October 16, 2014

My Long Awaited Treasure

This memoir is more for me than anyone else. I want to remember the pain. I want to be able to relive the uncertainty. I never want to forget what my life was like before I had babies.

When we got married that hot summer day in 2006, we had a 5 year plan. Adam was 22 and I was 23, we had so much time! We wanted to see the world. We wanted to get to know each other perfectly, we wanted some time to be "us" before adding to our clan. We did all of that and more! We white water rafted in the Jamaican rain forest. We traveled the world; seeing private beaches, smoking volcanoes, poverty, castles, ruins, earthquake victims and sunken treasure. We traveled over 2,000 miles across the USA to plant ourselves in a new home. We worked side by side for years preaching the Gospel and loving teenagers. We worked hard, we lived like tourists, we made the most of our time together.

After a few years (less than 5) of married life, we got the fever. You know, the baby fever. We had a set month that we decided to get off birth control and start our next adventure. Then we waited. A month, 6 months, a year seemed to fly by and no Sullivan baby. I found myself getting anxious. I started working out more, eating healthier and eliminating extra stress. It seemed like the more stress I tried to eliminate, the more worried I became. Uncertainty overpowered me. It became like the shackle that never let me drift too far away. After 2 years, I knew something was wrong. I talked to my Dr and he gave me a couple referrals within Endocrinology, but my insurance didn't cover "Infertility". Oh, that word. It gave me shivers. It filled me with so much fear and so many questions. So I kept waiting and kept praying.

Another year flew by. No baby for me. I found myself discouraged, frustrated, fearful and jealous. Not a good combination. So many days I knelt before God asking Him for direction. God was always faithful to give me peace in my distress. I wanted answers, but I settled for peace.

One night, on a road trip from Austin, TX to San Diego, CA, Adam and I were finishing our trip in silence. We were in the mountains and I was looking out the window at the clear, beautiful stars. In a moment of haste, I quietly prayed, "God, if your plan is to give us a family of our own one day, let me see a shooting star." I immediately regretted testing God like that and scolded myself, but as I looked out my car window, I saw something amazing! Not one, but 2 shooting stars! God promised me right then and there, that He had a plan and it included the desires of my heart.

We changed jobs and insurances and I was finally able to get some infertility help. After a surgery (and 3 1/2 years of trying), I finally got a diagnosis. I had Endometriosis. After looking at my case, my Dr said I had a 6-10% chance of ever conceiving on my own. The odds were stacked. My mind reeled with the options. The Dr  said my best bet was In-Vitro and even then I only had a 60% chance of it working. On top of that, In-Vitro was very expensive and she said I needed to hurry up because of my age. What?! All of this made my head hurt. I took it to God. I remember sitting in the front row of church one Sunday and asking God if now was the time. I simply asked, "Should I move forward with infertility treatments of some kind, or should I wait?" Immediately I heard Him say, "It's not MY time." I was shocked. I don't know why, but it wasn't what I expected to hear and more than that, it wasn't what I wanted to hear. If not now, when? I was almost 30 and had been playing the waiting game for years. It was an emotional couple of weeks, but I remembered the stars and I waited.

In fact I decided to move on. If now wasn't the time, God would surely let me know when it was. New and exciting things were happening in our lives, so I jumped into them with all my energy. 6, 7, 8 months passed.

One morning in May it all changed. I hadn't been feeling quite right for a few days, but I thought it had to do with the shady Mexican place our church staff ate at. Begrudgingly, I picked up a pregnancy test. I had taken dozens of negative tests over the previous 4 1/2 years, no reason to hope. They always let me down. But this day was different. I took the test and waited once again. But this time…a plus sign. A plus sign. I looked at the directions again to ensure that a plus was indeed positive. I couldn't believe my eyes. All of those years of waiting seemed to wash over me like an ocean wave. God's promise was real and was appearing right before my eyes in the form of a plus sign on a tiny stick that I just peed on. It was like the angels were singing the Hallelujah chorus all around me while I stood in the bathroom by myself at 5am with literal silence surrounding me.

In the coming months, I fell in love with a fuzzy black and white image on an ultrasound screen that never seemed to stop moving. On January 26th, my dream became a reality as Amos Luke was born. My sunshine, my precious, the gift I wrote to Santa for, my snuggle buddy and the greatest adventure of my life. My God is good.

I guess the rest is history. I'm laying here in my bed as I write, listening to the hum of the baby monitor as my husband snores and my 8-month old sleeps soundly. I'm writing this primarily for me. I want to remember my journey clearly and never take my family for granted. However, I know how many women are out there living in the uncertainty and grief that I once did. Mourning for the children they don't have. I hope my story can inspire others, It inspires me everyday. (Hebrews 11:1) "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."


1 Samuel 1:27,"I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and He has granted my request."


  1. Such an emotional story, sometimes the most beautiful things arise out of what seems to be utter desolation. As you revealed your journey, I felt your pain and disappointment along the way; then smiled as you found your miracle was on his way.
    Amos may be your only child (yet anyway): but you've many "spiritual" children and then those that they reach with the Gospel. You may have a meteor shower of children.

  2. Amanda, I so loved reading your story and about God's goodness in your life and Adam's life! So encouraging and such a blessing. Every time I see pictures of your precious Amos I see such joy in his beautiful face- he radiates the pure joy of God. We love you guys and rejoice with all God is doing in you all!

  3. Amanda. For some reason I have been pretty much crying since I got up this morning. Your story just added to my tears. I know that in our collective family, children are a huge part of who we are. We also have huge hearts for the children around us as well. When my oldest was a baby, this random woman told me out of the blue one day.." No matter what you do, NEVER stop carrying the diaper bag, because the day after you do, they go to college" I had no idea how right she was at that time. so I have spent the last few years passing that advice on to those behind me on this journey.