couple tried to get pregnant. It didn’t happen until nearly a year later and sadly, the pregnancy only lasted seven weeks. The couple went to the doctor for a routine ultrasound and there was no longer a heartbeat.
“We were devastated,” Michelle said. Little did the couple know it was only the beginning of a long and arduous journey to parenthood.
After months of countless rounds of hormones and fertility treatments, Michelle heard about Inheritance Adoptions at her Bible study.
“That night I told my husband about it and the next morning he called Inheritance and spoke with Leslie Howard,” Michelle said. “We were told not to fill out any paperwork or do anything yet because we were 28th on the waiting list. When he told me that I thought ‘so, basically, we’re going to die a childless couple.’ ”
It was October 2011. Two weeks later, Leslie called the McNarys and told them a birth mom they were working with only wanted to see profiles of couples that didn’t have children. Out of all the couples that were on that waiting list, there were only two couples that didn’t have children and the McNarys was one of them. They filled out the forms and made a profile book. A few days later they made the trip to Wichita Falls to meet with the birth mother.
“On our drive home, Leslie called and said she had selected us,” Michelle said. “The baby – a girl – was due around Thanksgiving, so Scott and I quickly started doing things to get our house in order. We bought a crib, a stroller and car seat. We sold the furniture that was in our guest bedroom to make a nursery for the little baby that was to be ours in just a few weeks.”
Two weeks before her due date, Leslie called Michelle at work and told her the birth mom had changed her mind and decided to parent that child.
“The child we had already picked out a name for, the child that felt like she was already ours had been ‘taken’ from us before we ever got to hold her,” Michelle said. “We, again, were devastated.”
Leslie told the McNarys not to lose hope. In January of 2012, Leslie called the couple with news that another birth mom had seen their profile and wanted to meet. At the end of the visit she told Michelle and Scott that they were “it” and she didn’t plan on meeting with anyone else. She wanted them to raise the little girl she was carrying.
“And then just a few weeks later, she disappeared and wouldn’t return phone calls or answer visits from staff of Inheritance,” Michelle said. “Clearly, she had changed her mind, too.”
It was almost too much to bear.
But the heartbreaking journey to parenthood wasn’t over yet. In March of 2012, the couple was picked by another birth mother.
“We loved her from the moment we met her,” Michelle said. “She seemed so young and sweet and wanted to do right by her child. By the end of the meal, she told us she wanted us to be the parents to her daughter.”
On June 21st, the McNarys celebrated their 15th anniversary. That night they got a phone call from the birth mother. A young man claiming to be the real birth father demanded a paternity test. She assured the couple that he was in fact not the father of her baby and there was nothing to worry about.
“We had been praying so hard for this baby, surely God wouldn’t allow us to come this far only to have us be devastated yet again,” Michelle said.
The baby was born on June 28th. Scott and Michelle took her home, strapped in the car seat the couple had bought so many months before when they were picked by the first birth mother. Two weeks later, a man showed up at their door with a DNA kit.
“I couldn’t stay in that room and watch this stranger swab the inside of my daughter’s mouth,” Michelle said. “It hurt too badly. I went back into her room and knelt down and cried out to God in a way I had never done before. Begging and pleading with Him so that the DNA wouldn’t be a match.”
A week later, Leslie called the couple in tears. It was, in fact, a match.
“We had to take our daughter back,” Michelle said. “My brother-in-law and sister drove us to meet Leslie with our baby. Scott and I sat in the back seat with the baby we called Lanie in between us and we just cried. The four of us drove silently as we met Leslie and her husband to hand Lanie back.”
On the way home that night, Michelle prayed over and over for God to remove the desire she had be a mother. She couldn’t handle the heartbreak anymore. They only had Lanie for two short weeks, but they were so in love with her already.
“I didn’t need to carry her in my womb to feel like her mother,” Michelle said.
After all the heartbreak, Scott and Michelle were finally about to experience joy.
About a week later, they were sitting on the floor making a fabric covered head board for the nursery they were converting back into a guest room. It was July 23 when Leslie called about a birth mother who had twin 13-month-old boys. The father had walked out on her and her kids and she couldn’t take care of them anymore.
“The next day we drove to a McDonalds in Wichita Falls to meet the birth mother, her mother and her twin boys,” Michelle said. “She handed us each one to hold. We spent two hours walking around the inside of this fast-food restaurant, holding our children. Our boys. She decided then that she wanted Scott and I to raise her boys and to be their parents.”
Turns out, the twins’ birth mother knew Lanie’s birth mother. When Leslie told her that the McNary’s had to give Lanie back, the twin’s birth mother said “that’s the couple I want to meet.”
Six years after trying to start a family, Scott and Michelle finally had one.
“We were holding the babies God had chosen for us all along,” Michelle said. “God blessed us so beyond my wildest dreams with these two little creatures and I am beyond humbled that He chose me to be their momma.”
As much as the adoption process was like an emotional roller coaster ride, the McNarys appreciated the personal attention of Inheritance Adoptions.
“It was nice to work with an agency that is truly there for the child,” Michelle said. “The welfare of the child always comes first with them. They are there as a ministry and it was because of that very thing that we chose to use them as our adoption agency. We could have chosen one in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since that’s where we live. But instead we drove 2 ½ hours one way more times that I can count just to work with Leslie and Inheritance.”