I don’t know why it took until now to begin to write the story about our impending adoption. It is March 20, 2020—in the midst of a global pandemic, and here is proof that God works for good, even in the bleakest of circumstances. We are in the final stages of the adoption process, before the court states she’s legally ours, but the road that led us here was anything but straight. In fact, it wended in directions I didn’t realize lay within compass bounds.
Perhaps I should back up even further, with our own struggles of secondary infertility. Yeah, I didn’t know that was a thing, either, until it came upon me. Some generations may gasp at me “airing my dirty laundry” at this point, but I am of the belief that few thoughts are unique anymore, and by voicing our vulnerability, we are bound to help at least one other person along our journey, and that is worth it to me. Hi, whoever you are. Guess what—you’re not alone.
Apparently, secondary infertility is indeed not just a “thing,” but is a thing that far more women experience than we will most likely ever realize because of the stigma of shame, embarrassment, and pure pain that comes with the discussion. We had our first daughter in 2013, which came with dangerous ease. I refer to it this way, because it was an expeditious track to pride for us, which led to a harsh lesson in humility. For us, pregnancy happened on the first try, which inflated our self-assurance and sparked a false, foolish sense of absolute baby-manufacturing control. And, as a result, it took many years of heartbreak, gradual introspection, and numerous frown-faced pregnancy sticks to realize what a grave mistake that was. It turns out, we never had any control at all—that was God’s wheelhouse all along.
I still laugh, perhaps a little too menacingly—though hopefully not detectably—when aspiring moms speak with such certainty about how many children they will have, which genders they and will and will not tolerate—after all, boys are wild and girls are formidable in their teenage years, don’tcha know. It’s particularly amusing when people get into the specifics of when this will happen—after eating their last sunset-spackled, chalice of Ambrosia atop Mt. Olympus…or what-have-you. The most cringe-worthy part is, I used to be one of them, and perhaps even the loudest among them.
I am simultaneously lauding and mourning the gentle voices of dear friends who have suffered their own unfathomable tragedies with irreparable fallopian tubes and unanswered questions about multiple miscarriages and infertility. Still other friends gently suggested that birthdays are a joy no matter when they happen, so why plan so fastidiously? My own hardship taught me to savor that advice, and to never make an ignorant statement about my fallopian “control,” again.
When I overhear these conversations, from the unblemished moms-to-be, I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide my words, so that those same soft answers cover my own lips. I pray for the ability to speak tenderly, but realistically to them. Mind you, I realize that 99% of the time, these people are all well-intentioned dreamers, and they deserve the same grace Christ granted me, when I was in those same boasful shoes, with that first positive pregnancy test, on Christmas Eve, on the first try. I also pray for the strength to pray that God’s will be done, and that they are, indeed, given the greatest privilege ever granted to mankind, despite my own struggle.
After all, we are called to replace envy with love of one another, right?
Thank God those dark feelings are fleeting for me, now, but I know how hard it can be for others. It is not easy to see things that way in the midst of our own pain. Or pride.
In fact, the first two years of my daughter’s life went by, and we had always just ASSumed her second birthday was the magic number to try again, but we should try this month and not this month because we were going to be in Europe at this point, and heaven-forbid-we-don’t-want-birthdays-too-close-to-one-another, and the weather’s nicer this time of year, and I hope it’s a boy, and I…I…I…I…Surely I would be pregnant just as easy-breezy as the last time. Because, how could that not be what God wanted for me?