My (Regina Cooper’s) journey to motherhood is not the typical story that one may hear. It was a treacherous journey down an unevenly paved pathway, replete with obstacles and almost impossible to endure at times. But as Tony Robbins says, “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” I’ll spare you the novel that I could write about my journey, but I will tell you this –
I honestly believe our story began around Christmas time in 1999 when the News channels were talking about children in foster care who were in need of a loving home. I vividly remember begging my parents to open our home; but it was not what God had planned for our family at that time.
A couple of years later, I began having serious reproductive health issues and at one point, when I was lying in the hospital writhing in pain, I remember praying to the Lord [even at such a young age] to let me have at least one child of my own. I was ultimately diagnosed with endometriosis in 2009 and it wasn’t until 2017 that I was able to have a surgery to remedy these issues. However, the doctor then discovered I had adenomyosis and over fifty Uterine Fibroid Tumors.
The depression hit! Oh, how it hit hard! It was at this point that I finally accepted I will likely never have a child of my own; but I still trusted in God because he knew the desires of my heart. I prayed daily that if it wasn’t his will for me to have children to just give me peace; and I waited for the day to come.
Two months after that surgery in 2017, I received a call about getting custody of my baby cousin. Was this God answering my prayers? There were times I felt it was, and other times I wasn’t so sure. I then experienced a journey, about the length of a normal pregnancy, that ultimately ended up in the judge saying “No” to me getting this child. I thought I’d be devastated if the judge were to say no, but honestly I had a sense of peace over it all. I know it’s because God had bigger plans for me!
Exactly one week later, I received a call from my agency about a precious 3 month old little boy that needed a long-term home. After just over nine months of the most insane roller coaster I have ever been on, I arrived at a place I knew I was meant to be. A place where God had fully prepared my heart and soul to love on a child as if they were my own. Naturally, I said yes in an instant!
From the moment that I met Jett, I was in love! He was such a cool little dude and I truly felt from the moment that our eyes met that he was mine. Nevermind the fact that he never grew in my womb. But rather, he had grown in my heart!
Now, Jett’s story could’ve been a totally different one. He was rejected at birth, going to one foster home, only to be moved to a kinship placement who ultimately said he was “too much to handle”. This could have scared me away, as I was a 31 years old single woman. Yet, oddly enough, I was not afraid. I had that peace that I had been praying for throughout the years. God knew all along that Jett was the perfect fit for my family. And every bump in the road, every obstacle, every time I wanted to give up – but HOPE kept me pressing forward – God knew the final outcome would be more than I could ever dream or imagine.
The moments with this little fella have flown by so quickly and before I knew it, he became a Cooper! I’m so thankful that God does not call us to do ‘easy’; He simply equips us for what He calls us to do.
More importantly, I’m thankful that I listened closely to my heart when I was just thirteen years old and heeded the call to become a foster parent. It hasn’t been easy “alone” as a single parent, but God knew exactly how this journey would play out and He has ensured that I am never alone. Between family, friends, and the church community, Jett and I have all we need to get through this crazy ride called life.