(Image Credits: Facebook/Andy-Sarah Justice, NBC)
Andy and Sarah Justice had struggled to conceive for years and wanted nothing more than to have a baby, so they decided to look into other options. With IVF costing up to $60,000, the Justices settled on adoption instead and were soon paired with a birth mother.
After being paired with a birth mother and arranging the adoption, Sarah Justice accompanied the birth mother to a routine doctor’s appointment, which yielded a shocking revelation. There on the ultrasound screen, Sarah and the birth mother saw a real rarity. Not one. Not two. But three babies were on the way.
(Image Credits: Facebook/Andy-Sarah Justice, NBC)
Sarah described the incredible scene to Tulsa World. “What does that mean?” a confused Sarah asked the adoption agency. Officials told her that it changed nothing. Because it’s still just one pregnancy, technically it counts as one adoption. That means that unless they backed out now, the Justices would be getting all three babies – which would only be the start of the Justices’ baby mayhem.
After 3 and a half years of marriage Sarah and Andy Justice’s local doctor sent them to a fertility specialist in St. Louis. But unfortunately for the Justices, their baby dreams were crushed. They only had a 10% chance of getting pregnant with In-Vitro Fertilization. What’s worse, it would cost them somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000! Clearly, that was a sign. “We took that as a ‘no,’ ” Andy told Tulsa World. “So we started the adoption process.” But their chances of getting a baby that way weren’t much better.
As it turned out, they had a better chance of getting into Harvard than getting picked by a birth mother. When they were chosen, birth mothers would interview them one-on-one to asses their parenting abilities. And while several birth mothers had picked them, none were convinced that they’d provide the home they were looking for. “They changed their minds,” Sarah said. “It was very hard to get our hopes up like that and then be disappointed and have to start all over.”
After finally arranging an adoption, they wanted more children but didn’t want to go through that process again. With triplets, they wouldn’t have to. “Wow! This is great,” Sarah thought. “It’s everything we wanted.” Born two months early and weighing only 3 pounds each, the babies — Joel, Hannah, and Elizabeth — stayed in the neonatal intensive care. A week later, Sarah began to feel queasy and scheduled a doctor’s appointment. That’s when her whole world was really turned upside-down.
What was previously just a 10% chance with IVF just became an impossible reality. Against all odds, her doctor confirmed, Sarah Justice was finally pregnant. But that incredibly happy moment of her life was marled by a heavy choice: Now that she had become naturally pregnant, maybe the adoption wasn’t necessary after all? Maybe they could back out of it all?
“We wouldn’t give up these babies for anything,” Sarah said, refuting the notion. “Besides,” Andy added, “maybe it’s all connected.” The couple found themselves relaxing with the adoption in place. Stress went away, which meant that conceiving became easier and more natural. “We really felt this was something God wanted us to do,” Sarah said. “And sometimes, when you follow God’s will in one thing, it leads to the next thing.”
The triplets were only a couple of months old when Sarah went for a sonogram to find out the sex of the new baby. That’s when Sarah received another ultra-shocking ultrasound report. Not really thinking what the words truly meant, she parroted to her husband what the nurse had told her. “One is a boy,” she said flatly. “One!?” Andy repeated. Wait – what do they mean by one?
Well, you get what you ask for. Andy is a real joker, and had been teasing Sarah about having twins. But now the joke was on him. “That’ll teach me to keep my mouth shut,” he said, laughing. “No, really, we were very happy. Did we panic a little? Of course. But we were very happy.” Their a modest ranch-style home in east Tulsa, has just gone from two occupants to seven in less than a year!
As of now, the adopted triplets Joel, Hannah and Elizabeth just turned 9 months old. The twins Abigail and Andrew are almost eight weeks old. To help the struggling parents tell them apart, Hannah and Elizabeth wear different bows in their hair. Luckily, however, the triplets have been sleeping through the night lately, letting Abigail and Andrew burn the midnight oil alone. “We don’t sleep much, obviously,” Andy told Tulsa World. “We don’t sit down much either.”
It takes a village to raise these kids. According to the couple, the children go through 84 bottles a and over 300 diapers week! But luckily the first-time parents have a lot of help. A friends and family members all take turns helping Sarah while Andy goes to work. To help with food, their congregation at Eastland Baptist Church keeps them supplied with cooked meals. Even so, all those diapers and bottles cost money.
So how do Sarah and Andy cope?
“They’ve all been donated so far,” Andy said. “We’ve been very, very blessed.” The twins were sleeping, one cuddled in her grandmother’s lap, the other in Andy’s arms. Two of the triplets played quietly while the other napped in a crib. It was quiet enough to hear the wind in the trees outside.
“Believe me,” Andy said. “It’s not always like this around here.”
They consider their babies a blessing, adding that “God has a great sense of humor.”