Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Don't Know How It Feels

When the Husband and I announced our desire to build our family through adoption, most of the looks of "understanding" and whispers circled around one notion.

Infertility.

It was the elephant in the room that didn't exist.

I was pompous. Probably even insensitive.

How Dare they assume that the only way people might choose our world was if they had struggled with infertility? went my brain...

My words, while laced in sarcasm southern molasses were less pointed and yet got the point across.

We've actually chosen this as our First plan for parenthood, I would say with an air of nobility.

As if--somehow-- that put us in a different category of adoptive families.


But, truthfully...my words? my self-built pedestal? were no better than the ones being vomited at me during Sunday School.. "You know...now that you're adopting you'll probably get pregnant (wink wink)"

Oh. So that's how it works.... And all this time I thought sex was involved.

**********

Here I sit, three years later. And my heart aches.

In my own adoption journey, I've been a bystander to the paths so many people take from suffering through their own infertility struggles, to trading their dreams (as Lauren so eloquently put it) for the nontraditional path of adoption. 

I've listened to the depth of pain and suffering that preceded the fork in the road.

And I've learned something about myself.  I'm not the courageous one.

I certainly deserve no high admiration.

My road to adoption (not necessarily in) was easy.

No hard decisions. No lost dreams. No sorrow and heartbreak as everyone around you celebrates their pregnancies and children.

I've never had to pick myself up from that place.

I don't know how it feels.

To be honest, I'm not even sure I would have the grace for it.

But I know this for sure.  Making light of the struggles of infertility would be akin to mocking someone with cancer. 

It's insensitive and callous. 

It tears open wounds that people are trying desperately to heal.



I read an article recently about a famous family (for being famous I suppose) with one sister newly pregnant and now announcing her own struggles with infertility (which seems oddly publicized and just recently mentioned at all) while a second sister has had to openly walk the path of infertility in front of the world.  While I know very little about the family and only what the world say about these journeys, I can't help but feel a pain in my heart for the second sister. 

Because I now understand one truth completely.... it's not a light matter. It is a heartbreaking and sometimes completely devastating road to walk, filled with uncertainty, letdown, and ultimately the bravery to get back up and keep walking...

**********

So to my friends out there who have suffered and walked this path alone, I am so sorry. I should have cried with you. I should have sat with you in the silent prayers and the staring out the windows. I should have ached with you in the grief and the loss. Please forgive me because I didn't know then what I know today...

And, for my friends out there who-- like me-- have not walked down the painful road that so many others have, please recognize the courage and sacrifice that road has required of them. Acknowledge and admire those women who tell their stories later with only a trace of sadness left in their voices.  Sit and cry with friends who have had old wounds ripped open and ask God, through your own tears, for His healing...

Remind yourself when you think it's not a big deal that you've not been asked to walk that road.

Respect that it is a deep wound. And treat it as such.

And never assume you know how it feels.....

5 comments:

Lauren Casper said...

Beautiful. Written like someone who may not fully understand but who certainly "gets it." Thank you. From the bottom of my heart -- thank you for your words and the love, compassion, and grace behind them. <3

Jennifer P said...

Very beautiful (and humble) blog - it brought tears to my eyes. I consider myself lucky - my struggles have ended with a beautiful baby boy. You should, however, give yourself some credit - as you do know how it feels to get your hopes up, to love a child that you expect to be yours, and then have that child/that dream taken from you. While it may not be the same - it is the same. It is all hard. Parenthood, no matter how it comes to us, is never an easy road.

Kara M said...

Beautiful post! I can tell when we tell people we are adopting their minds start turning and they want to ask so badly!! I have several friends walking the road of infertility. It is so hard! A few have said to me, "I know what you are thinking. We should adopt." Nope! I have NO IDEA what God's plan for your family is!!

BumbersBumblings said...

Beautiful post---thank you!!

Cheryll said...

What a beautiful and honest post. I love how you always put your heart out there for something you believe in and you showed your heart in this post today. It brought tears to my eyes and softened my heart.
I love you.

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