When my wife, Rivky, and I got married, we envisioned our future. We took it for granted that in due time we would have children. We looked forward to raising our family to be G‑d-fearing Jews and ambassadors of light as taught by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. It was a task we were ready to take on and we were excited for the opportunity.

At the time, we were living in Brooklyn, where I was continuing my studies and my wife was an administrator at a girls’ school. Time passed, and the children didn’t come.

After two years of tests and treatment, We were told by our doctor that the medical field had nothing more to offer uswe were told by our doctor that the medical field had nothing more to offer us. During that time, we moved to Chicago to open a Chabad center in Rogers Park. I also began teaching fifth grade Judaic studies at a Chabad school and my wife had a job at a local high school. We threw ourselves into our work.

In spite of our investment in educational efforts—which kept us very busy!—we couldn’t distract ourselves from yearning to have children of our own.

As long as there had been more to try, we concentrated on tests, procedures, and research and hoped for the best. But now we were faced with an unfamiliar predicament; there was nothing else tangible to do.

We felt that the cornerstone of marriage is raising a family. At this point, what were we supposed to do? This question tore at us. What was being demanded of us? What did G‑d want from us?

The Chassidic masters teach that challenges are there to test our resolve in our service of G‑d. The challenge itself is but a skewed perception of reality, and therefore should be disregarded. The Midrash tells us that when Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed on an altar, a river appeared before him, leaving him no way to cross. Not wanting the river to delay him from fulfilling G‑d’s command, Abraham continued walking into the river. As soon as the water reached his nose, the raging river disappeared. We took a lesson from this story to mean that G‑d was testing us to see if we could carry on despite the trial of infertility.

We reminded ourselves of this often to keep our spirits up, and committed to not become despondent as a result of the void we felt in our home. We kicked off another year of hosting Shabbat meals, teaching Torah lectures and reaching out to fellow Jews. Another class of energetic fifth-grade students kept me on my toes and it was very satisfying to watch them grow.

In addition, we strengthened our faith and trust in G‑d with the belief that He isn’t limited to a medical prognosis and He can help us in our quest for children. Miracles do happen, we told ourselves. Yet the year went by and still no news.

As the next year began, our pain only increased, and we wondered: Could we make it through another 12 months this way? We pushed away our negative thoughts and pushed through another year. But still no news.

How much longer could we ignore the gnawing emptiness in our hearts?

We came to focus on another Chassidic teaching: Hardships should be used as a springboard for growth, transforming the challenge into a vehicle for positive change.

With that in mind, we began to reevaluate our approach towards our predicament. We recognized that everything that happens is Divine Providence. A challenge, no matter how painful, is meant to lead us toward our destiny. We could not ignore the pain. Instead, we needed to experience it, listen to it, and allow it to propel us forward. The real challenge, I discovered, is to be open to direction, to follow the clues, and to fulfill the purpose for which G‑d had placed us in our unique circumstance.

We began to feel kol dodi dofek (“The voice of my beloved beckoning”). G‑d surely has something in store for us. However, we could not understand where was it that G‑d was leading us.

We began intense soul searching, speaking to friends and mentors. It was not an easy process. Pitchi li (“open up for me”), continues the verse, let G‑d into your life. We were determined not to try to dictate to G‑d where we wanted our life to go. Rather we would follow His direction and allow Him to lead the way.

After months of thorough research and many important conversations, we decided to open ourselves up to building a family through adoption. The adoption journey is quite a story for itself, but to make a long story short, 11 months later—more than six years after our wedding—our longing and waiting was finally over.

We drove to Maryland, where our precious Chaya joined our family. There, we were hosted by generous Chabad emissaries who lent us baby equipment and even tended to our baby with us as we began to “learn the ropes” of parenting.

Today, we could not be more joyful as she wakes us up in the middle of the night asking for a diaper change or a feeding.

We are often faced with many challenges and the knee jerk reaction (and often the correct path) is to ignore them, carrying on as if they do not exist. But at a certain point it is time to move beyond that, to listen to the voice of our beloved.

What message is G‑d sending you? How can you use your challenge to better your life and the lives of those around you? How can this improve your service of G‑d? And, the ultimate challenge is, pitchi li, to allow G‑d to enter your life.