They met as schoolmates at Seton High School in Manassas, Virginia.

They felt that unmistakable attraction—and dated for three of their four high school years.

After graduating from their separate colleges, they reconnected and dated for five more years.

They were wed in 2014, convinced that their separation and reunion had helped demonstrate that they were meant to be together.

Someday, Theresa and Nate Parriott knew, they’d be eager to start their own family.  During their first year together, though—as they merged households and accustomed themselves to Theresa’s schedule as a pre-K teacher and Nate’s as a firefighter—their priority was getting to know each other better in their new roles as spouses.

They began trying in earnest for a pregnancy in the second year of their marriage. Month after disappointing month, they found no indication of a Parriott heir in the making. After approximately two years, still with no results, Theresa became a Tepeyac OB/GYN patient in 2017 to seek help in achieving fertility. At first she was seen by Dr. Bruchalski, who affirmed through testing that there was no hormonal issue that would prevent her from conceiving. He prescribed fertility medications and kept her on them for a year that remained stubbornly free of conception indicators.

Dr. Bruchalski referred Theresa to Dr. Cvetkovich, who conducted her own series of tests as well as prescribing fertility medications. Meanwhile, certain signs were beginning to appear on the horizon. Out of the blue, their parish priest Fr. Juan Puigbo approached Theresa one day to report that he had dreamed about her—with a baby of her own! It wasn’t the kind of sign Theresa and Nate had been expecting, but it was definitely one that they wouldn’t turn down. When Fr. Puigbo sought Theresa out a couple of weeks later and volunteered to pray for her intention of conceiving a child, she welcomed that encouragement as well.

In spring 2018, after fertility drugs had failed to work and ultrasound and xrays showed nothing that might be causing Theresa’s infertility, Dr. Cvetkovich recommended exploratory laparoscopic surgery as the next step. First, though, Nate and Theresa enjoyed a vacation that allowed them to build on the understanding and intimacy, the trust, and the deepening of faith they had developed together during the long wait for a child.  About their family situation, they agreed that if there were no results after the surgery, they’d stop the fertility treatments and begin looking into the possibility of adopting.

Then Dr. Cvetkovich’s surgical explorations revealed what none of the previous tests or treatments had: endometriosis so severe that it had already destroyed one of Theresa’s ovaries. After clearing away the endometriosis and removing the damaged ovary, the doctor told Theresa that there would be a six- to twelve-month interval before the condition could be expected to return—an interval during which there was no other discernible reason why conception couldn’t occur. When Theresa and Nate shared this news with Fr. Puigbo, he counseled them to lay their desire for a child at the foot of the cross.