Dan and Kerstin Lindquist knew they wanted kids from the very beginning.
“Our second date, we knew our kids’ names,” Kerstin said. “We knew ‘Grace’ and ‘Ben.’”
Once the couple tied the knot in 2003, they eagerly looked forward to building a family. But the path to parenthood was complicated — and filled with surprises.
“Right away we did get pregnant, but right away we miscarried,” Kerstin told TODAY in an interview as part of National Infertility Awareness Week. “So that was kind of a shock to us. That everything’s going exactly how the Lord had planned, and how we had planned, and then all of a sudden — oh wait! Now we can't have children.”
Doctors called it “unexplained infertility.” But friends expressed optimism and advised them to relax and “just stop thinking about it,” something close to impossible for the couple.
“I don't think there was a day that didn’t go by that I thought about being pregnant,” Kerstin said.
The Lindquists tried fertility treatments, but unsuccessful efforts left them feeling depressed, isolated and full of shame.
“Here I am, trying to start a family, and I should be able to start a family without thinking about it, and that wasn’t our picture at all,” Dan recalled. “It was a lot of work, it was a lot of emotion.”
The couple eventually decided to add to their family through adoption. In 2009, they welcomed their daughter Grace.
“When we got the phone call about Grace's birth mother, that was one of the happiest times of my life,” said Kerstin, who can still recall everything about that moment.
Dan described “the joy of just being selected” as feeling like a heavy weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
The couple doubled their joy just a few months later with some surprising news: a successful transfer of one of their last remaining embryos. After years of failed attempts to expand their family, the Lindquists were about to become parents to two girl, born five months apart.
“When we found out we got the phone call that I was pregnant with Georgia, it was elation, shock, everything,” Kerstin said.
“Our family was complete and after so many years of thinking that this would never happen. All of a sudden there's two.”
Today, their home is filled with more laughter than they ever thought possible — and a third child.
The couple expanded their family two years ago after adopting their son, Ben.
“When you look down the barrel of, ‘I'm never going to be a parent,’ and then all of a sudden you have one, you have two, you have three, you savor every single thing,” Kirsten said. “We’re so grateful for everything that comes with that.”