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Infertility and Why We Chose Open Adoption

I’m doing something I’ve never done on my podcast before this week… I’m doing an entirely interview-driven episode.

I usually try to keep interviews with guests to around 15 minutes and then we devote the other 15 minutes of the podcast to other segments. But as I was prepping for this particular interview, I just had this feeling that I needed to go longer in the interview. That in order for you to really hear the story well, I needed to allow the entire 30 minutes for the interview.

So that’s what we did — and I hope that this story and interview blesses you deeply. I truly believe it will.

My guest on this podcast is Rachel Nielson. She and I first met when she traveled with me and a small team of blog readers to South Africa (you can read about her thoughts on our time there and see a few pictures here.)

Rachel is joining me today to share her incredible story of infertility and adoption. But more than that, she’s going to share how she walked through learning to love someone when it was hard to love them and how she will never regret that decision.

Even if you don’t struggle with infertility and even if you’ve never considered adoption, I believe her story will powerfully resonate with you — and it didn’t turn out like you would expect, but I think you will be inspired and challenged by her words.

In This Episode:

[02:05] – Rachel takes us back to the beginning of her marriage and shares her thoughts on motherhood from those days. She shares why they ended up deciding to do fertility treatments AND pursue adoption at the same time and the struggles and hard things they went through during such an emotionally taxing and physically exhausting time.

[05:41] – I asked Rachel if she felt lonely during this time… and I wasn’t prepared for how honest her answer would be. She talks about the deep loneliness she felt in her marriage and what helped her to walk through that (she gives some spot-on relationship advice that you don’t want to miss!)

[08:11] – Rachel shares really vulnerably what it was like to be in the middle of fertility treatments and she shares encouragement and some practical advice for those who are going through them.

[13:37] – The story of how Noah’s birth mom found Rachel and her husband and asked them to adopt Noah is pretty incredible! 

[17:11] – What was it like for Rachel to be in the delivery room as her adoptive son was being born? She shares how it was a holy moment and how strong and brave Noah’s birth mom was.

[19:26] – Navigating an open adoption had its challenges — especially as Noah’s birth mom grieved and walked through some of her own hard times. Rachel talks about how this was a challenge to know what to do, but she ultimately decided to choose to love instead of pulling away. (If you only have a little bit of time, please listen to this part of the episode. It has convicted me so deeply!)

[24:53] – Rachel shares the next steps of the story after the first few years of Noah’s birth, including an unexpected and tragic turn of events. She ends the episode sharing about how the story is still being written, but she’s so grateful for the fact that her body didn’t work and she wasn’t able to get pregnant like she wanted, because God had something much more beautiful in store than she could have imagined!

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player we’ll include in the show notes of each episode. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

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  • Elizabeth says:

    I liked this format of the podcast better than shorter snippets of conversation.

  • Lindsey S. says:

    What an amazing story! I hope I always remember the part about pressing in and loving people instead of pulling away (which is what I’m always tempted to do when people get difficult). Thanks for sharing your heart Rachel, and may the Lord comfort you all in the midst of loss. This podcast was quite the tearjerker!

  • This episode was SO good, but heartbreaking too. WOW, the love of Christ she showed to the birthmom. Just wow.

    On a side note, I love the conversational style podcast and that the intro was short, then the meat of the content went all the way to the end of the episode. It allowed me to get really drawn into her story without feeling interrupted (other than when I was interrupted in real life, ha!).

    • I’m so glad you found it enjoyable. I wanted to experiment with it to see if it might be a style I would do every once in awhile when it was a situation where there was a story like this!

  • Margriet says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I haven’t listened to this episode yet, but have a practical question: I am looking for an app to listen to your podcast; are all the apps that are mentioned in the article under the link ‘find instructions on how to download a podcast here’ compatible with your show? Or only iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify? I think I’d like to get pocket casts…
    I guess I’m not getting it yet…. 🙂

  • Diane says:

    Wow! What an amazing story. I’m so impressed by Rachel’s decision to press forward with love. A lesson for everyone to remember. Crystal, thanks for blessing us with this story.

  • Kim R says:

    Wow Chrystal your podcast is a blessing to me very inspiring. I’m glad you allowed time for her to share her story. It was very inspiring yet sad but the message she gave was powerful. She chose Love to love even harder! Keep me in prayer that I’m able to overcome with love in all my relationships. Noah is blessed to have loving parents even to have met his birth mom. I believe she loved just wasn’t able to overcome some of life’s trials and tribulations. God bless!??❤️

  • Theresa Eby says:

    I loved this . This made me cry. We struggled with infertility our entire marriage ( secondary infertility ) We are currently 6 months pregnant with our miracle IVF baby girl . Infertility is seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever been through and the emotional toll it takes on a marriage is very tough . I’m so glad she shared her story on your podcast !

  • Miranda says:

    How about the little girl in their family photo? I was wondering why there was no mention of her in the podcast or if I missed something along the way lol.

    • That is their beautiful daughter — she was conceived via IVF. I wanted to get a chance to talk about that part of their story, but we ran out of time! I was so sad, because I really wanted to be able to!

      • Moranda says:

        Ok! Good to know! Maybe a part 2 or a follow up guest post on your blog ?. Just kidding but seriously that is another incredible part of her story – thank you for sharing it. Such a big fan of your podcast.

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